Dell launches 'germ-free' netbooks for US schools

Dell has launched its new netbook with a difference. Aimed at schools the computer sports an anti-microbial keyboard and a "network activity light" to let teachers know when students are surfing the Web instead of paying attention to their lessons.

The Dell Latitude 2100 keyboard is coated with a naturally-occurring silver material which kills germs, according to David Lord, senior manager for product marketing in Dell's business client division.

Currently the $20 add-on option is only available in the US, on a machine which starts at $369. UK pricing, for a non- disinfected machine, begins at £259.

The Latitude 2100 also includes a rubberised case to help protect against bumps and drops, and a carrying handle designed for smaller hands.

The Latitude 2100 "is an entirely new platform," said Patrick Burns, senior manager for product marketing at Dell. "It is not a rebranded Dell Mini."

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