Microsoft may be looking to break into the K-12 market with a brand new Chromebook

It seems that Microsoft plans on competing with the likes of HP, Dell, and Lenovo with a brand new Chromebook. A low-cost 11.6-inch version, to be specific, that targets the K-12 education market, according to Windows Central.

The rumored laptop is code-named Tenjin, has a fully plastic exterior, and will feature a 1366×768 display, an Intel Celeron N4120, and up to 8GB of RAM. In order to keep in vain with its no-frills competition to keep costs down, it will only come with a full-sized keyboard and trackpad, one USB-A port, one USB-C port, a headphone jack, and a barrel-style AC port. 

Though no actual price was named, Tenjin will most likely be priced around $400 (about £290, AU$532) in order to compete with other Chromebooks such as the Lenovo 100W or HP Stream series. The device will apparently launch by the end of this year, pending any last-minute delays.

Analysis: Is a Windows 11 version possible?

According to those same sources, Microsoft also has plans to release a new version of Windows 11 called “Windows 11 SE,” which would be developed specifically for low-cost educational PCs such as Tenjin. There seem to be talks that Tenjin might ship under the Surface Pro brand with a possible name of “Laptop SE,” in order to match the OS brand.

If that’s the case, then it would make sense for the tech giant to create a 2-in-1 Chromebook. The Windows 10 version has seen success in the educational market over the years, thanks to the ease in which students can switch between the tablet for classroom note-taking, while using the keyboard for other assignments and reports.

Not to mention that targeting such a high-density market would be great as advertising, and possibly push students to invest in a more traditional — and more expensive — Windows 11 laptop in the future.

Of course, absolutely none of this has officially been confirmed. In fact, Microsoft officials denied to comment on the rumors when asked, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

A Microsoft Chromebook?

It would also be incredibly weird of Microsoft to release a Chromebook, especially after trying to push the Surface Go and Surface Laptop Go as alternatives to Google’s budget laptops for so long. But, it’s not like there wouldn’t be a reason to go in this direction. 

When we reviewed the Surface Go 3 in October 2021, one of our biggest complaints was that it wasn’t a Chromebook. The low-powered hardware in Microsoft’s cheapest device just would have been far more at home on Chrome OS, as it makes much better use of low-powered hardware like the Intel Celeron chip mentioned here. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft made a device that runs on Google’s software either. Since, after years of failing to make Windows Phone a thing, Microsoft released the Surface Duo 2 running on Android 11. So, maybe Microsoft is learning that its own operating system just is not meant for this kind of low-power and affordable hardware.

Via Windows Central

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