Microsoft is targeting Education with it’s new pared down version of its operating system, Windows 10s. The OS offers a simpler walled garden approach, that’s less taxing for PCs boasting faster load times. Sounds like the perfect match for Acer’s recently introduced TravelMate Spin B1 convertible laptop. The 11.6-inch hybrid offers the versatility of 360-degree hinge design, with a stylus and Windows Ink allowing users to quickly switch between typing a term paper to jotting down notes in class. Best of all the pair will be made available for less than $300, making the Acer TravelMate a viable alternative to the affordable Chromebooks that dominate the education sector.
Windows Goes Full Chromebook
It’s clear what Microsoft’s intentions are with Windows 10s, they want to create a direct competitor to Google’s lightweight Chromebook platform. The new OS will operate in much the same way that Chrome OS does, allowing users run Microsoft applications out of the box and download third party apps exclusively via Microsoft’s Window store.
That closed in approach not only helps the OS to be lightweight, allowing machines to eek out as much performance as possible, but make it should make it easier for teachers or employers/administrators to manage the laptops across a large group of people. Restricting access to certain applications, while preloading others. Microsoft 10s also features USB key installation, making the conversion process easy, even when scaling up to a large number of notebooks. Consumers who are already running Windows 10 Pro will be able to upgrade for free.
Acer TravelMate Spin B1
Acer is known for creating some of the most compelling Chromebooks on the market, so they know how to build a great education laptop. That’s why it comes as little surprise that the Acer TravelMate Spin B1 is so perfectly fitted for the classroom.
The 11.6-inch convertible features a full 360-degree hinge design for easy transition between clamshell and tablet modes. The notebook ships with a stylus allowing users to scribble down notes, the FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution panel also offers full 10-point touch support as well.
The laptop isn’t particularly robust (nor should you expect it to be at that price point) housing an Intel Celeron Processor, with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage. However, what is a real selling point is the machines long lasting battery. According to Acer, that machine can last up to 13 hours of continuous use. So even after a full day of school and a horde of students, the TravelMate should be going strong.
The convertible is also built to last with a shock-absorbent middle frame, and pressure resistant screen that can withstand up to 132 pounds of frontal impact. The TravelMate also features a spill-resistant keyboard withstanding up to 11 ounces a fluid, and the built-in gutter system under the keyboard diverts water and other liquids away from the internal components.
It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft can take on Google in the classroom. Chromebooks have been synonymous with education for some time, but devices like the TravelMate could help turn the tide. The Acer TravelMate Spin B1 will be made available later this month for $300.