Microsoft is taking on Google’s Chromebooks and Apple’s iPads in the education space through a new hardware partnership with Lenovo that aims to push Windows into the classroom.
The two companies have launched four low-cost PCs running Windows 10 that are specifically aimed at users in education.
Despite the low cost, Microsoft says the new devices will have a full set of hardware features such as touchscreens, pen support and 3D capability, and will be able to run its latest educational software.
The cheapest system, the Lenovo 100e, starts at US$189 (A$236) and features an Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processor, 2GB of memory, 32GB storage, and an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 pixel screen that folds flat.
The laptop line-up also comprises the US$199 Classmate Leap T303, and two 2-in-1 systems: the US$279 300e and US$299 Trigono V401.
All four are rugged, spill-resistant, and have all-day battery life, Microsoft said.
Microsoft will also supply Office 365 for Education free for teachers in 146 countries around the world. The software features Teams for collaboration, Learning Tools with dictation, OneNote for note taking, and PowerPoint for recording lessons.
The company hopes schools that go down the Windows 10 laptop route will also use its Intune for Education for device management.