A tween-proof laptop built for education, the new HP ProBook x360 Education Edition is launching in mid-December for a starting $329. Not only is this 11-inch bend-back Windows PC notebook ruggedized for classroom chaos, but its keyboard can pack a video camera for kids to use for more creativity-based classroom assignments.
The x360 EE's optional video camera, found near the bottom-left corner of the keyboard deck, gives kids a new way to record video for class projects. Once you rotate the lid all the way back to lie flat against the bottom of the base, kids can use that display panel as a viewfinder while they record video.
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To make sure x360 Education Edition could take all the pressure students dish out, HP says it created a new battery of testing that recreates the "typical school day." This testing includes repeated drops from a 30-inch (school-desk height) platform onto concrete and steel floors, as well as MIL-STD 810G testing, the same standards U.S. Military equipment must pass.
This convertible's durability is owed in part to its industrial rubber casing that protects it from falls and other chaos. The notebook can also be customized with a Gorilla Glass 4-strengthened panel for extra durability.
The x360 Education Edition's 11-inch, 1366 x 768 display features a thicker bezel than previous models, but it's meant to enable easy holding in tablet mode as well as provide enough space for a full-size keyboard.
The x360 EE is also made to survive regular usage, with a battery that HP said should last up to 11 hours on a single charge (a claim we'll test out ourselves on the Laptop Mag Battery Test). The convertible's keyboard is also durable, offering "pick resistant" keys that kids won't pry off easily and resistance to up to 350 milliliters of water (just a 4ml-sip shy of a 12 ounce bottle).
The notebook packs either a Pentium N4200 or Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, and up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. The classroom convertible also offers a wider variety of ports than some premium notebooks with 1 USB Type C (data only), 2 USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, Ethernet and a MicroSD reader.
Teachers at schools that adopt HP's education and management technology will benefit from software tools such as Classroom Manager for managing assessments and keeping students on task. HP's Single Sign-On tool means that students will only need to use one ID and password to log-in to all learning apps and other educational content.
Teachers may also take advantage of a network activity light on the display that blinks if the notebook is connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when students are supposed to be working offline.
We look forward to putting the x360 EE through our full suite of tests when we get one in, so stay tuned for our comprehensive review.
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