Today, HP launched the Fortis lineup of laptops that feature durable devices aimed at education in Chromebooks and PCs. Since the COVID-19 pandemic burst onto the scene in 2020, altering every aspect of our lives, children and parents had to adjust to the new hybrid learning situation created by remote classrooms — which have now become the norm.
That said, many Chromebooks and PC laptops are not made to be handled by kids who tend to drop or bump laptops in ways that lessen their life expectancy. HP's Fortis lineup addresses these issues while also helping to create a more seamless blended learning environment to help kids learn and stay connected.
HP Fortis G10 Chromebook and HP Fortis G9 Q Chromebook
The new Fortis 14-inch G10 ChromeBook is rugged, durable, and powered for productivity, with a starting retail price of $349. The Fortis 14 G10 comes with an Intel Celeron CPU, Intel UHD graphics, two display choices (HD 1366 x 768 and FHD 1920 x 1080), up to 8GB of RAM, and storage options ranging from 32GB to 128GB. You will also find one SuperSpeed USB Type-C port, two SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one HDMI, a combo audio jack, a Micro SD card reader, and a Nano security lock.
HP Fortis 14-inch ChromeBook is Mil-STD drop tested with a full-skirted anchored keyboard that resists any kid's inclination to pick at keys. What's more, the keyboard also resists spills up to 350 ml. With the optional 4G LTE, your child can always be connected even if Wi-Fi is unavailable to them, which ensures they will always be able to get their work done and make it to class remotely.
HP's Fortis 11-inch G9 Q Chromebook features a Qualcomm 7c CPU, Qualcomm Integrated graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage. There is also the option of 4G LTE. The Fortis 11 G9 Q arrives with two SuperSpeed USB-C ports, one SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, a combo audio jack, one SIM Card slot, and a Nano Security lock.
The display choices for the 11-inch Fortis are the HD SVA anti-glare display and two HD anti-glare UWVA displays, which are rated for 220 nits of brightness. Pricing is currently unavailable for the G9 Q Chromebook but should be available in Q2 of 2022.
HP ProBook Fortis 14 G9 and HP ProBook Fortis 14 G10
HP is also releasing two different durable PC versions running Windows 11. The Fortis 14-inch will feature Intel CPUs. The Fortis 14 G9 will come with an Intel Celeron Pentium processor, Intel UHD graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, and either a 128GB SSD or a 64GB eMMc. The G9 comes with two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, a combo audio jack, one HDMI output, an Ethernet port, and the AC power port. Display options include an HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare SVA WLED screen and an FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare WLED touchscreen. There is also an FHD non-touchscreen available if you're not a fan of the touchscreen.
The HP Fortis ProBook 14-inch G9 retails for $369.
HP's ProBook Fortis 14 G10 arrives with 12th Gen Intel Core i3/i5 CPUs, Intel integrated UHD graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, and the same storage, ports, and display options as the G9. Both are MIL-STD tested to survive bumps, spills, and drops. HP also reinforced the USB power connectors on all the new Fortis models. The Fortis 14 ProBook G10 will be available this April, and pricing will be made known as we get closer to its release date.
HP Pro x360 Fortis G9 and HP Pro x360 Fortis G10
Featuring the same inspired durability measures as the new Fortis line, the HP Pro x360 is a 2-in-1 laptop with a 360-degree hinge design. The Pro x360 11 G9 comes with an 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) WLED touchscreen and the option to purchase a stylus.
The HP Pro x360 Fortis 11-inch G9 will arrive with an Intel Celeron Pentium processor, Intel integrated UHD graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 126GB for storage. The x360 boasts a solid selection of ports, starting with two USB Type-A, one USB Type-C, a combo audio jack, one HDMI output, an Ethernet port, and an AC power port. If you choose the stylus option, there is a stylus garage included.
The HP Pro x 360 11-inch G10 shares all the other specs with the exception of CPU choice. The G10 arrives with either the 12th Gen Intel Core i3 or i5 CPU and Intel integrated UHD graphics.
It's commendable to see a tech giant creating educational laptops built to be durable and dependable. HP's new lineup is exciting, and although I will reserve my full opinions until after we have had a chance to review them, I find myself questioning certain spec choices.
It is terrific to make more affordable laptops available to our educational system. I love that 4G LTE is an option HP is making available at a reasonable cost.
Yes, most remote learning will take place within an online Google classroom and using Google Docs, etc. The chosen specs seem good enough to handle that, but students often need more processing power to learn topics such as coding or to edit images they use in reports. I hope that more powerful processors than the Intel Celeron Pentium CPUs (with more comebacks than a horror movie villain) will eventually be made available at the same affordable price.
With the massive economic disparity in the United States growing, it bothers me that better laptops that level the playing field are not being made available to all students and school systems. The equitable availability of technology to students from disadvantaged areas has proven to be disastrous during the COVID-19 pandemic. HP looks to offer a solution of sorts, but giving a person wings but not enough strength to use them seems pointless.
This is not an indictment of HP; I believe all manufacturers should assess the best strategy to develop technology to help level the playing field. It should be seen as a responsibility to encourage and help supply students with the best opportunities to succeed, regardless of their economic standing. Perhaps it would be better to refurbish more capable laptops than create entirely new lines of potentially underpowered ones? I don't know the answer.
I applaud HP for addressing this situation and making it more affordable for families and underfunded school systems. However, it may be time to make powerful laptops and internet access available to all.