Google’s Chromebook computers continue to make headway, getting a boost Thursday from Lenovo, which announced its own Google-powered device for students.
The Chinese computer maker said it will begin to sell the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook to schools starting Feb. 26.
Lenovo said the $429 laptop is built with a rugged exterior designed for durability. The ThinkPad X131e features an 11.6-inch HD LED display, three USB ports, a webcam and “battery life for the entire school day.” The machine weighs less than four pounds, Lenovo said.
Despite a quiet launch in 2011, Chromebooks began to gain traction last year with the addition of more low-priced but capable devices, including the Samsung Chromebook and the Acer C7 Chromebook.
Now, Lenovo will become the third company to build a computer running Chrome OS, the Google operating system. Its ThinkPad X131e is the first new Chromebook of 2013.
Chromebook doesn’t appear to yet pose a threat for Apple’s Macs or computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system, but if Google can keep up the momentum, its rivals might have to start paying attention.