Google has announced that education will be key area of focus for Chromebooks going ahead and the search giant has even introduced several features for the new generation of Chromebooks to make them more compatible for classroom-use. The first in this line of new Chromebooks come from Acer and Asus as the companies have launched their respective education-focused Spin 11 and C213 Chromebooks at the Bett education technology trade show in London.
First, let's talk about the newly-launched Chromebooks. The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 sports an Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protected 11-inch HD IPS touchscreen display with a 360-degree dual-torque hinge to avoid wobbling. The display on Spin 11 comes with Wacom EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) technology for improved compatibility with the stylus.
Interestingly, Acer's new Chromebook Spin 11 has a MIL-STD 810G US military standard rating, which effectively means that the device has an impressive amount of durability.
Depending on the variant, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 packs either dual-core (N3350) or quad-core (N3450) Intel Celeron chipset, up to 8GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of flash storage. In terms of connectivity options, the Spin 11 comes with two USB-Type C ports, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, a MicroSD card reader, and two USB 3.0 ports as well.
As of now, there is not much information available about the Asus C213 Chromebook but just like the Spin 11, it comes with a 2-in-1 design, USB Type-C, and Google Play store out-of-the-box, as pointed out in a report by 9to5Google. The pricing and availability of the new Chromebooks has not been announced but the devices are expected to be released in late Spring.
Back to Google's new focus on the education sector. The company says it worked with educators and partners to design these two new Chromebooks in order to optimise them according to the needs of schools. The affordable stylus meant for these Chromebooks come with a "unique" eraser, Google said in its official blog post. The search giant points out that these low-cost styli don't need any charging or pairing and can therefore be easily replaced if lost.
"We heard from educators that multiple chargers and slow charging wastes precious time for students. Going forward, all Chromebooks will have standard super-fast USB-C charging, so one Chromebook cart can charge any device quickly," Google said in its post.
As Android apps are now available on Chromebooks, it makes sense for the company to make the Chromebooks more touch-friendly, which was not the case earlier. "In the coming weeks, Chromebook administrators will be able to create a library of approved Android apps and install them on select managed Chromebooks. Students will be able to access millions of Android apps, like Toontastic and Science Journal, for learning both online and offline," it added.
Google has also announced creative apps on Chromebooks including WeVideo, Soundtrap, and Explain Everything.
Apart from Acer and Asus, HP and Dell will also be announcing their new Chromebooks, as per Google. "With new apps, stylus and touch capabilities, we expect our partners will continue to build an even wider variety of Chromebooks in the future, including detachables and tablets," the company said.