Dell 10.1" Latitude 2100 Netbook, For Education

One could say it was just a matter of time, but it seems as if Dell is following in the footsteps (in principle, at least) of the likes of OLPC (with its XO) and Intel (with its Classmate PC). Today, the company responsible for the gorgeous Studio XPS line and the heralded Inspiron family has introduced a different breed of notebook, the Latitude 2100. This machine is aimed specifically at K-12 students, and Dell notes that it is its first 10.1" netbook to be designed for education.

Built with a "student rugged" rubberized design and offered in five kid-friendly colors, the new Latitude boasts built-in Wi-Fi that can be monitored by educators with a network activity light and an optional touchscreen, which is a first for education netbooks. Also of note, a custom-built Mobile Computing Station equips classrooms with a cart to store, manage and network up to 24 netbooks with one Ethernet and power cord. Dell makes clear that this netbook can also appeal to other public-sector and enterprise customers in the training business, as it is durable, Internet-ready and easy to afford.

For US customers, there is also the option of an antimicrobial keyboard, and everyone can opt for SSDs over HDDs, quick-connect handles and shoulder straps for carrying, and a webcam. Potentially best of all, you don't have to have an email address that ends in .edu in order to buy one, as even the layperson can snap one up starting today at $369.

The News:

  • The “student-rugged” Latitude 2100 is designed to absorb the daily bumps and bruises of a crowded playground or backpack. Offered in five colors – School Bus Gold, Chalkboard Black, Ball Field Green, Blue Ribbon and Schoolhouse Red– the Latitude 2100 comes with a 10.1-inch screen and a unique “four-square-ball-style” rubber casing, making it easy for little hands to grip the netbook.
  • The system is available with a personalized window on the back of the battery pack where the school logo or name can be displayed, allowing schools to personalize or easily identify systems.
  • Equipped with a wireless communication suite and optional webcam, the Latitude 2100 enables productive days filled with collaboration, exploration and easy uploading of assignments. A Network Activity Light on the lid helps teachers monitor network use and identify students who may be surfing the Internet.

 The Latitude 2100 also includes:   

  • Choice of XP Home, Vista Home Basic and Linux Ubuntu
  • Intel Atom processor N270
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity coupled with a full suite of wireless communication options
  • 2.91lb* (1.32kg) starting at weight with 3-cell battery
  • Hard or solid state drives for increased durability
  • Three-cell or six-cell battery
  • Three-in-one Media Card Reader
  • Optional External DVD+/-RW via USB
  • VGA port
  • Clean bottom is vent-free to avoid any intrusion from spills
  • Options: webcam and a keyboard featuring antimicrobial protection (U.S. only)

Key management features can allow IT administrators to lower overall ownership cost and speed up deployment:

  • More durable design that means a longer product life
  • Remote management for easier administration
  • Dell ImageDirect where systems can be delivered with pre-installed software and the school’s specific network image (U.S. only)
  • Hardware Customization helps reduce deployment time by configuring software straight from the factory (U.S. only). This reduces the need for the administrator to physically touch the system and speeds up getting it in the hands of the students.

Coming soon in the U.S., the Latitude 2100 is available with a Mobile Computing Station that equips classrooms with a cart to store securely, manage and network up to 24 netbooks with one Ethernet and power cord.