At the annual Bett education conference in London Microsoft showed off a number of new affordable Windows 10 devices that it hopes will challenge the Chromebook’s domination in the education sector.
Chromebooks are hugely popular in classrooms thanks to their affordable prices and simple ChromeOS operating system, which offers students the basic tools they need – such as word processing and image editing – without too many distractions.
While devices running Windows 10 can have the edge due to the flexibility of Windows compared to ChromeOS, they're usually more expensive and complex, with shorter battery lives.
Taking on Chromebooks
To compete with Chromebooks, Microsoft has shown off seven easy-to-manage Windows 10 devices that start at just $189 (around £145, AU$260) from Acer, Lenovo and Dell, and which will be ready for the upcoming school year.
The new devices are:
- Lenovo 100e
- Lenovo 300e (2-in-1)
- Lenovo 14w
- Acer TravelMate B1(B118-M)
- Acer TravelMate Spin B1 (B118-R/RN)
- Acer TravelMate B1-141
- Dell Latitude 3300 for Education
Microsoft hasn’t revealed any more details about the devices yet, but we’ll follow up with the manufacturers to find out more, and hopefully get them in for review.
Microsoft also announced a new stylus, the Classroom Pen, which is designed for K-8 (ages 5 to 14) students and schools, and is optimized for its affordable Surface Go tablet.
The Classroom Pen will be sold exclusively to educational facilities in packs of 20 for $799.80 (around £600, AU$1,120), in every market where the Surface Go is available.
Will this be enough to tempt classrooms away from the best Chromebooks? Time will tell…