If you are considering a Windows or Macintosh computer, it is recommended that you purchase a model with at least 8 GB of RAM. While Chromebooks can operate on 4 GB, Windows and Mac systems perform much better with more RAM. A 4 GB system may not meet the needs of your student(s). Additionally, more storage is recommended for these systems -- 500 GB or better Hard Disk Drive (HHD) or perferably a newer Solid State Drive (SSD).
- Buying a laptop or Desktop computer can be tricky as there are many things to consider. One of the first questions you will need to answer is whether you want a Windows or Mac computer. ECSD is a Windows school district, so if you want your students to use a device that is similar to what they would use in school, you will want to purchase a Windows computer.
- You will want to consider screen size, whether the screen is a touch screen, amount of RAM, Processor type and speed, Operating System (OS) version, included software (like Microsoft Office), webcam/microphone, Wi-Fi and/or LAN connection, and more.
- Entry level laptops are $600 or less. Mainstream laptops are in the $600-$1000 range. Desktops are often cheaper than laptops, but lack portability for those students who need to take a device to and from school.
- Often, laptops off the shelf at Walmart, SAMS Club, Best Buy and other retailers are good purchases. Amazon and other online retailers may also offer good deals.
- When making a purchase it is important to pay attention to the reviews. If you find a make and model that you are interested in, check the reviews on multiple websites for that device. Pay attention to the number of reviews in addition to the ratings. If a device has thousands of reviews and good or great ratings then the device is probably a safe purchase. If the device has 100 or less reviews but they are all great the device may still be good, but you may need to be cautious with so few reviews.
- If you are set on a laptop, but on a tight budget, you may want to consider local resellers. These businesses offer laptops that have been used, but have been refurbished for resale. One such local shop is RePowerIT in Guyton.
- If you purchase a refurbished computer, please keep in mind that these devices may already be older and have limited life remaining.
- If you have a laptop that is older (Check here to see if your device is compatible) and you are a bit tech savvy or know someone who is, you may want to consider using CloudReady Neverware to give the old laptop new life as a Chromebook. Please understand that if you do this, anything that is on your laptop will be erased completely.
- Some articles that may help you are: