This week Dell introduced the new Latitude 13 Education Series laptop (opens in new tab). As the name implies, this rugged laptop was designed with students in mind, sporting a rubberized LCD and base trim for "superior" drop protection. Versions with touchscreens are protected with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for a high level of scratch resistance.
"Purpose-built to meet the needs of any student computing program, the Latitude 13 Education Series is well-equipped to deliver a rich learning experience, online or off," states the company's PR. "With powerful processors, a large 13.3-inch display and a full-size keyboard, it's ideal for content consumption and creation, durable enough to withstand bumps, drops and spills."
A list of features reveals that the laptop will "tattle" on students with a network activity light that illuminates when students connect to the WLAN. This laptop also opens 180 degrees to reduce hinge stress when carried by students in "unconventional" ways. The Latitude 13 also boasts an exclusive fully-sealed keyboard and touchpad to protect the electronics from spills, muddy fingers, drooling and other kids' stuff.
Dell's kid-friendly laptop comes in four flavors, with starting prices ranging from $539 to $769. The cheapest of the bunch packs an Intel Celeron-2957U processor (Dual Core, 1.40 GHz, 2M cache, 15 W), Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, a 13.3-inch 16:9 HD (1366 x 768) non-touch display, and Intel HD Graphics. The laptop also provides 4 GB of single channel DDR3L RAM at 1600 MHz, and a 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA hard drive.
One of the more expensive models packs an Intel Core i5-4200U (Dual Core, 1.60 GHz, 3M cache, 15W), Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, a 13.3-inch 16:9 HD (1366 x 768) non-touch screen and Intel HD 4400 Graphics. The laptop also features 4 GB single channel DDR3L RAM at 1600 MHz and a 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA hard drive.
In addition to the hardware specs, there are also three colors to choose from: non-touch models in red and blue, and touch and non-touch models in black.
"With best-in-class endpoint security solutions that include comprehensive encryption, advanced authentication and leading-edge malware protection from a single source, Dell offers the world's most secure commercial laptops," states the company's PR. "The Latitude 13 Education Series offers Dell Data Protection solutions, as well as Dell KACE and integration with Microsoft System Center."
Although these laptops are targeting schools, they should make for an ideal solution in the home. Question is, are the prices a bit steep when cheaper, non-student-focused solutions can be found in Walmart or Best Buy. The prices really aren't too shabby; you're not only paying for superior Haswell performance, but piece of mind knowing these laptops can stand up to kid disasters (been there, done it).
For more information about the Latitude 13 Education laptop, head here (opens in new tab).