CTL Preps “Education” Chromebook Fit For Classrooms

I've never been in a school with a mass laptop policy, but it seems like ThinkPads are a common choice for such establishments. Not a bad choice, but there will soon be a cheaper and potentially more suitable alternative to choose from. CTL's 11.6” device, based on Intel's Education Chromebook reference design, pairs a robust exterior with Google's minimalistic Chrome OS.


In all its ruggedized gloryIn all its ruggedized glory


The CTL Education Chromebook boasts scratch-proof keys, a spill-proof keyboard, a carrying handle, and the ability to handle falls of a few feet without issue – all of which will be tested frequently in a typical classroom setting.

The rotate-able 1MP webcam can even have a 30x-magnifying lens attached to it, which, while probably cumbersome to operate, might be an asset in science class.


Notice the webcam, rotated to face forwardNotice the webcam, rotated to face forward


Inside, an Intel Bay Trail Celeron N2930 quad-core processor runs the show, flanked by 4GB of memory, 16GB of flash storage, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Ports include HDMI, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and an SD card reader.

The anti-glare 11.6” screen runs at the typical 1366x768-pixel resolution. No, it's not a touchscreen.


Relatively thin, but not so lightRelatively thin, but not so light


The 3200mAh battery provides eight hours of battery life, and the whole thing weighs just over three pounds. Yes, that's a tad heavy for an 11.6” notebook, but something has to give when durability is a requirement in the design. Remember: school-age kids are the primary audience for this thing.


The handle is retractableThe handle is retractable


And it's for that reason that Chrome OS seems a better fit on here than Windows. What's basically just a browser running web apps on a Linux base is not only more resistant to malware, but also easier to configure and manage by IT departments.

To boot, works-in-progress are backed-up online in Google servers, preventing tears in the face of a random crash.


Whoops. Not to worry, it still works, see?Whoops. Not to worry, it still works, see?


Anyway, if this Chromebook looks perfect for your use, even if that use has nothing to do with schooling, CTL are making its Education Chromebooks available to anyone via its website. How does $279 sound?