Oregon-based computer manufacturer CTL has quietly launched a brand new education Chromebook, the CTL Chromebook NL7X which is not only ruggedized but also comes equipped with a whiteboard. The 11.6-inch Chrome OS laptop is not the sleekest or most powerful such device to ever be introduced. It has, however, been tested to consistently withstand drops from 70cm – just over 2-feet – and 365 lbs of crush pressure. As far as pricing goes, the Chromebook ordinarily ships for around $310. For now, at $269, it ships with a water-resistant, peel-resistant keyboard and reinforcements to hinges, ports, and plugs. In case that just isn’t enough, buyers can also rest assured that all of the CTL Chromebook NL7X’s components are safely fitted into a shock-absorbing frame on all sides and corners. Finally, a retractable carry-handle is built into the top to prevent accidental drops while it’s being carried between classes or to and from home. The back panel of the Chromebook NL7X is fittingly covered with a dry-erase white-board.
Underneath the IPS HD 1366 x 768 display, CTL has enabled its NL7X with serviceable but not altogether exciting specs. Chrome OS on CTL’s device is driven by an Intel-built Apollo Lake N3350 dual-core fanless processor backed up by 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of eMMC flash storage. Wireless connectivity is provided by an Intel 7265 Wi-Fi chip which is also equipped with Bluetooth 4.0. Meanwhile, accessories can be attacked and charging completed via two USB Type-C ports, while further expandability is supported via two USB 3.0 ports, a micro SD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Two HD cameras are included as well, although no specifications are provided for those, with a single sensor set to face both toward and away from the user. All of those specifications combine into a package which should perform very well in education settings, particularly with younger users.
Despite an obvious lean away from top-tier and towards the education-specific segment of the market, CTL hasn’t been lazy about options for buyers either. Buyers can include a Google Chrome Management License with the NL7X for just $30 and a warranty upgrade for $34. The standard warranty already covers accidental damage for a year after purchase and the upgraded one covers battery problems. For those situations which might be a bit rougher, an external bumper case, warranty extensions, and spare charger are available as well.