I attended the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC) and had a chance to look at a number of the upcoming Chromebooks that will be hitting the market soon. Here are my initial impressions of what I saw. I cannot recommend any of them yet until I can fully review them.
The Lenovo N22 is an update to last year’s N21 and uses Intel’s N3050 Celeron processor in it. It keeps many of the same features of the N21 except it no longer has a handle on the back of it. In quick use of the device, I did like the improvements they made to the trackpad over the N21 model. If you liked the N21 model, I think you’ll have no issues with this one as long as the price is right for it. With many upcoming Chromebooks sporting the same ruggedized features as last year’s Dell Chromebook 11, and starting at $199, the N22 is going to need to come in competitive to compete.
HP Chromebook 11 - G4 Education Edition
HP’s new G4 Chromebook is very similar to last year’s Dell Chromebook 11. It is ruggedized and designed with education in mind. Where the Lenovo N22 went with the new Braswell-based N3050 Celeron processor, the HP Chromebook 11 stays with last year’s N2840 Celeron processor. They likely did this to keep the pricing low as the N2840 is still a good processor for Chrome OS devices. I’m told the color seen in the pictures above is only for the demo units and will not be available when it is officially released. Overall, I was pretty impressed with first impressions of the device and it will start at $199 for the 2GB model.
Samsung Chromebook 3
The Samsung Chromebook 3 is an update over last year’s Samsung Chromebook 2. Like the Lenovo N22, it does use the N3050 Celeron processor. Where this doesn’t have the ruggedized features seen on other Chromebooks, it does have a spill-proof keyboard and long battery (11-hour claim). It also has a much more sleek design compared to the other rugged Chromebooks. I would probably not look at this for student devices, but it could be a nice option for affordable staff devices. The Samsung Chromebook 3 is now available and starts at $199 for the 2GB and $229 for the 4GB models.
Acer C738T Chromebook
The C738T Chromebook is Acer’s first touchscreen Chrome device that has a full 360 degree hinge. It uses Intel’s N3150 Celeron processor and it’s starting price includes 4GB of RAM and an IPS display. I was very impressed with the build quality and the overall design of the device. I feel this device could have a lot of potential as long as it holds up better than some other Acer Chrome devices and Chrome OS continues to receive more touch-enabled features. Pricing starts at $299 for the 4GB model with a 16GB SSD. You can also get a 4GB model with a 32GB SSD for $329.
Brian is the Technology Director for Indian Valley Local Schools in Gnadenhutten, Ohio. He is also an authorized Google Education Trainer and Google Certified Administrator. Having a strong passion for educational technology, Brian has also done a number of presentations and trainings throughout the state of Ohio.