Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook Hopes to Head to School
Dell hopes its new Latitude 2100 netbook will be headed to schools in the fall, with kid-intended features that include an anti-microbial keyboard, a kickball-like exterior and a customized-to-tattle-tale Network Activity Light. On the inside of the Dell Latitude 2100 mini-notebook is an Intel Atom processor and a choice of Windows or Ubuntu operating systems.The Dell Latitude 2100 netbook is the newest extension to Dell's enterprise-class Latitude laptop line, and it was build with school kids and classrooms in mind.
The exterior of the Dell Latitude 2100 netbook is upholstered in a rubberized kickball fabric, for easy gripping and a bit of added ruggedness, and comes in a choice of five primary colors - Dell marketers imagine scenarios such as "second graders get red ones, third graders get blue," and so on.
Other kid-minded options of the Latitude 2100 are an anti-microbial keyboard, a Web cam and a touch screen.
On the inside, the Dell Latitude 2100 is essentially standard netbook fare, with an Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.6GHz, an Intel 945 PM/GS Express chip set and a weight of 2.9 pounds with a 3-cell battery. Its measurements are 10.43 by 7.36 by 0.89 inches.
A 6-cell battery is also an option, and so is the choice of a hard or solid state drive, for a bit more durability. (The Latitude 2100, say Dell spokespeople, is ruggedized, though not rugged.)
The solid state drives offer up to 16GB of storage, and the hard drive offers 250GB. Connectivity options include 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet, wireless LAN and Bluetooth 2.1.
Options also extend to the operating systems, which include Microsoft's Windows XP Home, Vista Home Basic or Ubuntu Linux version 8.10.
And in a last grand gesture toward making the Latitude 2100 netbook classroom-attractive, Dell will be offering a media cart that makes managing two dozen computers more, well, manageable.
The Dell Mobile Computing Station - which is not yet available, though the 2100s are - can hold 24 netbooks, each of which click into it standing upright, for a look that's not unlike a blade server. Once in the cart, all 24 netbooks can be charged and remotely managed with just one power and Ethernet chord.
The price of the cart has yet to be released, but the Dell Latitude 2100 netbooks begin at $369 and will be sold through Dell Direct and Dell channel partners, though no retail stores.