At the Bett education conference in London, Google has unveiled two new Chromebooks aimed directly at the education market: the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and the Asus Chromebook C213, arriving late spring.
The new Chromebook laptops were designed with the help of educators and offer the following features:
- Stylus capability: Both Chromebooks come with an intelligent, affordable stylus for student note-taking and drawing. The low-cost pens resemble #2 pencils with a unique eraser for correcting mistakes and don’t need charging or pairing, so they can be shared and easily replaced if lost. These Chromebooks use an input prediction model built using Google’s machine learning to ensure writing is extremely responsive. And with Optical Character Recognition in apps like Google Keep you can easily search handwritten notes.
- World-facing camera: Schools everywhere have asked for world-facing cameras so students can use Chromebooks to capture photo and video from all directions. Google carefully designed the camera on the keyboard side, so when a Chromebook is flipped, the camera faces outwards and students can hold it like a tablet.
- USB-C charging: Google says it heard from educators that multiple chargers and slow charging wastes precious time for students. Going forward, all Chromebooks will have standard super-fast USB-C charging, so one Chromebook cart can charge any device quickly.
Google has quickly become a force in the education market. A study by research firm Futuresource Consulting found that Google Chromebooks had 50% marketshare in the U.S. education market in the first half of 2016.
Google says that both Chromebooks and its Classroom software app are used by more than 20 million teachers and students. The company also announced that more than 70 million people actively use G Suite for Education, which offers schools hosted e-mail, calendar and chat solution.
More new Chromebooks are coming out this year from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung.