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Hardware Thread, The best educational laptop ever? in Technical; ...
  1. #1
    zag
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    The best educational laptop ever?

    I've been buying laptops for 10 years now in education and gone through a lot of brands and products.

    Basically we need a laptop for teachers that is robust, cheap, thin and quick to turn on. We already give them an option of an iPad if they want so have no interest in touchscreens or frankenstien windows 8 machines

    So is this the best "standard" laptop ever?

    440x330-acer-aspire-timeline-u-me-581tg-main.jpg

    http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/producti...96403-00000001

    Its £334 quid and works really well, very quick to boot and the best thing of all is they seem very very solidly built for such a lightweight machine. Not had a single one break yet.

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    It being an Acer, I'd be nervous about the 1 year Warranty. Did you get a bolt on to extend it?

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    you have to look at the laptop 3 years after you bought it to know if it was really any good. Most of mine were not. (the old Acer Travelmate T212 was the most robust!)

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    Guess Acer changed a lot since we last used them? Our experience was that their machines were garbage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Guess Acer changed a lot since we last used them? Our experience was that their machines were garbage.
    Ditto Acer were not good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Guess Acer changed a lot since we last used them? Our experience was that their machines were garbage.
    we used to think that but after moving to hp its amazing how many of those die out of warranty and acers while never fast/well built still work years later when the hp's they replaced are long dead i keep thinking its time to give them a go again

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTDirect_Dave View Post
    It being an Acer, I'd be nervous about the 1 year Warranty. Did you get a bolt on to extend it?
    Time will tell I guess. We've bought 200+ of the previous Acer TimelineX models over the last 3 years and not had many problems.

    I've never used a warranty, we buy a few extra machines with each order to use as spares. Its mostly better value than paying for 3 year warranties assuming the build quality is OK in the first place.

    Acer always used to have a problem with backlights dieing, but this model doesn't seem to have that problem (yet)...
    Last edited by zag; 15th April 2013 at 01:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post

    Its £334 quid and works really well, very quick to boot and the best thing of all is they seem very very solidly built for such a lightweight machine. Not had a single one break yet.
    I could beat the price is you wish

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    Another avoid for acers by me last batch died without fail 1 year 1 week.
    Our HPs have been great however the probook's are worth the extra wouldn't buy any cheap ones

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    We have over 200 Acer laptops here, they are rock solid reliable laptops. We still have 2 laptop trollys from 2006 with 2006 Acer travelmates 4222's still in them and running fine. Just batteries now struggling to hold charge. I can count on 1 hand the amount of Acers that have died. The 50 or so HP's we bought in 2008/2009 have all been binned now (HP 550/530/6720s) ranging from constantly over heating, freezing and onboard LAN just giving up.

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    At the same spec - perhaps 0.25kg heavier and a much cheaper £241.65 these Fujitsu AH512's are good value:
    Fujitsu AH512 Lifebook - Laptops | Ebuyer.com

    They also have a good battery life, and most parts on them are quite high quality ones made by other manufacturers.

    As for warranty, at this price its cheaper to save money on warranties and just buy a brand new one if it breaks and is unrepairable.
    Also remembering the warranty does not cover the screens and other accidental damage which is more likely to occur, rather than hardware failure after 2 or 3 years.

  12. Thanks to CommodoreS from:

    zag (16th April 2013)

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    witch's Avatar
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    I had a good look at the Fujitsus at BETT and was pleasantly surprised by the build quality.

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    Have bought many laptops over the years and Acer have been pretty good. Not perfect, but I don't think any laptops ever will be unless you are prepared to buy Toughbooks for a couple of grand a pop. I do remember us having a lot of Fujitsu laptops when the laptops for teachers scheme first kicked off and the build quality was very good, but they were quite expensive compared to others.

    We generally go for as cheap as possible now to get maximum value for money, spending extra per unit doesn't seem to pay off in longevity terms. Also until teachers have some personal investment in keeping their laptop in good condition, they are always going to get hammered (obviously there is the odd exception to this, from one extreme to another).

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommodoreS View Post
    At the same spec - perhaps 0.25kg heavier and a much cheaper £241.65 these Fujitsu AH512's are good value:
    Fujitsu AH512 Lifebook - Laptops | Ebuyer.com

    They also have a good battery life, and most parts on them are quite high quality ones made by other manufacturers.

    As for warranty, at this price its cheaper to save money on warranties and just buy a brand new one if it breaks and is unrepairable.
    Also remembering the warranty does not cover the screens and other accidental damage which is more likely to occur, rather than hardware failure after 2 or 3 years.
    Sadly that looks about twice as thick as the acer I posted otherwise its a great deal.

    I agree though with the concept of finding cheap laptops with good build quality.

    High specifications on a laptop are pointless these days really.
    Last edited by zag; 16th April 2013 at 09:46 AM.

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    I would avoid dell vostro - had problems with trackpads not to mention issues with getting decent prices.
    Novatech have been pretty good.
    Whatever you get putting SSD drives in will be biggest performance improvement.



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