This year is turning out to be one of surprises when it comes to Asus. First, was the unexpected debut of the fanless Asus Chromebook Flip CX5400 and now there’s another one. It’s the rugged Asus Chromebook Detachable CZ1 for classrooms. This time it wasn’t me who sleuthed it out though. Thanks to an anonymous tipster, we have the early details.
Before you get too excited about a new Chrome OS tablet, the Asus Chromebook Detachable CZ1 is very similar to the currently available Chromebook Flip CM3 tablet.
That means it has the same 1920 x 1200 touch display, stylus support with a garage for the pen, rear cover with hinge, and detachable keyboard.
The main difference is on the outside. This model is built to withstand the bumps and bruises of a classroom setting.
Asus describes it better than I can, so here’s the copy from the product page to explain:
Built to military-grade standards, it’s packed with protective features, including a wrap-around rubber trim, shockproof cover and durable 3D-textured finish. It features a free-angle adjustable stand cover and full-size keyboard with 1.5 mm key travel, plus an ErgoLift design
The device has been tested for up to 1.5-meter drops, for example, and withstand endure 15 kg of force without any panel damage.
Overall, this looks like a viable Chrome OS tablet specifically for the classroom. I’d say mostly early classrooms but given the reasonable performance of the MT 8183 (aka Kompanio 500) processor inside and 4 GB of RAM, some high school work is possible as well.
Then again, those students might not need (or want) the ruggedized look. In that case, the CM3 is a reasonable choice.
There’s no price or availability information yet, just a product page and specs. So stay tuned for a product announcement at some point from Asus.