As of 26 October 2016
Choice Within Parameters:
We believe that by allowing students choice within certain parameters helps increase the sense of ownership and engagement with their device and therefore their proficiency in using it.
A “Full” Operating System:
Whilst we have promoted choice for our students, we have some minimum requirements, and that is for a “full” operating system. This means:
- Windows 10
- Apple’s MacOS
By inference, this excludes Operating Systems such as Apples’ iOS (commonly found on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches) and Google’s Android or Chrome OS (commonly found on various tablets, smart phones and chromebooks).
If a student has a full operating system then generally they can overcome most compatibility issues that may present themselves.
It also means that our teachers can plan with confidence that the student devices will support certain applications or file formats they choose to use. Additionally, students of St Andrew's College qualify for a free copy of MS Office 2016 (desktop version and online version), then this is another reason to be running a “full” operating system (for instructions click here).
St Andrew's College have partnered with Cyclone to create a recommended range of devices and this can be seen and purchased here:
There is some important points to note about these machines:
- They all have 3 year warranties (typically adds $200-$300 to the cost of the device)
- The Windows devices are all “business machines”, rather than consumer level laptops. This means:
- The build quality is far more robust than a consumer level laptop, particularly sub-$1000 devices.
- The hinges are stronger on the screen
- They come with 3 year warranty by default
- These all come with Solid State Disks (SSD) which increase speed and battery life.
- The Apple devices, which already have remarkably good construction for what is a “consumer” device, have had their warranties extended to 3 years.
- They also come with Solid State Disks (SSD) which increase speed and battery life.
What About Tablets?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a Tablet with a 12” screen, running Windows 10 and has outstanding “inking” capabilities meaning the ability to write on the screen and also convert that writing to typed text is very good.
The keyboards that come with these Pro 4 devices are also very good and would be strongly recommended if you are considering a Windows based tablet.
Generic Hardware Recommendations:
If you are considering purchasing a device independently, you should be looking for the following specifications:
- Operating System:
- Windows 10
- MacOS Sierra (10.12.x)
- Solid State Disk (SSD) instead of traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
- SSD are much faster and provide longer battery life
- 128GB minimum
- Memory /RAM:
- 4GB minimum, 8GB reccomended
- Processor CPU:
- Intel i5 recommended
- Screen Size:
- 11” minimum
- 15” maximum
- Wireless 802.11n/ac
- Laptop must support 5Ghz wifi
- Battery Life:
- Ideally six+ hours on a single charge