Lenovo to offer Chromebook ThinkPad laptop for schools

James Kendrick, ZDNet:

The folks at Lenovo are going into the Chromebook space with the announcement of a version of its ThinkPad X131e for the education market.

Samsung and Acer both make Chromebooks – small, inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome operating system, designed to work exclusively with Google’s cloud services rather than depending on local applications. Their big benefit is their cost – available to consumers for as little as $200.

The Thinkpad X131e is an 11.6-inch laptop with Intel processor, 1366 x 768 screen, USB ports and Web cam. The same laptop is already available from Lenovo for schools running Windows for $539. The article does not indicate how much less a Chromebook version would be.

  • Buckeyestar

    Aren’t Chromebooks just netbooks 2.0?

    • Peter Cohen

      I’d argue that Chromebooks aren’t even as useful as netbooks, since they’re almost useless away from Wi-Fi.

      • rattyuk

        Looks like they’re trying anything to stop the iPad progressing into classrooms.

        • I’m certain they’ll find plenty of incompetent school administrators who easily impressed by slick sales presentations.

  • lucascott

    It will be interesting to see if this gambit works on a wide scale. Many folks are yelling that ipads are no good because of the limited software and this is the same, if not more extreme. Really the only things going for this idea are the keyboard and the cost. But if the usefulness isn’t there then even 1 Cent is too expensive.

    • JohnDoey

      iPads have 750,000 native C/C++ PC class apps covering every category, plus the best HTML5 app platform available. Chrome has zero native apps and an antique mouse-driven HTML5 app platform. There is no comparison. Chrome is not a real computer by any traditional definition, while iPad is a mainstream 2015 PC, with mainstream 2015 PC features. Chrome is part of a 1990’s PC — just the Web. You get the Web for free on iPods since late 2007. A Mac booted into Recovery Mode runs more software than Chrome.

      A kid with an iPad mini is equipped for 2013–2015. A kid with a Chrome system is equipped for the late 1990’s at best.

  • Timmy

    Well, I want to buy a Samsung ARM Chromebook, but use Ubuntu on it. Have to wait for Chrubuntu to mature. For people immersed into Google, the Chromebook might be great. For me the only incentive is that it’s cheap hardware. Thing is, I rather have Android on it, because it has more offline possibilities. As for it being netbook 2.0, I welcome it. Netbooks were not really good at anything, as Jobs said. But the Chromebook might be a good web and Google experience if it offers a speedy and seemless environment. ARM is perfect for it. I just don’t see where to put the Acer, because it only has 4 hours battery, and a HDD. The Acer doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • JohnDoey

      The Web is free on iPods for 5 years now. The Web is free on $329 iPad mini, plus you can run 750,000 native C/C++ apps and you have a touch interface (mainstream 2010’s interface) not mouse from the 1980’s.

      I get that you are playing with the computer software and hardware, but mainstream users are not going to fall for Chrome and get you any economies of scale. Consumers have been asking for iPads for years and years and iPad is the mainstream consumer PC now, it has been the number one low-end ($300–$800) PC since just after its debut in 2010, and if spun off as iPad Inc. it would be the world’s biggest PC vendor by volume. All other PC’s in the $300–$800 market are changing to be like iPad. Chrome is completely anachronistic.

      • Timmy

        Don’t have to tell me. The problem with the original netbooks was the integration. It came with Windows Starter Edition. Ugh. Slow. Clunky. With Chromebook you buy integration within the Google eco-system, like buying an Apple buys you into Apple’s. Not saying Chromebook will succeed, but the Chromebook might be the netbook that didn’t came to be all those years–a real “net”book. Okay, the question is: Is there room for a non touchscreen, non tablet, internet experience? Had Chromebook come to market a couple of years ago, it stood a chance.

        I am a mainstream user. 🙂 I have a Mac mini, an iPad and an iPad mini. I like having things easy. But what the heck, Chromebook for $249? I get what Google is doing. Although, they are ruining the market a bit with those low as hell margins (look at what happened to all those PC makers that went bankrupt?)

        Will Google succeed? Maybe only by doing the opposite than what Apple does. Apple knows what a mainstraim users, like me, wants. They fullfill a promise of ease of use and integration. Google tries to massage you into liking their product by incentives. They’re doing it with price. The problem is, Dell isn’t surviving, so how the heck will the rest of the industry?

  • Kevin Nunez

    I believe The Verge said this laptop will cost $429.

    • Timmy


      • JohnDoey

        $429 buys an iPad mini, iMovie, GarageBand, iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, 1Password, and $55 more in apps, books, movies, or music. And iPad mini runs HTML5 apps also.

        • Timmy

          Plus it isn’t clunky, and doesn’t break the kids’ backs. 🙂

  • JohnDoey

    Schools should not be using cardboard copies of antique computers. A kid with an iPad mini can do anything. It even turns into a fully loaded music studio with a $5 GarageBand app. They can make short documentaries with $5 iMovie.

    The fact that Google has a hand in burdening school children with this crap really reduces their credibility. You have to completely not get technology to think that kids need a mouse-driven Web browser and that is enough computing for them.