Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Perfect Student Laptop

I've been talking to several students about our school's upcoming laptop program and many are not that excited about it because they are not looking forward to carrying around a heavy laptop in addition to all of their books, binders, notebooks, and other school materials. I completely understand where they are coming from.

Considering this scenario, I think there will be a premium in the first few years of our laptop program on form factor. This convertible tablet PC from 2GOPC very well might be the best student laptop option given the fact that there will be a premium on a device that is light, durable, easy to carry, flexible, highly portable, and inexpensive.

What are your thoughts? Given that next year our students will be adding laptop computers to their already exploding backpack sizes, what computer do you think will be the "perfect" student laptop for students in grades 6-12 (ages 12-18)?

NOTE: Our laptop program is built on an open, OS agnostic model. Students and families are permitted to choose the OS and form factor (from netbook to full size laptop) that will work best for them (their system must meet a few basic minimum requirements that we've specified).


  1. If they're adding laptops, what are they subtracting from their backpacks?

  2. Russ, that conversation hasn't happened-at least in any systematic way. I think the backbacks for the students are going to get bigger before they get smaller. I'm hopeful that in years 2 and 3 of our laptop program we'll start to see the backpacks beginning to get smaller.

    I do know of one teacher who is going to require a smaller, thinner, and lighter paperback version of her US History text instead of the traditional heavy, hardcover text that she has used in the past. We currently have a few teachers who maintain a classroom textbook set and then tell the students to leave their personal textbooks at home as well.

  3. I have the non-convertible version of the 2Go. It's allright, but our Lenovo netbook is far better. The 2Go key size is tiny.


  4. Matt, We've had an OS agnostic model for 11 years. We started off with 70% Windows and 30% Mac. We are now at 90+% Mac. The kids love the new aluminum MacBooks. Can't say the backpacks have gotten much lighter, but I don't hear the complaints that we used to hear. I don't think as many textbooks are being carried around as used to be. Many now have online versions which allow the paper copy to be left at home or in the locker except when really needed.

  5. Thanks for leaving the comment, Fred. You must have had some VERY interesting debates and conversations in the years leading up to your visionary decision-those were the years of some pretty intense OS debates. The decision to be OS agnostic at this point in time is really only natural-a survey of our students showed that roughly 70% already owned a mac or a windows based PC. And with our core academic systems (Google apps, moodle) available through the web, it really only made sense.

  6. I think that education is headed for the paperless age where all a student needs is a laptop and an reliable internet connection. The internet redefined cost effective training solutions in terms of available resources and delivery of curriculum. For your question on what type of laptop they should invest in, I say get a netbook. Its cheap, easy to carry and with cloud based applications, all you really need now is a browser.