In my previous place everyone had the same budget for their equipment, but they chose whether to have a PC or Laptop.
If it was a laptop, it would have almost certainly been a Toshiba (good build quality, nice and reliable, great service, decent price)
If it was a PC, it would have almost certainly been a HP (as above, good build quality, nice and reliable, great service, decent price)
Prices we allocated
£400 for the hardware (laptop+Carry case, or PC+Monitor+Keyboard+Mouse)
£200 for the licence (Windows 7, Office 2010, Server CALs, Exchange CALs etc)
£60 for 3 year warranty
£60 for 3 year all cover insurance (from water damage to full on smashed in a car to theft etc) - This was paid upfront by the school, but taken out of the teachers wage at a rate of £20 per year (something like £1.66 per month taken out for the insurance).
This is the base rate we worked on for the staff. If they wanted anything better in terms of equipment, we funded up to that point, and they paid the rest on top (with the understanding that after the 3 year period they funded all repairs, and costs etc to run the device and they could keep the device)
We went the other way - all staff where bought a new laptop from central funds...all identical. £349 each - Stone i3s with 3GB RAM, 160GB HD, Usual Mod Cons, 4yr onsite, TPM for Bitlocker encyrption
Usually spend about £500 on staff laptops, seeing as our staff generally look after their laptops and tell me when literally anything goes wrong with them. I got one for £750ish though so I could spec it up to test lab VMs.
We're an all Dell place in terms of laptops/workstations apart my laptop (ThinkPads ftw ) and networking gear.
Must admit, when our LA gave us a Toshiba laptop to trial I was put right off, their build quality certainly didn't feel as good as they used to be.
Toshiba have some good deals on 15.6 inch ones atm on misco, core I3 4gb ram, 320gb hdd at about 340 plus 100 quid cashback
Also, does it have to be a laptop? A desktop PC would be much better value for money if they don't need to move around. A lot of our SMT spend most of their time in one place, so a laptop is a bit pointless.
SMT get the same notebooks as everyone else about £450 a go for the HPs we get. Some of our staff have elected to buy their own which we happily provide as many network services to as we can.
The only exception to the rule is the HT - after all what is the point in being the head if you cant be a little diffrent so in that case he got a £450 Lenovo with a Solid State upgrade.
Now in your case.....most screens now adays are 15.6" widescreen - ramp that down to 1024x768 pixles and it will be more than viewable for anyone.
£350 each or there abouts (models seem to change regularly though) tends to always be one of the cheaper i3 laptops from novatech, recently we've started requesting the hdds be replaced with 60gb SSDs though on purchase. No reason everyone shouldn't have the same thing, can't see the point in wasting money on a member of staff just because they're higher up, end of the day 90% of it's use will be internet + office, not worth doubling the cost.
No special laptops for SMT here, although we're looking at providing them with docking stations, monitors, mice and keyboards after some concerns were raised about health and safety.
Circa 500-550. HP ProBooks at the moment.
If he's doing a lot of timetabling, I'd be more inclined to pick up a 22-24" external monitor so he's got more elbow room.
SMT here get laptops according to individual needs, so the head has an ultra portable AMD netbook for portability, and the deputies have hulking great VAIOs which have big screens for spreadsheet work. Bought to spec rather than price, but I won't spend more than £700 or so on the best laptop needs. Mine was about £400, but has had more RAM and an SSD
I get different laptops depending on what they require, but even the one bought for our new head (had to be 'high spec') came in at £600ish all in
Rest are circa £500
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