Lenovo, Intel Go to School with Classmate+ Education LaptopLenovo, Intel Go to School with Classmate+ Education Laptop
The VAR Guy can't help but notice Lenovo's and Intel's combined effort in the education space. The two vendors have come out with the Classmate+ PC, an all-purpose laptop designed specifically for the K-8 space. It's being hailed as rugged, affordable, 'child-friendly' and 'complete,' all positives for education-focused technology. So far, The VAR Guy is intrigued. Read on for the specs …
March 11, 2011
The VAR Guy can’t help but notice Lenovo’s and Intel’s combined effort in the education space. The two vendors have come out with the Classmate+ PC, an all-purpose laptop designed specifically for the K-8 space. It’s being hailed as rugged, affordable, ‘child-friendly’ and ‘complete,’ all positives for education-focused technology. So far, The VAR Guy is intrigued. Read on for the specs …
The Classmate+ PC will come pre-loaded with Intel’s Learning Series software suite, a specialized educational software that includes teaching resources. Plus, it features a drop-resistant exterior and spill-resistant keyboard, and comes equipped with an Intel Atom CPU, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, along with Windows 7, a 10-inch LED screen, a card reader and a multitude of USB ports to support external media.
At first blush, the Classmate+ PC seems to be a netbook designed to withstand the rigors of being roughed up and passed around. Lenovo sees a market for the Classmate+ in the growing number of schools adopting a 1:1 computing (or one computer per child) curriculum. The VAR Guy thinks if Lenovo has priced these machines such that schools could afford to give one to every student, then Lenovo has bet on a winner.
However, The VAR Guy is a little flummoxed at the fact that there is no set price for the machines. According to Lenovo, the Classmate+ PCs will be priced based on the market it’s being sold, in plus regional taxes. But considering the fact that there a number of low-end laptops on the market that are priced at around $500 (and even less when purchased in the big quantities a school district would need), The VAR Guy hopes Lenovo doesn’t price the Classmate+ right out of the market. (After all, it’s our tax dollars that ultimately will be paying for these machines. And The VAR Guy is out of cookie recipes for another school bake sale.)
Only qualified education and/or government customers can get their hands on these machines, which will be sold through channel partners.
The VAR Guy also noticed similarities between the Classmate+ and the AMD-powered OLPC XO-1, a netbook designed to be cheap, useful and perfect for educational environments. The VAR Guy appreciates the value of putting technology in the hands of students, and finds it refreshing to see more vendors finding enough value in the education space to develop hardware specifically for it.
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