HP made a seriously rugged hybrid computer particularly for students and school use. When we say seriously rugged, we mean military standard certified, basically meaning it could take some hard hits, and we all know that kids can be rough with just about anything they get their hands on. Just think about all the possible torturous events that happen to laptops if in the hands of a child. Kids will see the keys and want to pick them off like they are pieces of gum, they will squeeze the screen, drop the device onto the floor, or bend it the wrong way. Finally, we all know that they will most likely spill that orange juice not on the floor, not on the desk, but somehow directly onto the entire device.
It's a sad story but it doesn't mean that there aren't solutions for the complexities of small people behavior. Sometimes just saying “no” or giving easy directions on how to take care of an item is not enough. Sometimes you just have to cover all your bases, and more or less baby proof the thing. Hence why this iteration of HP’s 360 2-in-1 is military grade, and easily switches between four modes. This 11-inch convertible laptop, which is the size and weight of a typical 13-inch laptop, is a tough guy, and also more capable than you could ever imagine. It is also considered the “thinnest rugged convertible out there” by HP.
Featuring a 360-degree hinge, the ProBook x360 has a 1366 x 768 display, and measures 8.2 x 11.9 x .8 inches, in both touchscreen and non-touchscreen options, weighing 3.2 and 3 pounds, respectively. It’s offered in models that support Intel’s Celeron dual-core N3350, or Intel’s Pentium quad-core N4200 processors. Supporting up to 8GB of RAM, the x360 offers storage in the following configurations : 64GB of eMMC, or 128GB or 256GB of M.2 SSD storage (the faster, more popular form of storage these days). It also features a 41Wh battery with 11 hours worth of juice, a microSD card slot, two USB 3.1 ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI 1.4b, Ethernet and headset jacks, Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Did you notice how up-to-date those ports were? I’d go on the record of saying, other than the pretty basic resolution, most of the internal hardware, as well as the storage options, are more than I expected for a school-based laptop. This means teachers will be able to keep plenty of programs and documents handy on each one of these, making activities, lessons, and projects at the fingertips of the kiddos. In fact, the x360 comes preloaded with classroom management software, also designed with other features “made from educators’ feedback”. These include an LED light on the back lid of the laptop, displaying when Wi-Fi is being used so teachers know if children are playing online when they were told not to be. It also has an optional camera in the keyboard’s palm rest, which can also “spy” on the kids by filming them when the laptop is in tablet mode. Tricky!
Back to the laptop rugged-ness, HP’s latest ProBook features a MIL-STD-810G tested rugged case, able to withstand a fall from a desk, the “abuse” from little hands, and a water-resistant keyboard. I heard those sighs of relief. This should be perfect for the classroom, as it is both powerful and well adept for educators. With the possibility of third party availability in the future, the ProBook x360 is currently being sold directly to schools rather than consumers. The price is absolutely incredible- at $329, and available this month.
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