Dell goes to school with Latitude 2100 netbooks

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Dell’s previously-rumored educational netbooks are here. The Latitude 2100 series has the guts of your typical netbook — 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, 10.1-inch screen, etc. — but adds a tough and rugged rubberized exterior, slightly larger keyboard and trackpad, and a carrying handle.

Dell’s website currently lists the screen resolution as 1280×576, which seems erroneous. It’s termed as “WSVGA” which is 1024 pixels wide by either 600 or 576 pixels tall, so we’ll go with 1024×576. Pricing starts at $369 with Ubuntu Linux preloaded and $399 with Windows XP.

Weight starts at just under three pounds with a three-cell battery. A six-cell battery is available as a $25 upgrade as well. There’s also a touchscreen option available for an extra $30 and an anti-microbial keyboard can be added for $20. The hard drive comes as a 16GB solid state drive, which can be upgraded to an 80, 160, or 250GB standard hard drive.

For school IT administrators, Dell will also be selling a mobile cart that’ll house and recharge up to 24 of these Latitude 2100 computers at a time. The cart doubles as a wireless router and all of the machines plugged into the system are configured with Wake-on-LAN capabilities to allow multiple systems to be upgraded at once over a single shared Ethernet connection.

Laptop Magazine took an early look at the 2100 and found it to be a bit hefty due to its rugged frame, although the machine scored higher on certain benchmarking tests and the bigger keyboard and individual trackpad buttons were definite pluses.

Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook [Dell.com]

Dell Delivers Industry Firsts with 10.1-inch Netbook Designed for Education [Press Release]

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