As an administrator, how can you be certain you are making the best possible investment for your students and your school?
It’s a big responsibility. Budget restrictions make school purchasing decisions extraordinarily important. You will want to make sure that every dollar is used to further the educational and administrative goals of your school. Just as every student has different strengths and challenges so do the various devices on the market. In addition, different schools have different need profiles: some schools give priority to a rugged and durable device, some want hybrid options, some are solely price driven while others are motivated by a combination of factors.
This article highlights a number of options that may be of interest to those in the education sector looking for a budget or mid-range device.
Asus makes attractive and well built devices. Although, they are known for their higher-end device options, they also make some really good mid-range devices that fit squarely within school board budgets. This brand ranked very highly in Laptop Magazine’s 2016 list of best laptops.
Asus Transformer Book T100
This is a relatively compact 10-inch tablet that can easily pass as a small laptop. The affordable Asus Transformer Book T100 gives students the chance to create their own mobile laptop dynamic. The T100 provides excellent value. Its innovative design and a great battery life make this device a great choice.
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
The Asus Transformer Book T200TA is a compact, budget detachable-hybrid tablet with a nice In-Plane Switching (IPS) touch screen. You can use it like a laptop or detach the screen for use as a tablet. The T200TA comes with an Intel Atom Z3795 processor with built-in Intel HD Graphics. Its performance on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test is equivalent to that of a system with an Intel Celeron or Pentium processor.
The Asus EeeBook X205TA (X205) sure offers plenty of device for the price you pay. The X205 is a thin, lightweight laptop suitable for kids, for travel or for anyone looking for a small device that runs Windows and compatible software. The most noticeable attributes of this device are its sleek design and weight, it also has a decent keyboard, can handle daily tasks and multimedia activities. The X205 battery lasts for a long while on a charge and it is very, very affordable.
More than anything else Lenovo is known for having good quality, rugged multi-purpose devices. Those customers looking for a rugged device often choose a Lenovo option. This brand also ranked very highly in Laptop Magazine’s 2016 list of best laptops.
Lenovo IdeaPad B50
The IdeaPad B50 is very inexpensive. It is lightweight and very well made. Testing of this device found excellent battery life. This affordable 15.6 inch laptop is a well constructed ultraportable laptop that features a nice design, competent performance, and more than 11 hours of battery life. Did we mention it has a very low price?
The Lenovo S21e is a capable budget notebook you can take anywhere. Featuring an Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 64 GB hard drive, the S21e should satisfy the basic needs of students and those who want to travel light. The notebook has a smooth lid that shines in a silver, satin finish. It doesn’t attract fingerprints, leaving it pristine even after days of use. On the right side is a USB 2.0 port, headphone jack and microSD card reader. On the left, you’ll find a USB 3.0 port and micro HDMI port. It has a solid chassis and the keyboard is comfortable to use.
The Lenovo G40 is a reasonably priced entry-level desktop-replacement laptop with a battery life of almost 6 hours. Its textured matte-black chassis is plastic, but feels sturdy and doesn’t show fingerprints. It boasts a glossy 14-inch display with a 1,366-by-768 resolution framed by glossy-black bezels. The screen is bright, and colour quality is good. The full-size, island-style AccuType keyboard has a firm feel and features spacious keys that provide a comfortable typing experience. With the Lenovo G40, you get a capable 14-inch desktop-replacement laptop that will handle a basic productivity workload without putting much of a dent in your budget. It’s thin and light enough to travel with.
HP products are well built and have a reputation for being some of the best-looking machines on the market. They have an excellent reputation that is well deserved.
HP STREAM 11 PRO
The HP Stream 11 is a fantastic deal. It is perfect for office tasks and school work, as well as web browsing. This device is often ranked by consumer magazines as one of the best budget laptops on the market. The HP Stream 11 stands out from the crowd with its flamboyant blue or bright purple casing. The wrist rest has a subtle polka dot pattern, with the colour getting lighter from top to bottom. It is sturdily made with a slimline chassis that measures just under 20mm thick and weighs only 1.29 kg.
Built for productivity, the HP ProBook delivers the performance and security features essential for today’s classroom. The sleek and tough design provides a flexible platform to stay productive in or out of the classroom. Enjoy a rich user experience with the HP ProBook. It has a long battery life and has features designed to create a stunning visual and audio experience with options like an FHD display, an HD touch display, and DTS Studio Sound.
HP 215 G1
This small yet powerful notebook is ideal for students. It has a rugged design that will benefit schools that allow students to take the device home. Data on the HP 215 G1 stays protected from accidental bumps and bruises that might be encountered during transit. HP 3D DriveGuard senses when the PC moves and locks the hard drive to help protect data. The touch screen works well and real-life owners of the device have given it great online reviews.
HP STREAM 13
The HP Stream 13 is a very inexpensive full Windows ultraportable laptop. Its long battery life, great looks, and good speed resemble that of a much pricier system.The white chiclet-style keyboard is a nice contrast to the chassis hue, and is full size and easy to type on. The one-piece touchpad is responsive and easy to use.
Acer has a reputation for providing excellent value for the educational sector. Year after year, it continues to make greater and greater devices, while keeping its prices squarely within the budget range.
Acer Travelmate B115
For those with modest needs, small budgets, and smaller luggage, the Travelmate B115 is the device for you. It a very light weight machine. Suitable for the Internet, Microsoft Office, and some basic Windows applications. This machine is very portable and has a decent battery life. It also has a high quality trackpad.
Acer Aspire Switch 10
The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is the latest in a new breed of detachable Windows tablet, a category of small slates paired with docking keyboards to offer both the mobility of a tablet and the capability and comfort of a laptop. With a sleek-looking design and a magnetic multimode hinge, the Aspire Switch 10 is worth a look. The highlights of this machine include In-Plane Switching (IPS) display with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3, a multiple-position dock that allows for four different use modes. It also comes with a free activation code for Microsoft Office.
Acer Aspire V5
Acer touts this device as thin, light, and charismatic! The Acer Aspire V5 has a decent design, midrange configuration, and a touch screen, all for a very reasonable mid-range price. The Acer Aspire V5 is a desktop-replacement laptop that offers all-day battery life and a reasonable feature set. The machine features a touch screen and the Nvidia graphics enhance entertainment options. The Acer Aspire V5 proves that a touch screen can work in a budget to mid-range Windows laptop without cutting too many corners.
Acer Aspire E11
The Acer Aspire E11 is a solid 11-inch budget Windows notebook with the option of a touch screen. It has Pentium and Celeron processors and provides a good balance between power and versatility. The 11-inch is a fanless design, which should cut down on weight, noise, and power consumption, while keeping the body about 21 mm thick, which is decent for an inexpensive ultraportable. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, the E11 colors are cool silver, rhodonite pink, tiger’s-eye brown and quartz blue.