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Summary:

The Chromebook for education market is getting a bit crowded so how do you make your product stand out? CTL has a pretty good idea, offering a ruggedized Chromebook with a handle for $279.

CTL chromebook
photo: CTL

When you think about Chromebooks for the education market, you likely think of Dell, Samsung and HP. CTL wants to change that branding perception with a new Chromebook of its own: On Monday the company announced the CTL Education Chromebook, with two unique design elements compared to what schools can already buy.

The $279 Chromebook is very similar on the inside to what other Chrome OS laptops offer: An fanless Intel Celeron quad-core chip clocked at 2.16 GHz, for example. It also uses the relatively standard 11.6-inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution, 16 GB of local flash storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, memory card reader and pair of USB ports. CTL does include 4 GB of memory, though; that’s something I’d like to see standard on other Chromebooks.

CTL Chromebook

So what makes the device different? First is a unique handle that lets students carry the Chromebook like a small briefcase of sorts. And second is the one megapixel webcam: It faces front when doing video chats but can swivel back to take photos from the rear of the Chromebook as well. The notebook is a bit ruggedized as well, with a plastic bumper around the edges and a spill-resistant keyboard.

CTL said its Chromebook should last all day on a charge with run-time of around 8 hours; pretty ideal for usage in-school. Kids could charge the device at home and leave the AC adapter behind, making the Chrome OS laptop easy to tote, especially with the built-in handle.