You may have seen some speculation that we would launch a new Dell netbook in time for the back-to-school season. Starting today, customers in the Americas and Europe can order the sub-three pound Latitude 2100 netbook at a starting price of $369. These netbooks will be available in Asia and the Pacific in the next few days.
Latitude 2100 netbooks come in five fun primary colors: School Bus Gold, Chalkboard Black, Ball Field Green, Blue Ribbon and Schoolhouse Red. To see pictures of these colors and more, take a look at this Flickr set on our Dell page. We'll offer with several operating system options, including Ubuntu 8.10, Windows XP Home or Vista Home Basic.
The Latitude 2100 utilizes Intel's 945GSE chipset. Here's other important specs and options:
So what makes these netbooks suitable for education? Simply put, the Latitude 2100 was designed for students in the classroom. The Latitude 2100 netbooks feature a rubberized case for easier handling and increased durability, a clean vent-free bottom that helps avoid intrusion from spills, an optional carrying strap to make them easier to carry around. The netbooks have a network activity lights so that wireless connectivity can be monitored by educators and a webcam option. Another option is touch screen, that should be most useful for classes with younger children.
Beyond that, two notable benefits are the remote management capability and Dell's Mobile Computing Station. All Latitude 2100 netbooks can be managed over the network: Wake-on-LAN, Alert Standard Format and Systems Management Server can be supported. The Mobile Computing Solution which will be available to customers soon, makes it easy to store, charge and manage up to 24 netbooks at one time using one Ethernet and power cord. It allows administrators to push software updates to any of the systems connected to it. It's initially available to customers in the United States.
This video gives a pretty good overview of both the Latitude 2100 netbooks and Dell's Mobile Computing Station.
Over the next several days, we'll write several posts dedicated to the topic of our technology initiatives related to education. Enrique's post is here on Direct2Dell. To see other posts later this week, be sure to check out Dell's Education blog or the blog area of Edu4U.
Personally, I sure wish we had these netbooks when I was in school. In my time, we used TRS-80s in the first computer science class I took and we liked it. Technology improvement is a cool thing.
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Its a nice design win for Dell on this one. Although my son wasn't impressed with the looks until I mentioned the touchscreen. I checked out the specs and was a bit disappointed with the available options. I'm skeptical about how good the graphics are with the Atom/Intel graphics combo. After adding options to the system I was approaching $1000 very quickly without even adding the warranty. I'm kinda iffy on the possible success this system will have. Then again, I've never really understood the draw of a netbook.
I'm really interested in getting these for my 10 year old son, is it possible for consumers to purchase these directly? The idea of a kid-resitant system would be music to my ears!
The Latitude 2100 maxes out at 1 GB of RAM with XP installed -- any reason why? Can it be upgraded to 2 GB or is there something functionally that just won't work?
This solution seems very promising for use as an ad hoc computer room solution for us in Higher Ed.
The mobile cart i think is also a major star in this new solution - almost like plugging in a removal hot swap drive on a server you can plug in your laptop for recharge and maintenance without worrying about cables is HUGE. A major plus for the lab techs.
My only wish is that the platform accommodate more processing power and memory comparable to a full laptop not a netbook- the only hitch that would be a deal breaker. I do realize that the size of the netbook allows the mobile cart to be of a reasonable size and lighter weight though, so its a trade-off.
Please consider a more powerful option in the next release - definitely will be keeping a close eye where this line leads.