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Lenovo Announces New Classmate+ PC and Convertible

Earlier this week, the folks at OLPC unveiled their brand new XO 3, a tablet aimed at children in the developing world. However, OLPC isn't the only company working the low-cost educational PC market. This week at CES, Lenovo unveiled its new Classmate+ laptop and convertible notebooks, which promise to be even more rugged and affordable than the last Classmate PC while providing longer battery life and improved ease of use.

Based on Intel's N2600 Atom CPU (which just started shipping last month), the Classmate+ features a 10.1-inch anti-glare screen (with touch capability on the convertible model) as well as optional high-brightness or HD on both, as well as the option for a capacitive touch screen with a pen stylus on the convertible version. It boasts up to 2 GB DDR3 memory and up to 320 GB in HDD storage. Solid State storage is also available, up to 32 GB of it, and the whole thing runs on a 6-cell battery that provides a maximum 10 hours of usage.

If that wasn't enough, you've also got three USB ports, VGA, and an optional HDMI port for transferring data and outputting standard and high definition video to an external display. As for that extra-ruggedness we were promised, the Classmate+ keyboard packs enhanced water resistance, as well as a tougher corner design, a reinforced steel hinge and a strengthened DC jack.

"As the world's #1 PC maker in education, we're committed to enhancing learning via our platform of PC solutions designed for students," Michael Schmedlen, director of worldwide education at Lenovo, said in a statement. "By joining with Intel to create the new Lenovo Classmate+ Clamshell and Classmate+ Convertible laptops, we're demonstrating how mobile computing fits into any learning environment, no matter the location or budget."

The price of the Lenovo Classmate+ laptop and convertible laptop will vary depending on the individual market's taxes, tariffs, and configuration options, but it's available this month for governments and qualifying educational institutions.