ASUS unveils new Chromebooks and a Chrome OS tablet for education

Chrome OS has slowly become one of the most promising operating systems. What began life as a "glorified web browser" has grown to also run Android apps and traditional Linux programs. At the same time, Windows 10 has declined in quality, causing many users to lose faith in Microsoft's operating system. For education in particular, school districts are increasingly turning to Google's Chromebooks rather than devices running Windows 10.

Today, ASUS unveils four new Chrome OS devices for the education market. Three of them (C403, C204, and Flip C214) are laptops, with one of them (the Flip) being a convertible -- meaning it can fold into a tablet. In addition, there is a traditional tablet (CT100). While Chrome OS tablets are fairly unproven, the ability to run Android apps makes them quite useful.

"The series includes two traditional clamshell laptops -- the 11.6-inch ASUS Chromebook C204 and the 14-inch ASUS Chromebook C403 -- and the 14-inch ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 convertible. There's also a brand-new form factor introduced, with the ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100, a stunning 9.7-inch QXGA wide-angle touch-display tablet," says ASUS.

ALSO READ: ASUS VivoBook 14 (X420) Windows 10 laptop has a 'frameless' display

The company also says, "The new series features durability, spill- and tamper-resistant keyboards and all-around rubber bumpers to withstand the rigors that electronics often face in schools. This lineup provides educators and parents with a full-range of lightweight, ruggedized options that can cater to their specific curriculum choices and unleash the creativity and productivity of their students. The new ASUS Chromebook Education series will be available in the coming months with configurations, pricing, and availability to be announced at launch."

ASUS shares the following specifications.

  ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100
CPU OP1, Made for Chromebooks, Hexa-core
(Dual ARM Cortex-A72, Quad Cortex-A53 big.LITTLE configuration) Processor
Display 9.7" QXGA (1536x2048) multi-touch with glass cover
Operating System Chrome OS
Graphics Mali-T864 GPU
Memory Up to 4GB LPDDR3 1866MHz
Storage Up to 32GB eMMC
Wireless Qualcomm QCA6174 M.2 2x2 802.11AC
/ Bluetooth 4.1
Camera User-Facing webcam: 2MP HD camera (UXGA 1600x1200p)
World-facing webcam: 5MP HD camera (2592x1944)
Interface 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C (USB-C)
(supports charging, data transfers and display connectivity)
1 x microSD
1 x Audio combo jack
Security Google H1 Support
Battery 35Wh lithium-polymer
AC adapter Output: 15V DC, 3A, 45 W
Input: 100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
Dimensions 9.9 x 238.8 x 172.2 mm
Weight Approx. 568g

  C403 C204 C214
CPU Intel Celeron N3350 Processor Intel Celeron N4000 Processor Intel Celeron N4000/N4100 Processor
Display 14" 16:9 LED Backlit HD (1366 x 768), 220 nit, 45% NTSC, Anti-glare Non touch :11.6" 16:9 LED Backlit HD (1366 x 768), 220 nit, 45% NTSC, Anti-glare
Touch : 11.6" 16:9 LED Backlit HD (1366 x 768), 250 nit, 50% NTSC, Anti-glare, Touch, Wide View
Non EMR support:
11.6" 16:9 LED Backlit HD (1366 x 768), 250 nit, 50% NTSC, Anti-glare, Touch, Wide View
EMR support :
11.6" 16:9 LED Backlit HD (1366 x 768), 250 nit, 50% NTSC, Touch, Wide View, Wacom EMR support, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Operating system Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS
Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 500 Integrated Intel HD Graphics 600 Integrated Intel HD Graphics 600
Memory Up to 4GB 2400MHz LDDR4 onboard Up to 4GB 2400MHz LDDR4 onboard Up to 8GB 2400MHz LDDR4 onboard
Storage eMMC 5.1, 32GB eMMC 5.1, 32GB eMMC 5.1, 64GB
Wireless Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) gigabit-class Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2
Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) gigabit-class Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2
Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) gigabit-class Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2
Camera HD camera HD camera (1280x720) User-facing camera : HD 1280x720
World-facing camera : 5MP/8MP
Interface 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (up to 5Gbps, DisplayPort, and power delivery support)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (up to 5Gbps)
MicroSD card
Audio combo jack
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (up to 5Gbps, DisplayPort, and power delivery support)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (up to 5Gbps)
MicroSD card
Audio combo jack
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (up to 5Gbps, DisplayPort, and power delivery support)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (up to 5Gbps)
MicroSD card
Audio combo jack
Security Google H1 Security IC, Kensington lock slot Google H1 Security IC, Kensington lock slot Google H1 Security IC, Kensington lock slot
Battery 45Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
45Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
Adapter 45W power adapter, plug type: ø4 (mm)
(Output: 19V DC, 65W)
(Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)
50W power adapter, plug type: ø4 (mm)
(Output: 19V DC, 65W)
(Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)
45W power adapter, plug type: ø4 (mm)
(Output: 19V DC, 65W)
(Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)
Dimensions 34.3 x 23.3 x 2.05cm 29.2 x 19.9 x 19.5~20.1cm 29.2 x 19.9 x 19.5~20.1cm

Unfortunately, both pricing and availability are unknown at this time. So far, ASUS only says these Chrome OS devices will be sold in the "coming months." Even then, it isn't clear if they will be sold in retail channels or only to school districts directly. With that said, I recently bought an older ASUS Chromebook for education on Amazon, so I expect they will be made available to anyone who wants them.

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