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View Full Version : Best lappy for kids at high school next year



kiwimik
08-10-2012, 06:27 PM
Hi there everyone,

I have a two girls hitting college next year (one 3rd and one 5th) and they have the opportunity to "bring your own device" this isnt compulsory but i think it is something I would like to give them the opportunity to get involved with.
Basically the brief is no tablets, 802.11n wireless, 4gig ram, at least 11" screen, 250gig+ HDD at least one usb and headphone jack. I need to get two of these so i dont want to go nuts, can you please give me some options please. I was hoping to get something for around the 800 mark each if possible, am i dreaming, dont want to buy some crap from the chain stores. Thanks in advance for your help

Mike

Chilling_Silence
08-10-2012, 06:35 PM
Why N-Wireless specifically? And same for the HDD size? Are they going to be doing video editing or something?

plod
08-10-2012, 06:44 PM
Why N-Wireless specifically? And same for the HDD size? Are they going to be doing video editing or something?pretty hard not to get wireless N these days. And I would also say 250 hard drive is a given as well unless you are looking at ssd. To the original poster, I would wait till windows 8 is released because all the retailers will be having fire sales on win7 lappys. Got my son a HP back in August. I7, 4 gigs ram 500 hard drive 14 inch screen. $749 down from $1299 on HN sale

kiwimik
08-10-2012, 06:47 PM
thats what the school asked, HDD size was a surprise to me to, is huge for kids farting round with word processing and net surfing, i will certainly not be intentionally buying anything that can do video editing!!

plod
08-10-2012, 06:53 PM
thats what the school asked, HDD size was a surprise to me to, is huge for kids farting round with word processing and net surfing, i will certainly not be intentionally buying anything that can do video editing!!anything for the price you are aiming for will be crap of its not being reduced to that level on sale. Chain store or computer store. Those specs are definitely meet min spec for what's around.

Chilling_Silence
08-10-2012, 07:36 PM
It's just kind of odd that the school would specify those requirements. Personally before making up your mind, I'd be inclined to ask *why* they need a 250GB HDD (Though as plod mentioned it's pretty much standard) and why an 11"+ screen (Coz that immediately rules out Netbooks which are fantastic for school / uni with their massive battery life).

Alex B
08-10-2012, 07:57 PM
I don't think the schools asked for anything unreasonable there. Maybe they don't want netbooks for ergonomic reasons, who knows. Saying less than 250GB hdd is actually a good way of not getting the kids to show up with a 10 year old P4 laptop which isn't going to cut the mustard any more.

http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/XC8158/asus-a54c-sx138v-notebook

Pretty good laptop there for the $$$. If it were me I'd try find a 13 or 14" laptop but you will be hard pressed to find one for that money.

wainuitech
08-10-2012, 08:00 PM
Seems some of you need glasses. :p

The spec's mentioned are all basic units these days.

For those who didn't read the post carefully.:


802.11n wireless, 4gig ram, at least 11" screen, 250gig+ HDD


AT LEAST 11" -- so it has to be 11" or bigger

250GB + Minimum Size 250 GB or bigger (Notice the +)

Chilling_Silence
08-10-2012, 08:07 PM
I know but the question is: Why?
Why rule out all Netbooks? For most students they're fantastic, hence the "What on earth is the school doing that requires so much power in a machine?"

Who cares if the kid shows up with a 10 year old P3 laptop, still runs Word / Excel / Powerpoint, right?

The Error Guy
08-10-2012, 08:07 PM
IF you had the money I'd aim for a zenbook from Asus although they are expensive (for the 5th form lass) 10+ hrs battery life on mid range power setting. My mate has one and it is bloody amazing. I always got the biggest most powerful machine previously being a boarder I needed the power of a moderate desktop in a laptop and liked the size big lappies offered. I reckon my next laptop for uni will be a zenbook or other ultrabook. Zenbook is light as hell and specced nicely too, i7 1.8GHz 4GB RAM 256 SSD. Not sure how much he paid. A lot at the time.

I'd have a look at the Microsoft Surface when it's released. Being touchscreen it makes great use of of Windows 8's touch UI but with the keyboard etc it will run as a laptop really well (easy to type, better than an on screen keyboard by miles) nice and and portable too. Very good as they support all windows apps like the fully functioned office suites (no average mobile or online versions). I'd be *very* keen to use one in an education environment. Also being windows it's familiar to run and use.

That given, it depends on what they want to do. If it's note taking and general school work then a surface (or similar) would be good, if it's more photoshop/design work get a decent laptop or ultrabook.

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx

Alex B
08-10-2012, 08:08 PM
If I was the schools sys admin there is no way I would want to spend my time dealing with old crap that was too slow to run the schools apps properly.

icow
08-10-2012, 08:23 PM
Take a look on the lenovo webstore. Great value :thumbs:


Edit: I did for you: http://shopap.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/nzweb/LenovoPortal/en_NZ/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=3634951826AE4D3881BFFF1AC5FCD957&current-category-id=F06E76AB1A7A4D4377B70C8C507E34A6&action=init

kiwimik
08-10-2012, 08:28 PM
thanks Alex, asus doesnt look to bad, windows surface doesnt look to bad either, maybe i should wait for a few months before purchasing

Alex B
08-10-2012, 08:30 PM
Some really good buying on that Lenovo website too by the look.

Slankydudl
08-10-2012, 08:44 PM
I think we need more posts endorsing lenovo.

icow
08-10-2012, 08:57 PM
You should see their sales, you'd think they where owned by briscoes (except what they sell isn't crap and isn't a ripoff).

Slankydudl
08-10-2012, 09:35 PM
It is true, what the man says.

pctek
09-10-2012, 06:21 AM
Basically the brief is no tablets, at least 11" screen,
Crazy.
Why?

dugimodo
09-10-2012, 08:01 AM
There are plenty of reasonable laptops in that price range, I was looking for one for myself recently and found a range of toshiba, lenovo and asus laptops at PBtech for $650-$900 with i3 or i5 processors. I can't give you any feedback though because I went with a tablet instead. The main concern for me would be robustness, even the most careful of teenagers tend to be rough on hardware particularly when carrying it every day.

I'm a little against the Idea myself, allowing students to use technology for notetaking and schoolwork is fine but they should be able to use anything that their family can afford that they find useful be it tablet or laptop or even a PDA. Anything that's "required" for schoolwork outside of books should be supplied by the school in my opinion. I think my transformer tablet would be superior to a netbook in a lot of ways, and lighter, more portable, and better on batteries compared to a full size laptop.

Chilling_Silence
09-10-2012, 08:32 AM
I think my transformer tablet would be superior to a netbook in a lot of ways, and lighter, more portable, and better on batteries compared to a full size laptop.

Heck yes! Even the original which you can pick up WITH the keyboard dock for around $500-ish these days would be fantastic. Lighter, better battery life, those are the two main things.

I recall starting Uni, everybody always fought over the seats next to a power socket (Or at least raced to sit in them first in a class). My Eee701 though survived me through two classes in row without the need to plug in to battery, not to mention I would always bring a multiboard in my bag so that in the odd event I *did* need to plug in, I was always guaranteed to get power :D

For taking notes, basic browsing, research, and even some Java programming, it was absolutely brilliant. Not a fan of having to lug a full-sized / weight laptop around all day! What a joke...

On top of that, on the off chance something *does* happen, a cheaper tablet with a keyboard dock, or a netbook, you won't feel *as* bad if you have to replace it vs something that cost twice as much.

DeSade
09-10-2012, 09:37 AM
I am fairly sure the MS Surface would be considered a Tablet in this case so is off the table.
As others have suggested I would be asking some questions of the school over these requirements.

The Error Guy
09-10-2012, 09:48 AM
What chill mentioned about Uni is why I would never use my laptop outside of the design room, no power. These days Uni's are a little more accomodating but dont expect the classrooms to have enough power to go around.

One thing I'd add to your brief is good battery life with acceptable performance settings.

8ftmetalhaed
09-10-2012, 10:47 AM
Why on earth does the school have requirements for something that's optional? That's like saying sure you can participate in this completely optional activity but only if you meet all the non optional requirements.

**** that man, it's your money, it's their devices. Get them a damn netbook or tablet if you can't find a laptop on an awesome special, or wait a bit, save until the budget increases and get them something of use both inside and outside of school now and into the future.

Why in the hell do they set the requirements as such anyway? Don't want their students looking poor or hipster? Or are they wanting to install spying apps on the students' laptops like that one school a couple years ago?

Chilling_Silence
09-10-2012, 11:06 AM
Was an operating system mentioned as part of the requirements? Eg Windows / Mac / Linux?

If no, then screw them, get whatever you want, coz it's clearly not for "Running XYZ required software for connecting to the network, or XYZ for programming class etc"

Nikit07
09-10-2012, 12:10 PM
Lololololo those requirments are stupid! I am a school boy myself and we get a 256 MB STORAGE LIMIT on our accounts! And thats enough for all of us... and the things we do on these laptops could be done on ten year old ones! Check with whoever if you are willing to spend less if these requirmets are really necessary.

The Error Guy
09-10-2012, 04:24 PM
The "Requirements" are probably so people spend and get a decent model rather than some fall apart e machine type unit.

N Wireless will probably be due to the AP's at school operating on the 5GHz Spectrum.

Chilling_Silence
09-10-2012, 05:23 PM
The "Requirements" are probably so people spend and get a decent model rather than some fall apart e machine type unit.

Who cares, if the school isn't responsible for it, doesn't matter if it's slow to fire up Word or Excel :-/ So the kid takes 60 seconds instead of 45 to get started, whoopie! You can still get a crappy build-quality laptop that has those specs...

plod
09-10-2012, 06:05 PM
Who cares, if the school isn't responsible for it, doesn't matter if it's slow to fire up Word or Excel :-/ So the kid takes 60 seconds instead of 45 to get started, whoopie! You can still get a crappy build-quality laptop that has those specs...have you tried using the Internet lately on a 10 year old laptop?

kiwimik
09-10-2012, 07:43 PM
they were very open to any OS, more than happy and in some way s pushed open source software, at the info evening they really pushed open office and a few others

Chilling_Silence
09-10-2012, 08:32 PM
:) I'd still be interested in a Netbook then if it was me, or the Transformer Tablet.