Notebooks could learn something from HP's ridiculously rugged school laptops

Notebooks could learn something from HP's ridiculously rugged school laptops

Chromebooks may be the rising stars of the education world, but computer makers are still pushing lightweight Windows PCs. Case in point: HP just introduced its latest Windows 10 laptop for students, the ridiculously tough HP ProBook x360 11 G1 Education Edition. The 11-inch student-grade device is seeing the light of day at the same time as HP’s 13-inch Spectre x360.

The education version doesn’t have much in common with its flashier consumer-centric cousin. Both devices are convertible laptops with touchscreens, but that’s about it.

The story behind the story: While it’s an education device, the new ProBook x360 sports some nice features that we’d like to see on a consumer-grade laptop. The laptop features a rugged design built to meet the MIL-STD-810G standard, with a chassis encased in “industrial rubber” that can withstand a 2.5-foot drop, while the display rocks Gorilla Glass 4 to help stand up against scratches and careless drops. For kindergartners and other curious computer users, the keyboard proves resistant to picking to prevent inadvertent damage. It's also spill-resistant and capable of withstanding about a soda can’s worth of liquid.

If you do spill a soda on the keyboard, be warned that the laptop isn't resistant to stickiness. Hey, you can't have everything.


More than skin-deep

The guts of the machine are decidedly student-grade. A top of the line ProBook x360 would come with a quad-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4200 processor (Intel HD 505 graphics), 8GB of RAM, a 256GB m.2 SSD for storage, and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

Standard specs for the ProBook regardless of model include 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a 720p webcam, and a 1080p rear-facing camera. There’s also a microSD slot, HDMI out, two USB 3.1 ports (Gen. 1), and a USB Type-C port for data transfer. As for the display, it’s 11.6 inches with 1366-by-768 resolution. 

The device is fairly light at 3.19 pounds and sports a trim profile despite all its ruggedness at a mere 0.78 of an inch.

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