Chromebooks for teaching

I bought a Chromebook a little over a year ago. I use it on trips because it is so light. I use it a lot here at home when I am out and about because I can tether it to my mobile phone.

HP is coming out with Series 3, an update in many new ways. My old one is still working, so I am a little jealous. The Chromebook 11 is out today in the states, and will be followed next month by the Chromebook 14.

Chromebook11

The specs are outstanding. Just a hair over a kilo (2.3 pounds), with an 11.6″ screen,  battery that lasts up to 6 hours, it comes in colored highlights with white and (later) black cases. A webcam and 2 USB ports add to functionality. There is no hard drive, but you get 2 years of cloud storage (100 Gb) at Google, along with 12 inflight accesses on participating airlines, and 60 days of Google’s music library. See an unboxing and initial review by Darren. More specs.

Looking closer, I think I would wait for the 14″ model, at $300. It has an SD card slot, and an HDMI port that I would certainly use, as well as more colors, and option for more inboard memory. Battery life is better, on the bigger machine, but at a price, it weighs almost 2 kilos (4.1 pounds).

I haven’t been this excited about a computer in a long time. It provides freedom, because they are both so cheap, less than $300, and works anywhere there is wifi. Sadly, the old and new Chromebooks have mostly been limited to the US market. I have never seen any here in Japan, except for those of friends.

Our university buys an ipod touch for every incoming student. I think this would be a much better purchase, but that’s a topic for another post.

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