Laptop Options Monday, April 07, 2008

With laptop computers now available below €500, they make a great option for schools to bring computers into the classroom instead of a computer lab. Ideally schools should purchase laptop trolleys, I am unsure how widely available these are in Ireland but any trolley with a lock should do. I would suggest adding enough sockets for each laptop and place a wireless printer on top for classroom printing. This trolley can then be moved from classroom to classroom.

Dell sells very reasonable and powerful laptops, the Dell Inspiron 1525 start at €479 from Dell.ie including VAT and delivery. The large 15.4" screen will enable two, three or four students to work together comfortably and the large keyboard is easier for kids to use. The only suggestion I would have is to spend an extra €50 for the extra 1GB of memory bringing the total to 2GB, recommend for Windows Vista. Read recent review on SiliconRepublic.com

I suggest Dell as from my own experience they offer a very good laptop solution. PC World or your local dealer should be able to offer similar specification laptops at the €500 price point.

One compact laptop that is getting a lot of attention lately is the Asus Eee PC which is due for release later this year and will retail for about €400 including Windows XP. Due to the small screen (800x480) and small hard drive (8GB) on this laptop I would not recommend it for school use. The small screen is only suitable for one student to use at a time and looking at a 7" or 9" screen over extended periods can strain the eyes. Due to the screen size, low spec and lack of CD/DVD drive some software titles for education may not work correctly either. Indeed our software will need to be updated to work with the small screens, if there is demand I will look into providing a version for the Asus Eee PC.

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