Acer, Dell and HP have unveiled a range of new Windows laptops and Chromebooks at BETT 2019 at ExCeL London, and Dell has also unleashed a very eye-catching 75-inch touchscreen 4K monitor.
While the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) conference is mainly aimed at teachers, consultants, and companies looking to sell job lots of tech to schools, some of the products destined for general sale will be of interest to all, especially parents looking to pick up an inexpensive all-purpose laptop for their kids.
Google’s been pushing its Chromebook line of lightweight Chrome OS-running laptops at the education sector for years now, with 20 million students across the world currently using Chrome OS devices for education, according to the search giant. Read on for a look at the best new devices announced at BETT 2019.
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BETT 2019: Acer
Acer announced three new laptops, the Windows 10-running Acer TravelMate B114-21 (pictured above); the durable, ruggedised Acer Chromebook 512 (pictured below); and a convertible variant, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512, which lets you fold the screen all the way back so that the Chromebook effectively doubles up as a tablet.
The Acer TravelMate B114-21 is powered by an up to 7th gen AMD A6-9220C APU paired with Radeon R5 Graphics and up to a 256GB dual-lane PCIe NVMe SSD or up to 64GB of eMMC flash memory, as well as 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0 and an SD card reader.
The Acer Chromebook 512 and its Spin variant feature 12-inch, 3:2 1366 x 912 LCD displays featuring IPS for improved viewing angles. Processor options include a dual-core 2.6GHz Intel Celeron N4000, or the more advanced quad-core 2.4GHz Intel Celeron N4100 or a quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Pentium Silver N5000.
As well as featuring a 360-degree hinge, the Acer Chromebook 512 Spin also features a webcam with an 8-megapixel sensor – larger than the 5-megapixel camera you get in the standard Acer Chromebook 512 – and a Wacom EMR stylus, with space to store this in the body of the device.
Storage and memory options for both with be 32GB or 64GB of eMMc storage, with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and both promise battery life of up to 12 hours.
All of these devices have also been designed to fit the MIL-STD-810 spec, which is a fairly broad term which basically means they’ve been built to last in a range of environments and conditions. Though MIL-STD-810 is a US military-grade spec, in this context it just means that a laptop is able to survive the rigours of your average classroom – these things aren’t going to stop bullets.
Pricing for all three devices has yet to be announced, but Acer says these will be hitting shelves in EMEA and North American regions in Q2 of this year.
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BETT 2019: Dell
Dell also brought a number of 11-inch and 14-inch Chromebooks to the BETT party – the Dell Chromebook 3100 and Dell Chromebook 3100 2-in-1 (pictured above), which both feature 11.6-inch touchscreen displays (with the option to take a presumably cheaper, non-touch display on the Chromebook 3100), and the bigger Chromebook 3400, which has a 14-inch display (with no touchscreen option, sadly) and a battery claimed to give you up to 12 hours and 58 minutes of power. Impressive.
Price-wise, these will start at $249 and $359 for the Chromebook 3100 and Chromebook 3100 2-in-1 respectively, while the Chromebook 3400 will start at $319. There’s no word yet on when these might come to the UK, but at the time of writing, these prices covert to approximately £190, £275, and £245.
The star of the show, however, is the colossal Dell 75 4K Interactive Touch Monitor (C7520QT). It’s huge, and supports 20 points of multi-touch, double the standard 10 points you get with most tablets and touch displays.
The idea is that this will allow multiple users to select, point, and interact with content on the screen at the same time, letting students and colleagues collaborate. Two passive styluses are included in the box, which the promise of letting users draw on screen with zero lag. While this will mainly appeal to education and enterprise buyers, we have to confess that we’d love to have one of these in the Trusted Reviews offices, if only to write rude words across a 75-inch 4K panel.
Chances are we’re not going to be able to afford one anytime soon. The RRP is $5999.99, which currently converts to £4590.
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BETT 2019: HP
HP unveiled two new Chromebooks at BETT 2019, the 11-inch HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE, and the bigger HP Chromebook 14A G5.
The smaller Chromebook is the less advanced (and cheaper) model, featuring an 11-inch, 1366 × 768 LCD display, with everything powered by an AMD A4-9120C APU, and a 600MHz Radeon R4 GPU handling graphics.
Like the new Acer Chromebooks, this is designed around the MIL-STD-810 spec, and is ruggedised to withstand shocks and drops in the classroom – it’s very much aimed at younger students.
The HP Chromebook 14A G5 is aimed at older college and university-age students as well as enterprise workers, and features a bigger, higher resolution screen – 14-inches with HD or Full HD options. It’s not clear yet what HP means by ‘HD’, it could refer to 1280 x 720 (aka 720p HD), or something else. Full HD means 1920 x 1080.
While we know what you get ports-wise from the HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE – 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A, microSD, 3.5mm, and a lock slot – all HP’s revealed about the Chromebook 14A G5 so far is that you’ll get some USB-C action.
HP says that the Chromebook 11A G6 EE will start at £299, while the HP Chromebook 14A G5 range will start at £329.
Do any of the devices above tickle your fancy? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.