With Chromebooks carving out a place in the classroom, HP's latest Chrome OS-running laptop looks like it's ready for the School of Hard Knocks. The 11.6-inch HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition (EE), a $199 laptop slated to arrive later this month, can survive drops and resist spills, while its screen can lay flat for cooperative learning.
Since the classroom can be as chaotic as any workplace, HP designed the G4 EE to pass MIL-STD 810G tests, the standardized tests for damage including impact, temperature and dust that are used to test military-grade equipment. HP hasn't explained how much water these Chromebooks can withstand, but the 11 G4 EE's spill-resistant keyboards should protect against splashing water around the classroom and cafeteria.
The 11 G4 EE, which comes in an eye-catching black and electric green, is also protected by molded rubber edges that should take the brunt of the inevitable knocks against desks, lockers and other obstacles found around the school. HP also built the notebook to survive its own drop tests (from about 2.3 feet), so a distracted student or teacher trying to move the notebook around won't end up breaking it with one careless drop.
Since education can be an adventure in collaboration, HP also gave the G4 EE a 180-degree display hinge so kids can rotate its screen flat to their desks, allowing them to share their screens without losing control of their keyboards. An optional IPS display upgrade will make it even easier for a table's worth of students to view that screen at the same time, without having to crane their necks at painful angles.
The G4 EE will be powered by a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor with integrated Intel HD graphics and have 4GB of RAM. These Chromebooks will offer 100GB of Google Drive storage for 2 years; they'll also feature either 16 or 32GB eMMC drives and SD memory readers for expanded local storage.