Lenovo Chromebook 10e Is IdeaPad Duet Dressed Up For School

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Lenovo has followed up its presence at CES 2020 with the announcement of the Chromebook 10e, a Chrome OS tablet that's similar to the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook in everything but its dressings and its branding. That's according to recent reports detailing the device. Those seem to indicate that all of the internal specs remain the same as over on the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.

If that's the case, the Lenovo Chromebook 10e will ship in a 10.1-inch form-factor. That display would also feature stylus support with the accessories being sold separately. It'll also have a Mediatek Helio P60T powering things along with up to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB storage.

Up to 10-hours of real-world usage and both a front and back camera at 2-megapixels and 8-megapixels, respectively, would be included. But the real selling point would be the packaged-in removable keyboard dock. The biggest change here, for the Chrome OS tablet, is in the fact that there's no touchpad on the keyboard. There is one on that accessory for the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.

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What about design changes for the Lenovo Chromebook 10e?

The biggest changes with the Lenovo Chromebook 10e appear to be external. Aside from the keyboard change, Dragontrail glass has been installed over the screen, rated to stand up to rigorous MIL-STD-810G standards. The exterior takes a deeper gray coloration too. Lenovo coated the tablet-build in a rubbery, grippy material to prevent drops and protect against them.

The idea is to ensure that this Chromebook can withstand the rigors of day-to-day use by school-age children in that environment. So this will probably be one of the strongest designs released this year for a Chromebook.

Lenovo hasn't said whether it is giving its pogo-pin attached keyboard any ruggedization. Typically, education sector Chromebooks feature drip-through keyboards. Those have slots to allow a set amount of liquid to pass through without harming the hardware. But that hasn't been confirmed or rebutted on this particular Chromebook.

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No rating has been supplied either for the external frame. Presumably, that will stand up to the same standards as the device's display. That would make this Chromebook resilient against even drops onto concrete from a fair height, usually about the height of a desk. But Lenovo is being scarce with the details so that may not be the case.

Pricing here is different too and probably availability

In terms of pricing and availability, the Lenovo Chromebook 10e is slated for March. That gives the company plenty of time to roll them off the line and finalize any minor changes.

The company hasn't explicitly stated as much but, generally, Chromebooks aimed at education don't sell in the consumer market. That would mean that most users looking into the device simply won't have access to it. Instead, Lenovo will likely sell its Chromebook 10e through key education vendors aimed directly at school IT departments. However, Lenovo could flip the script and release the device to consumers anyway.

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In either case, it expects the Chromebook 10e to cost around $10 less than its Duet-branded counterpart. That places its MSRP price tag at $269 at launch, putting the 10e squarely in the budget category.