Digital transformation has finally arrived in schools too and most players in the IT world are creating devices designed for the specific needs of schools at all levels, including Acerwhich recently launched two new student laptops based on Windows 11 SE and has now announced four new Chromebooks.
Acer and schools: a long-standing relationship
Although schools in Italy have only recently begun a process of digitization, abroad the education sector has already begun to transform for several years, and Acer has been supporting schools for some time with different hardware ranges: laptops, chromebooks, tablets, monitors, projectors, designed for teachers and students. We’re talking about devices that range from those aimed at young children, elementary schools, college students and, inevitably, teachers. And the provision of materials is only part of what is offered to schools, which are also supported by support services.
But why have we accumulated this delay in Italy? Tiziana Ena, The head of the PBU of Acer, explains to us that one of the reasons why the Bel Paese started late is the fact that in Italy the school is mainly public and, therefore, to buy the technology it is necessary to unlock government funds, with all the appropriate bureaucratic complexities. The pandemic gave a big boost and it was clear that in order to activate DaD, Distance Learning, these processes had to be accelerated and accelerated. “And the PNRR will certainly contribute to improving even more“, emphasizes Ena. For example, in many countries the devices are designed for specific classes of students and, for example, tablets and laptops with 11” screens are generally intended for young children, while more powerful laptops with larger screens are the natural tool for older students and their teachers. On the contrary, “we do not have this distinction, and we attach too much importance to the purchase price“Ena explains.
In any case, according to Ena, the situation is changing rapidly in Italy as well and most likely the PNRR funds dedicated to schools will further accelerate these processes.
Windows or Chromebook for school?
Acer’s range of devices for students is divided into two macro categories: devices based on a version of Windows (including Windows 11 SE) and Chromebooks. Certainly, the Windows world is better known and teachers are more familiar with this operating system, but lately Chromebooks are starting to attract more and more interest on a global scale. They are more intuitive to use, especially when it comes to downloading applications, they have built-in security tools and, above all, they have the technology Zero contact, which allows them to be managed with more flexibility: students only have to enter their identifiers to access their account, regardless of the device they have in their hands. A big plus from an IT management perspective
From Acer, four Chromebooks for students
Like the education laptops recently introduced by Acer, the Chromebooks are certified with specifications MIL-STD 810H, which guarantee protection against liquid infiltration and against accidental drops from a height greater than 1.20 meters. Three of the four new models (Acer Chromebook Spin 311, Acer Chromebook 512 and Acer Chromebook 511) are finally equipped with mechanically anchored keys, which are rather difficult to remove. This will avoid hazards to young children, while still not preventing IT staff from removing the keyboard in case repairs are needed. As in the case of the Windows notebooks presented a few days ago, these devices also adopt the touchpad OceanGlassmade with plastic recovered from the oceans.
Acer Chromebook 512 is the model with the largest screen, characterized by a diagonal of 12″ and an aspect ratio of 3:2. It incorporates two microphones and a webcam with TNR technology. The estimated battery life is approximately 12 It will be available in the second quarter of the year, at a price that will start from 359 euros.
Acer Chromebook 511 instead, it’s designed for little ones and meets ASTM F963-16 and UL/IEC 60950-1 toy safety standards. It stands out for a more compact 11.6″ screen and the adoption of Intel Pentium N-series processors. Also in this case there is no lack of dual microphones and an HD webcam, essential for remote lessons. price starts from 329 euros. .
For slightly older students there is Acer Chromebook 314, also tailored to the needs of teachers and school IT staff. It adopts a 14″ anti-reflective screen with much thinner frames than the models mentioned above, from which it is also distinguished by a Wi-Fi 6 compatible network card. The webcam is in this case equipped with a mechanical shutter, so as to guarantee confidentiality. The price is 369 euros.
The latest model presented by Acer is Chromebook Spin 311, which is based on a MediaTek MT8183 CPU capable of ensuring an autonomy of approximately 15 hours, according to the manufacturer. The 11″ screen is of the Corning Gorilla Glass type, to which an antimicrobial treatment with silver ions has been applied which resists the proliferation of micro-organisms on the surface. As its name suggests, the real strength is given by two hinges that allow to use it in four different modes, including open like a book or “curtain.” This model is available in two versions, with Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 5. The price starts at 339 euros.