Dell to provide schools with range of new laptops and tablets

Education is a very important market for computer manufacturers and other technology companies.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a huge deal with the New York City Public Schools, to offer Office 365 to all of its students and teachers for free.

Now, Dell has presented new hardware to the education segment; new laptops and tablets running Chrome OS, Android and Windows. By offering a diverse range of form factors and platforms, the manufacturer can gain access to many school systems and classrooms.

"Dell today announced a range of new additions to its state-of-the-art portfolio of education solutions to enhance the learning experiences of students around the world: the Dell Chromebook 11; Venue 10 and Venue 10 Pro tablets; Latitude 11 Education Series laptop and the Dell Interactive Projector S510.

"These new products join a great education portfolio that includes award-winning products like the Latitude 13 Education Series laptop, Dell Wyse thin clients for labs, and the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation for engineering and design students.

"Whether the learning environment is based on Chromebooks, laptops or tablets, all Dell devices are designed to integrate seamlessly within the preferred IT infrastructure", says Dell.

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Sam Burd, VP and GM, Dell Personal Computing Product Group further explains, "the classroom is changing quickly, and innovative technology is a major way for students to enjoy a collaborative educational experience.

"Education devices need to be really robust to make it through a school district’s life cycle. They also need to be powerful and flexible enough to suit individual learning needs, and make collaborating within the classroom simple. Our latest education solutions give students, teachers and IT managers the tools they need to provide an engaging learning experience".

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Dell lists the devices with associated pricing and availability below

The Dell Chromebook 11 starts at $249.99 (£160) and is available on Dell.com in the U.S. and select countries around the world starting 12 February, 2015. The Latitude 11 Education Series starts at $299 (£195) for qualified education customers. The non-touch display version will be available starting 3 March, 2015. A touch display version will be available in late June 2015. The Venue 10 Pro starts at $329.99 (£215) for the tablet or $379.99 (£250) with keyboard option. It will be available on Dell.com in the U.S. and select countries around the world starting 3 March, 2015. The Venue 10 will be available in spring 2015.

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While I think Windows is the smartest decision for most schools, Chromebooks can certainly meet the needs of many. Dell's Chromebook 11 in particular looks very durable and inviting; young students should love it.

Dell explains that the Chromebook 11 has "features including an anti-glare HD display with optional touchscreen, liquid-resistant keyboard and touchpad and front facing integrated HD video webcam, allowing students to easily collaborate.

"It also features advanced connectivity options including wireless 2x2 LAN, 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and up to 10 hours of battery life, so students can stay online throughout the day without being tethered to wires and chargers".

A 10 inch Android tablet may have its place for specific touch applications and as an e-reader, but so can the Venue 10 Pro with keyboard (seen directly above); a great value at under $400 (360).

This appears to be a much better value that the traditionally-designed Latitude 11 Education Series. Students love tablets and a 2-in-1 can save money.

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"Both the Dell Venue 10 (Android 5.0, Lollipop) and Dell Venue 10 Pro (Windows 8.1) feature a 10.1 inch HD or Full HD display to help bring content to life, and allow students to work in five different positions when configured with the optional, attachable and reversible keyboard.

"The five positions make the most of different learning environments and include: clamshell for test scenarios and to use as a laptop, tent and stand positions to promote collaboration and sharing, and slate configuration for keyboard storage while in tablet mode. An optional active stylus also provides the pen and paper 'inking' experience on a tablet", explains the manufacturer.

Overall, Dell has hit a home run with these new offerings, and by being diverse, can attract many schools with different needs. Most importantly, pricing is right and the designs are very appealing.