What Kind of Device to Buy your Student

Device comparison‎(Updated)‎.docx


Milford School District’s Recommended Computer Specifications:

Updated 12-02-13


 

Buying a computer for a student is a personal and family choice. Ultimately, each family will choose the device that works best for their child. The specifications below are to guide you in selecting a device for academic use in grades 8-12 and into early college years. Each of these devices has different estimated life spans and prices. These estimates are based on our experience and are provided as a guideline.

 

For your own selection, please consider:

  • The way you plan to use your computer will determine what specifications you need on the machine. Academic use and recreational use of computers require very different specifications. Applications like serious gaming or video editing will require the more High-End specifications which cost more money.
  • iPads and other tablets such as Galaxy Note 10.1 can have limitations with Adobe Flash. Apple/Mac laptops or Mac desktops for academic uses will work with Adobe Flash.  Macs will be useful and run correctly on most of our homework portals that require Flash. Macs are usually preferred in many college level art and media programs, so consider these future requirements carefully. Macs CAN be configured to run Windows with extra software and cost.
  • Microsoft Surface Pro is a tablet that will run with Flash and Java and other Microsoft Products.

·         Always check the specifications and minimum requirements of any program you intend to run before purchasing a computer.

  • Consider free open source office and productivity software rather than including expensive software in your initial purchase.
  • Plan on replacing the computer device in two years or so. (Thus the low original cost recommended)
  • Refurbished devices are a great option for younger students. Most refurbished devices will last a year or more before developing problems. 5 reasons why to buy refurbished devices are:

o    Fast pace of  computer device evolution means quick obsolescence

o    Relative shorter life of portable devices and the need to replace batteries

o    Grade level of your student and the number of school years ahead

o    Demands for durability in the school environment

o    Possible changes in ways to acquire computer devices for schools

  •  Local sources for refurbished desktops and laptops options include;

o    Microcenter (New and Refurbished Desktops, Laptops, and Netbooks)

o    Cincinnati Computer Cooperative (Refurbished Desktop Systems)

MEVSD Does not endorse or sponsor any of these vendors.

        


Notebook:

Notebooks feature full size keyboards, screens 14-16” (diagonal), and weigh around 5-8 lbs fully loaded. They function very similar to a desktop computer. Higher end Notebooks are sometimes called “Desktop Replacements”. Additional RAM and larger Hard drives can be purchased later. Pay close attention to Battery Life, and expect that under normal use to see 50-75% of the manufacturers estimated battery life.

Minimum

Recommended

High End

Processor Equivalent

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz

Intel Core i3

Intel Core i7

Video

Integrated Graphics

Integrated Graphics

256 MB (or higher) discrete graphics card.

Memory

2.0 Gb Ram

4.0 Gb Ram

8.0 Gb Ram

Storage

80 GB Hard drive

160 GB Hard drive

250 GB Hard drive or larger.

Operating System

Windows XP or Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows 8

Wireless

802.11 B/G WiFi

802.11 BGN Wifi

802.11 GBN Wifi Dual Band

Expected Lifespan

1-2 Years

2-3 Years

3 Years

Estimated Price (New)

$450

$600

$750

 

Netbook:

Netbooks are smaller, lighter, and generally less powerful then Notebooks and desktops. They trade off performance for a lower cost, transportability, and durability. Screens are normally 8-10 Inches. Keyboards are rated by a percentage of the full size keyboard. 80% is very small for an adult or teen. Our District netbooks use 90% size keyboards and are comfortable for most users.  Upgrade options are limited. SSD (Solid State Drives) are smaller, but much more durable for a device that is likely to take some abuse.

Minimum

Recommended

High End

Processor Equivalent

Intel Atom N270 1.6 Ghz

Intel Atom N450 1.66 Ghz

Intel Atom N550 1.5 Ghz

Video

Integrated Graphics

Integrated Graphics

256 MB (or higher) discrete graphics card.

Memory

1.0 Gb Ram

2.0 Gb Ram

4.0 Gb Ram

Storage

32 GB Solid State Drive

160 GB HDD or 64 gb SSD

250 GB Hard drive or larger.

Operating System

Windows XP or Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows 7

Wireless

802.11 B/G WiFi

802.11 BGN Wifi

802.11 GBN Wifi Dual Band

Expected Lifespan

1-2 Years

2-3 Years

3 Years

Estimated Price (New)

$200

$300

$450

 

Desktops:

Desktop options for those who are looking for lower cost options, or just aren’t ready to send a device to school should consider this option. There are many options locally to purchase refurbished computers at a very low cost. Desktops are the easiest to upgrade and repair and therefore have a longer expected life span.

Minimum

Recommended

High End

Processor Equivalent

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz

Intel Core i3

Intel Core i5

Video

Integrated Graphics

Integrated Graphics

256 MB (or higher) discrete graphics card.

Memory

2.0 Gb Ram

4.0 Gb Ram

4.0 Gb Ram

Storage

80 GB Hard drive

160 GB Hard drive

250 GB Hard drive or larger.

Operating System

Windows XP or Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows 7

Expected Lifespan

1-2 Years

2-3 Years

3 Years

Estimated Price (New)

$450

$600

$750

Estimated Price (Refurbished)

$200

n/a

n/a

 

Recommended Computer Specifications by Milford Exempted Village School District is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Milford Junior High School Technology Central.

Milford, OH 45150

 

ĉ
ritchey_s@milfordschools.org,
Apr 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
ĉ
ritchey_s@milfordschools.org,
Apr 10, 2012, 12:15 PM