Microsoft’s newest Surface laptop and shiny new Windows 10 S operating system weren’t the only highlights of the company’s Education event in New York on Tuesday. Acer was also on hand to show off its latest student-centric laptop offering, the TravelMate Spin B1.
The B1 is a ruggedized convertible notebook designed for the rigors of school life. Its 11.6-inch HD touchscreen display is pressure resistant to avoid damage from overzealous stylus taps, the case is protected by shock-absorbent rubber bumpers and the chiclet keyboard can resistant up to 11 ounces of water. The keyboard even has a built-channel system to divert liquids away from internal components before they can short out the system’s electronics.
The B1 is also outfitted with a 360 degree hinge that allows the keyboard to lay flat against the back of the monitor and enables the computer to be used as a traditional laptop, a tablet, or stood on its horizontal and vertical edges in either Tent or Stand mode.
Internally, the B1 will offer an Intel Celeron processor and graphics card with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and a dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac connection. What’s more, it will reportedly be able to run for up to 13 hours on a single charge. As for connectivity, the B1 uses Bluetooth 4.0, a single USB 3.0 port, an additional USB 2.0 and one HDMI. And, since the B1 runs on the new Windows 10 S operating system, students will have access to Microsoft’s Office software suite including MS Ink.
Acer has been making TravelMate laptops since it acquired the model from Texas Instruments back in 1997, though it has traditionally marketed them more towards business professionals as a lightweight everyday workhorse. But despite the switch to the educational sphere, you’re not going to see the price change much from what the model line usually goes for. The B1 will retail for $299 when it goes on sale later this month, putting it squarely in competition with the recently announced Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and Asus Chromebook C213 as well as the HP x360 11 G1.