Lenovo is updating its line of laptops for the education market with a bunch of new models that all feature ruggedized designs with reinforced ports and hinges, spill-resistant keyboards, rubber bumpers, and features including USB-C ports for charging and peripherals, HDMI ports for external displays, and physical webcam shutters for privacy. Select models are also available with support for wireless features including WiFi 6 and 4G LTE.
Some of Lenovo’s new education laptops are powered by Intel processors, while others have AMD chips. And some are Chromebooks while others run Windows.
The differences are so modest that Lenovo just adds an “w” or “e” to the end of the model number to let you know if it’s Windows or Chrome OS model (I don’t know why the company isn’t using c for Chrome either, but e it is).
Here’s an overview of some of Lenovo’s new laptops.
Lenovo 14w and 14e
These 14 inch Windows and Chrome OS laptops are both powered by AMD processors. Both models should be available starting in may. And both have starting prices of $334.
Weighing about 3.2 pounds and measuring 12.8″ x 8.8″ x 0.7″, the laptops are available with up to 8GB of RAM, up to a full HD IPS touchscreen display, and up to an intel AX200 WiFi 6 wireless card.
With one USB Type-C port, two USB 3.1 type-A ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, the notebooks should work with a wide range of peripherals. Other features include a 57 Wh battery, a 720 Wh battery, and support for an optional backlit keyboard.
The Windows model is available with 128GB eMMC or 256GB M.2 SSD storage options and features an AMD 3015e dual-core processor, while the Chrome OS model is only available with 64GB of eMMC storage and comes with an unspecified “AMD processor for Chromebooks.”
Lenovo 100, 300, and 500 series
Each of these laptops feature 11.6 inch displays, but there are some key differences in processor, design, and functionality.
The entry-level Lenovo 100e Chromebook Gen 3 is an AMD-powered 2.8 pound laptop that tops out at 4GB of DDR4-1600 RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage and which is only available with a 1366 x 768 TN display. It also has a 720p front-facing camera with a privacy shutter, and the notebook is set to ship in May for $299 and up.
The Lenovo 100w is coming in June for $299 and the Windows model has similar specs and design, but it supports up to 128GB of storage.
If you step up to the 2.9 pound Lenovo 300e Chromebook Gen 3 you get a IPS touchscreen display and a 360 degree hinge and optional USI pen support, but it still tops out at 1366 x 768 pixels. This model is also powered by an AMD processor and largely features similar specs under the hood to its cheaper sibling. But in addition to the 720 front camera, it has optional support for a 5MP world-facing camera.
The Windows-powered Lenovo 300w is virtually identical, except it ships with Windows instead of Chrome OS and supports up to 128GB of M.2 SSD storage.
Lenovo says both of its Lenovo 300 series education laptops should be available starting in May for $359 and up.
Finally there’s the Lenovo 500e Chromebook and Lenovo 500w Windows laptop. These are both 2.9 pound convertibles with 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 pixel IPS touchscreen displays, 360-degree hinges, support for up to 8GB of RAM, 720p front-facing cameras with shutters, and 5MP world-facing cameras. There’s also optional support for a USI digital pen.
The Chromebook version features an Intel Celeron processor and support for up to 64GB of eMMC storage, while the Windows model will be available with up to an Intel Pentium 6000 chip and up to 128GB of M.2 solid state storage.
Both models should be available in June for $429 and up.