Dell to add Chromebook 11, looks beyond Windows and Android

Dell joins growing market for thin-and-light Chrome OS laptops, but will initially ship Chromebook 11 only to educational institutions

Dell said it would join a growing market of thin-and-light Chrome OS laptops with the new Chromebook 11, but the system will initially be available only to educational institutions.

The company did not provide specifications for the laptop, but in an email said more Chromebooks will be announced for "budget-strapped" small-and-medium business and consumers in the coming months.

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Dell did not provide a shipping date for the Chromebook 11.

PC makers and Google are promoting Chromebooks, which are low-cost laptops for those who do most of their computing on the Web. Dell already offers Android tablets starting at $149, and laptops and tablets based on Windows.

A new wave of Chromebooks hit the market in October from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung. Laptops with 11.6-inch screens include Acer's $199 Chromebook C720, Hewlett-Packard and Google's $279 Chromebook 11, and the $249 Samsung Chromebook. Hewlett-Packard also sells a $299 Chromebook 14 with a 14-inch screen. Acer's $299 Chromebook C720P, which started shipping a few days ago, has an 11.6-inch touchscreen.

Chromebooks have processor options of either ARM or Intel's Celeron, which is based on a Haswell microarchitecture. Depending on the screen size and processor, Chromebooks can offer more than six hours of battery life. Many Chromebooks have minimal storage of just 16GB, but come with two years of 100GB of free cloud storage on Google Drive.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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