If you love the idea of sending a laptop to school with your youngsters as a way to boost their productivity (and hopefully their report card marks), but loathe the accompanying prospect of it getting trashed as it’s unceremoniously dumped into lockers and backpacks, Lenovo’s Classmate PCs are worth checking out. That’s especially true now, since the company has just outed a new addition to their line-up.The new Classmate+ is available as a straight-up laptop or as a touchscreen convertible (which also ships with a stylus for handwritten input). It improves on the previous generation Classmate from the inside out. Tucked beneath its sturdy exterior is an Intel Atom N2600 processor, a Cedar Trail chip clocked at 1.6Ghz that packs twice the graphical power of the N455 and N570. 1GB of RAM is standard and the systems max out at 2GB, there’s an improved 6-cell battery that should provide enough juice for a full day of cord-free use at school, and the standard 320GB hard drive can be upgraded to a 32GB SSD.Lenovo’s beefed up the Classmate+ chassis, too. The keyboard’s spill resistance has been improved and the gently-rounded corners have been reinforced to add greater protection against bumps and drops. Two other thoughtful upgrades are the tough steel hinge — which should easily shrug off the slamming that makes some laptop lids go limp — and a super-sturdy charging plug. That’s sure to be the new Classmate’s most underappreciated feature, since it will probably silently avert numerous trips to the repair shop.The new Classmate will ship in grey to consumers, but custom colors will be an option for those who order in bulk — it’s safe to assume that means schools, who will be able to buy the laptops before the calendar runs out on January.More at Lenovo
"Lenovo Classmate laptops get faster and more rugged"