Microsoft's new Windows 10 S operating system will power a host of affordable laptops from HP, Acer, Dell and others, starting at just $189.
Windows 10 S is Microsoft's answer to Google's Chrome OS and aims to challenge Chromebooks to take over the classroom. Microsoft unveiled its own Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S, launching at $999, but the company also teamed up with other PC makers to offer far more affordable options.
Eight affordable laptops running the education-focused Windows 10 S will go on sale soon, with prices ranging from $189 to $299. Windows 10 S is a leaner and more locked-down version of Windows 10, allowing users to install apps only from the Windows Store unless they upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
Acer And HP, The First To Launch Windows 10 S Laptops
Acer and HP are the first Microsoft hardware partners to launch Windows 10 S laptops, introducing cheaper versions of existing laptops that offer virtually identical specs as the original models, but with the new OS on board.
HP is offering a Windows 10 S version of its rugged ProBook x360 Education Edition, which sports an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels, an Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The regular version typically starts at $329 with full Windows 10, but the Windows 10 S version costs $299.
Acer, meanwhile, announced a new variant of its TravelMate Spin B1, a convertible laptop with an 11.6-inch 1080p touchscreen display, a stylus, Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The existing version of the device costs $399.99, but the Windows 10 S model costs $299.
Both laptops will go on sale later this month, running Windows 10 S out of the box. While Microsoft's own Surface Laptop is arguably more powerful and slick, it's such cheap options from hardware partners that will challenge Chromebooks to the core.
Affordable laptops running Google's lightweight Chrome OS have become increasingly popular in schools, so the $999 Surface Laptop might be too expensive to take on Chromebooks. Cheaper Windows 10 S laptops starting at $189, however, might be just what Microsoft needs to give Google a run for its money on the education front.
More Windows 10 S Laptops Coming Soon
HP and Acer are just the first ones to announce new Windows 10 S laptops, but other hardware partners will offer even cheaper options.
Microsoft also lists a new Dell Latitude 3189, Asus VivoBook Flip TP203, HP Stream 11 Pro, Asus VivoBook E201, Samsung Notebook M, and Toshiba Altair ME+, all of which will run the education-focused Windows 10 S.
The lineup mainly comprises of a mix of existing models now running the new OS, and refreshed models listed as "coming soon." The common denominator between these affordable Windows 10 S laptops is the specs, as all models feature 11.6-inch displays, Intel Celeron processors, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. With such similar specs, it will ultimately come down to design and form factor, as some may prefer a 2-in-1 device while others would rather go for a notebook.
Would you buy any of these Windows 10 S laptops? If so, which one? Let us know in the comments section below.