Add another Microsoft hardware partner that somehow hasn’t seen the company’s Scroogled ads: Dell is getting into the Chromebook game. The company’s first product, the Chromebook 11 announced on Wednesday, is specifically aimed at the market seen in a recent Microsoft Surface 2 advertisement: Schools.
The new laptop running Google’s Chrome OS with 4 GB of memory will be available in January at a price expected under $300, per Dell’s press release. A version with half the memory will launch in the first quarter. Here’s a run-down of the specifications:
- 11.6-inch, edge-to-edge display with 1366 x 768 resolution
- 4th generation Intel Celeron 2955U processor
- Front facing 720p webcam
- 802.11a/g/b/n Wi-Fi
- Under one inch thick and weighing 2.9 pounds
- Two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and HDMI out
- Battery life up to 10 hours
On paper, little seems to stand out from the other currently available Chromebooks running on the new Intel Haswell-based chips, so I’m not expecting any major performance differences.
The bigger impact is that Dell is even going after this market, although it makes sense to do so. Chromebooks are being adopted in schools which is helping the devices become a small but growing segment in the overall declining PC market. And Dell isn’t stopping there. My source says Dell plans to offer more Chromebooks for other customer segments such as consumers and SMBs on a tight budget.