The Dell Latitude 13 Education Series is scheduled for launch tomorrow, 6 March 2014, at 9am EST. It starts at $539 USD. Non-touch models are available in red and blue. Touch and non-touch models are available in black.
The Latitude 13:
- has a large 13.3-inch display, powerful processors, and a full-size keyboard
- is durable enough to withstand bumps, drops and spills
- is subject to military-standard testing
- boasts an exclusive fully-sealed keyboard and touchpad for the industry’s best spill protection
- has superb scratch resistance with Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ on touchscreens
- opens 180 degrees to reduce hinge stress when carried by students in unconventional ways
This is a partial but impressive list of features. Its toughness stands out, but the feature that catches my eye and imagination is the last, the 180-degree screen hinge, which allows you to open and carry it flat, almost like a tablet.
The possibilities for flat laptops (flaptops?) are intriguing. A tablet with a light keyboard that swings down and allows for input with one hand while being held with the other would bridge the laptop-tablet gap. Weight would be a factor, but the Surface Pro 2 proves that a full-blown Windows computer can be squeezed into a tablet, and its optional magnetic keyboard covers demonstrate that keyboards can be very light. The Latitude 13 is an open invitation to designers to explore the potential for flaptops.
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