You may have heard of the Dell Chromebook 11. It’s one of the very best Chromebooks you can buy. In fact, we think it is the best — a perfect compromise of product and price. So reasonably, it’d be exciting to hear that Dell has a new Chromebook 11. Version 2.0. Well, don’t jump for joy because this isn’t the Chromebook 11 your looking for.
Dell has one specific audience in mind for this $US250 piece of ChromeOS hardware, and that’s students. What was so wonderful about Dell’s original Chromebook was its wonderful build quality. It was so popular, the company had trouble keeping it in stock. The new Chromebook isn’t nothing like that. It’s plastic — through and through. We’re not talking soft touch polycarbonate or some or classy matte finish. No. Plastic.
And hey, for the classroom, it makes perfect sense. Plastic can withstand the punishment of drops, scrapes, and the occasional spill better than other materials. Dell also outfitted the new 11 with a 180-degree hinge so you can lay the device completely flat and has a few extra school-specific features too, like a light on the back that changes colour when, say, a student has a question or is “raising” his or her hand. Yes, technology has eliminated the need for kids to raise their hands in class. Welcome to the future.
From a spec perspective, nothing here is blowing our mind. You’ve kind of bunch of options to choose from: anti-glare or touchscreen, HD or Full HD, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, etc, and each successive is a bump up from that $US250 base price.
Dell sells they will be selling the new Chromebook 11 for non-academic types, basically replacing the old version’s lower-powered Intel Celeron models (this new guy is running a dual-core Bay Trail chip), and will also remove all of the classroom-specific stuff, so no worries there. The company told us that they will continue to offer the old configuration with a Core i3 chip but do have plans to expand its Chromebook lineup later in 2015. If you’re looking for a new Chromebook, it might be best to practise a little patience.