The first round of Windows 10 S laptops is starting slowly this summer, with but a few vendors out there with options. The latest in the lineup available now, and the very first from Asus, is the VivoBook W202NA.
Asus’ first laptop running Windows 10 S – Microsoft’s new education-bent operating system – is an equally school-minded 11.6-inch notebook equipped with a 768p WXGA resolution display.
Inside its rubberized frame that meets the MIL-STD810G specification are an Intel “Apollo Lake” Celeron dual-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Rounding out the package is both Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well as two USB 3 ports, HDMI out, an SD card slot as well as a 3.5mm audio jack.
All of this comes in an 11.6-inch package that weighs less than 2.7 pounds.
From its specs and build, it sounds rightly positioned against the Chromebooks in classrooms with the low price point of $279 (about £216, AU$356) no less. Well, that is until Asus launches a consumer model with Windows 10 Home this September for $299 (about £232, AU$382) in a lighter blue shade.
While we’re excited to see how Microsoft and its Windows 10 S manage to compete with the established leader – Google and its Chromebooks – in the classroom, we’re intrigued by Asus’s decision not to sell this particular unit to regular old folks.
Microsoft made it clear that Windows 10 S is intended for the education scene, but machines running the pared-down software would be available for all. With that in mind, why would Asus not just sell the very same Windows 10 S device in both scenarios?
It will be interesting to see how laptop makers treat Windows 10 S in relation to the general consumer market in the coming months, with Asus’s first one being, well, not for them.