The latest child-specific netbook set to make its way to market is the new Dell Latitude 2100, which starts at $369.
Dell’s Latitude 2100 comes in a variety of colors (“School Bus Gold”, for example) in a rubberized case for durability. Unfortunately for the kids, a light pops on when the netbook connects to the internet. Why? So teachers know if they’re surfing the web instead of listening.
While schools in Australia have been notably progressive in involving netbooks in the classroom, US school systems and governmental groups have seemed less interested in the idea. To encourage American schools to adopt the Dell Latitude, Dell has thrown in access to its custom drive imaging as well.
The Latitude 2100 has the option of being a touch screen, which sounds great at first, until you realize that Dell is going to charge you for it. Bringing the battery from 3 cells to 6 cells will likely cost more as well, and once you throw in Dell’s “matching mobile cart”, the price could be out of control.
Somehow, the cost of kiddie netbooks tends to be high, which is the opposite of what you’d expect. If you’re okay with the price range you can get an Intel Classmate PC for $500 or a PeeWee PC for $600, but if you’re like the rest of us you’ll be happiest with an OLPC for a mere $180.
As soon as official pricing is available we’ll have the news for you, so check back soon for more on the Dell Latitude 2100.