Yesterday, Microsoft held an event that was focused on its latest efforts in the educational market. The company launched a new version of Windows, called Windows 10 S, which will allow users to only use apps that are obtained from the Store.
Windows 10 S won't be sold at retail, so it will only be pre-installed on new devices. Of course, the most notable of those new PCs is Microsoft's own Surface Laptop, but there was also a range of third-party devices from the likes of Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, and Asus.
The firm said that these devices start at $189; however, PCs that fit the recommended specs (quad-core Intel Celeron or better, 4GB RAM) start at $229. One of these is the HP Probook x360 11 G1 EE.
While it's colorful, you can see that it's not a very high-end device. In fact, most of what you'll see are budget PCs. But priced at under $300, the Probook offers a 360-degree hinge and a Windows Hello fingerprint reader.
Acer's Travelmate Spin B1 was one of the more interesting devices that I saw at the event. It's $299.99 and not the prettiest device to look at, but it has a 360-degree hinge and a touchscreen with pen support.
But the really cool part was when the guy showing off the device started beating the crap out of it. In the image, you can see the pen sitting on the inside of the hinge, so naturally, he slammed the device shut with the pen inside of it. Bragging about how if he had a glass of water, he'd pour it all over the keyboard, he then threw the closed device onto the floor.
He failed to break it. An interesting thing about the design is that the base is just a bit bigger than the display, so when it hits the ground, the base takes the impact.
Here's Dell's entry into Windows 10 S, the Latitude 11 EDU 3180. Like many of them, it features a Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. This one doesn't include a touchscreen, as you can see from the features.
Here are ASUS's two entries, the VivoBook Flip TP203 and the VivoBook W202. They're both devices that include a Celeron processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB of storage, and an 11.6-inch WXGA display. The Flip has a 360-degree hinge and a touchscreen though.
While many of the PCs were similarly specced, they each offered their own brand of uniqueness. But in fact, the Surface Laptop wasn't the only premium Windows 10 S device that was on display.
The Fujitsu Lifebook P727 is one such device, offering a 12.5-inch FHD display, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. As you can see from the spec sheet, it also has a Windows Hello fingerprint reader and cellular connectivity.
My personal favorite is the Toshiba Protégé X20W-D. It has similar specs and features to the Fujitsu, with up to a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, but it also has Windows Hello facial recognition. The PC is really thin and light too, coming in at 1.12kg.
Microsoft really has a diverse lineup of PCs that will be shipping with Windows 10 S. Most are on the low end, some are higher end, and they all have something that makes them unique. It should be an interesting summer when these devices begin to show up on the market.