Dell had been rumored to be entering the Chromebook market, but the rumors have proven true now that the company has come clean about its Chromebook 11, an education-focused which will start rolling out next month.
The new machine will be powered by a dual-core, 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U processor. The first two models will include one with 4 GB of onboard DDR3 memory, followed later by one with 2 GB. They will both feature an LED-backlit, 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 powered by Intel HD graphics. The devices will support 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and will include Bluetooth 4.0.
Dell is also launching an app called Dell Wyse PocketCloud, which is designed as a collaborative file sharing tool for students and teachers. The app supports tablets, smart phones, traditional computers and Chromebooks and will be available in the Google Chrome Web Store in January.
"Dell is no stranger to designing and building great computers, particularly in education," said Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management at Google, in a prepared statement. "Adding Dell's first Chromebook to our stable of devices built for the classroom is a big milestone, and Dell has been a great partner in this effort. The Dell Chromebook 11 with Google Apps for Education will bring exciting new possibilities for learning and collaboration inside and outside the classroom."
Chromebooks are designed specifically for Web-based tasks. The simple, streamlined Google Chrome OS makes them fast, easy and convenient for browsing the Web, sending and receiving e-mail, and other tasks relating to productivity.
It remains to be seen whether this will be a big push for Dell in the Chromebook department. Given the exclusive demographic, it’s a crapshoot, however a lot of educators are incorporating more and more tablets and computers into their curriculum, so they may have a decent shot despite Apple being a dominating force in education.
Apple had said its iPads accounted for 90 percent of tablet activations last quarter, with the iPad overall holding a 94 percent share of the education market for tablets.
"I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education," said Apple CEO Tim Cook during a conference call with analysts at the close of its most recent quarter.
Edited by Ryan Sartor