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Dell Launches K-12 Netbook, E-Reader Software

The Latitude 2120 will be pre-loaded with Dell's Blio eReader software.

Dell last week launched a slew of new technologies focused on education, including a new ruggedized netbook, an Android-based tablet, and e-reader software designed to improve the reading experience for students who use books in electronic format.

The new Latitude 2120 netbook has been specially designed for student use with a waterproof rubberized outer casing for easy grip and increased protection against damage. Additional features include:

  • Available touch screen functionality using an optional high-definition screen;
  • Network activity light, which teachers can use to identify and monitor which students are using the Internet;
  • Durable, tamper-resistant keyboard with optional anti-microbial protection to prevent the spread of germs through computer use; and
  • Systems management support that allows IT staff to push updates overnight via a central console.

The company also announced that it will also soon begin pre-installing Blio eReader software on the Latitude 2120. Blio, which launched originally back in September, is designed to offer an e-reading experience on Windows that mimics that of an actual printed book far more closely than similar software for handheld e-readers such as Kindle. Integral in providing this experience are full-color graphics, a critical feature when reading illustrated children's books, and 3D animation to simulate holding an actual book and turning paper pages.

Additional features of the Blio software include:

  • Fonts, pictures, and layout identical to those of each respective printed book;
  • Multiple reading views, including text-only, single- and dual-page views, and 3D "book view";
  • Text-to-voice, giving the option of having device "read" the book to the user, highlighting each word as it reads;
  • Built-in browser gives option to look up words, phrases, and topics from text; and
  • Support for inserting text, images, and hyperlinks directly into content and exporting later to other devices.

Finally, Dell announced that its new Streak 7 tablet computer, launched earlier in the month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, would be coming soon to the United States and UK. The Android OS-based tablet will feature a 7-inch multi-touch display; a 1.3 megapixel front-facing video camera for live chat; 16 GB of internal storage; and built-in WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth technology.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.