HP and Acer are the first two hardware partners to announce laptops running Windows 10 S, the new locked-down version of Windows meant for schools.
The two companies are announcing cheaper versions of existing laptops, with pretty much everything identical except for the operating system. Both will sell for $299.
HP’s laptop is a new version of the ProBook x360 Education Edition, a rugged laptop with an 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The laptop typically sells for $329 or more with full Windows 10, but it’s on sale right now for $299, so it’s not clear how great a deal this Windows 10 S model is going to be.
Acer’s introducing a new version of the TravelMate Spin B1 Convertible, a touchscreen laptop with an 11.6-inch, 1080p display, Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage — basically the same specs as HP’s, but with a touchscreen. The existing version of this laptop sells for $399.99, so this version is meaningfully cheaper. It also comes with a stylus.
While Microsoft may have debuted Windows 10 S on its slick new Surface Laptop, it’s computers like these from HP and Acer that it really needs to focus on if it hopes to defeat Chromebooks in the classroom. Cheap laptops featuring Google’s lightweight OS have been growing in popularity in schools, and it’ll take more and more affordable options like these for Windows to come off as a compelling alternative.