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Please recommend me a laptop/notebook for school.

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#1 JKTMum

Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

The secondary school my older two attend has decided to do an electronics trial later this year.

For terms 3 and 4 the kids in year 7 and 10 are allowed to 'Bring Their Own Device' (BYOD) to school for academic purposes. This means that the school is not dictating what device they have to have, but it does have some restrictions. It can be any type of IPad or tablet, or any type of laptop, as long as the screen size is at least 9 inches diagonally (so no Ipad minis or ipods/smartphones), it must have wi-fi capability and have at least 32gb of storage space. It also needs to be able to have a keyboard attachment (either permanent or add-on), an extended 2 year warranty and we need to provide a padded carrying bag.

As I have one child in each of the 'trialling' year levels, I'm up for two devices and the accessories/warranties to go with them. They have said the trial will run for the two terms and then a decision will be made about what will happen the following year. As such I'd prefer not to spend a massive amount (not that we can afford it anyway) on something that may need to be replaced the following year (if they decide to dictate the device the next year and it's not what we have) or it just becomes something they use at home.

So far at home we have an ancient desktop that is only used for games and printing documents as it's really slow and pretty much on it's way out, DS has a large 17 inch laptop (several years old and very heavy so not suitable for carrying to and from school) and I have a slightly smaller laptop which I use, it's a 15 inch one, again not light, but better than DS's.

We dont have ipads or tablets of any type (kids all have ipod touches though).

I think we have pretty much decided that a notebook of some type would be better than an ipad/tablet for flexibilty (ie copying documents on and off and putting on new software). DS is doing a few IT subjects next year and will need something fairly flexible and easy to add software to for his subjects (will be doing lots of word processing too). DD1 will be in year 7 and will also be using it for word processing, not sure what else yet. At this point all their textbooks are real books, not ebooks, so they will still have to use these for the trial period.

Can someone recommend me a good, not to expensive (say $500-$600 max), netbook or notebook or something? It would need to be light weight and have excellent battery life as there wont be the ability for them to charge the device during the day. If the trial goes belly-up and they decide not to continue at least DD1 will be able to have something to help with her homework and DD2 (currently in year 5) will either get DS's old laptop, or the notebook and DS can go back to his old laptop.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. original.gif

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