As suggested by a Microsoft blog post last week, Acer is updating its line of entry-level laptops for the education market. The company has a new Chromebook with 10th-gen Intel Core processor options, and two new Windows laptops designed for use in the classroom.
The Acer TravelMate B3 is a laptop with an 11.6 inch display and an Intel Gemini Lake Refresh low-power processor, while the Acer TravelMate Spin B3 is a similarly-sized model with a touchscreen display and a 360-degree hinge that allows the computer to be used as a laptop or tablet.
The new PCs should be available in April with prices starting at $239 for the clamshell model and $329 for the convertible tablet-style TravelMate Spin B3.
The Acer TravelMate Spin B3 measures 11.6″ x 8.4″ x 0.8″ and weighs 3.2 pounds with a 48 Wh battery. It will be available with up to a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe NVMe storage.
But that’s for a top-of-the-line model. Entry-level specs are less impressive (1366 x 768 pixel display, Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage). Still, it’s nice to see that even entry-level Chromebooks are now coming with more than 2GB of memory and 16GB of storage.
Each model has a Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 5.0. Ports include HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, a headset jack, and a USB Type-C port and two USB Type-A ports.
Acer offers a choice of 1280 x 720 or 2560 x 1920 pixel webcams and some models also come wit support for a Wacom AES digital pen that can be docked when you’re not using it.
Acer’s TravelMate B3 clamshell laptop has the same basic specs and design, but lacks some of the options and features found in the convertible model.
The processor, memory, and storage options are the same, for example. But Acer will only offer a 1366 x 768 pixel non-touch display. The only webcam option is a 720p camera. And there’s no pen input option.
The TravelMate B3 measures 11.6″ x 8.5″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 3.1 pounds.
eMMC is not suitable for windows laptops, they should have included UFS or SSD.
How credible is Laptop Mag’s Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2019 rating? https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings
I’m looking for the best budget, no frills, fanless, sturdy, travel laptop. I’m constantly looking for the best in this category. Which brand? The internal specs are fine for me, it’s just not clear who makes the externals the best that are important: the keyboard, the touchpad, the screen, the overall build quality, and customer service.
Not many reviews of these education laptops on YouTube. I mean not many reviews of previous years’ models nor the models of competing brands either.
I have heard good things about the Star Labs Starlite Mk2, around $400 USD for N4200 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1920×1080, NVME SSD, and aluminum chassis. https://starlabs.systems/pages/star-lite
I’m not the best person to ask about it. The only laptop I have which was manufactured after 2014 is the essentially-prototype Pinebook, which is not going to serve your needs.
LaptopMag skims features but doesn’t hit usability. NotebookCheck gets a little more in depth, but they (wisely?) don’t try to create an overall judgement of best.
Yeah, I’m aware of the Star Labs 11.6″ notebook. With its shrunken keyboard, no thanks. It’s nice that it has 8GB of RAM and NVME SSD, but neither of these features are needed for me. Linux runs fine on low end hardware.
I just checked NotebookCheck’s recommendations. They should make a category that is essentially the category of notebooks I’m looking for. No frills/fanless/Chromebooks/what they sell these days under Education.
Thanks for the heads up!
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