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Hardware Thread, Laptops for pupils use in Technical; Yo! Well SMT has decided that they dont want a trolley of Netbooks they want a trolley of Laptops soooo.... ...
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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Laptops for pupils use

    Yo!

    Well SMT has decided that they dont want a trolley of Netbooks they want a trolley of Laptops soooo....

    What model would you recommend? We use a lot of Toshiba's in school so i think that's the company they'd most trust.

    Any recommendations? What do you use?

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Speak to Simon at CPLtd, he's just given me a quote for some toshibas
    Last edited by alan-d; 20th May 2009 at 03:57 PM. Reason: typo

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    CPLTD (20th May 2009), Little-Miss (21st May 2009)

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    kevbaz's Avatar
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    We dont touch toshibas with a barge pole anymore, acer, lenovo and hp have been our best performers to date with the hp's being the least troublesome of the lot

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    Batman's Avatar
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    If you're definitely after netbooks then we've just bought a batch of MSI Wind U100 netbooks. I'm not a fan of netbooks, but these do seem like the best of a bad bunch. Much nicer than the ASUS eeepc.

    If you're going to go down the full laptop route, I would advise you to be cautious. We have eleven laptop trolleys around the school. The ones used by the 6th form have been really good, but we've found that they're horrible to maintain when the main school kids get hold of them. There's a bit of vandalism sometimes but it's not all malicious, they're just cack handed and we've always got one or two in the office with scratched screens, keys missing and the like waiting for spare parts.

    The laptops get used somewhere by someone in just about every lesson so the consensus amongst the technical staff here is that we'd have been better off turning a few classrooms into computer suites. That would be more efficient too, it takes a fair chunk of time out of a lesson getting the laptops out and switched on, and it's quite disruptive when the kids haven't charged them all. In a computer suite every thing's already set up and they can just get on with their work, it's easier to maintain for us, if we want to image them we can just go in and do it. To be honest the laptops are so lacklustre in the performance department when using network profiles over wireless that our Sun Ray thin clients are much better from a user's point of view.

    Currently my boss is getting quotes for power supplies for five trolleys, as the cables have been yanked about, resulting in the strain relief on the plug splitting and a lot of the power supplies have bare wires showing. We've got to replace 84 power supplies, although we're probably going to get 100 because there's a price break! They're about 24 each... I'm sure you can do the maths; it's a horrific amount of money, we never have to spend that much on our computer suites. The problem could have been avoided in part if the laptops had rear power sockets not side power sockets, so I'd definitely recommend checking this before you get them. If they are side entry, at least check the plugs are right angled.

    Agree with what's been said about HP, they're good, but I would say that all manufacturers have differing models, some more robust than others - so choose carefully. Dell tend to be fairly consistent in the robustness department, my wife's cheap Dell Inspiron 1300 was ugly but it was pretty tough at the same time; a lot of their low end Vostro models are similar in this regard.

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    User3204's Avatar
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    You have to go for the ones that have the "crash barriers", auto-locking disks, drip-though keyboards, and whatever. As if anyone is going to break them, the students will, they will break them more than the staff will.
    We have Toshiba for the students, because they have all of the above, but so do the Lenovo Thinkpads, which have the added bonus of looking no different than they did 20 years ago, so no-one like them, (and they're not likely to get nicked). So we have Lenovo for the Staff.


    You will need to setup some policies on their use, who will be responsible for them (you don't want it to be you, but is there anyone else you can really trust with them) ?
    Who is going to be able to borrow them?
    How often ?
    Where they will be stored ? Is that place safe enough, will they be covered by the insurance?
    How many spares will you get (we have 3 spare per 12 unit trolley - slightly overkill now, but it will make sense in 3 years time) ?

    Who gets the keys for the trolley ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevbaz View Post
    We dont touch toshibas with a barge pole anymore, acer, lenovo and hp have been our best performers to date with the hp's being the least troublesome of the lot
    Our Laptops4Pupils are all Toshibas and I have to say that I agree with you. They are falling to pieces and are a big headache for us.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Miss View Post
    Yo!

    Well SMT has decided that they dont want a trolley of Netbooks they want a trolley of Laptops soooo....

    What model would you recommend? We use a lot of Toshiba's in school so i think that's the company they'd most trust.

    Any recommendations? What do you use?
    Hiya Little-Miss,

    Toshiba is a superb brand to go with , Especially with there reliability refund warranty,
    It really shows confidence in a brand when they are prepared to refund and repair/replace the laptop if anything goes wrong with them in the 3 yrs of ownership,
    We have also noticed the great support they offer, As we have partnered with most vendors in the notebook/desktop industry we have noted all feedback from our customer base and the companies that come out on top are Toshiba and Lenovo, the ones that have great products but there support needs improvement are Dell,HP,ACER. We are yet to experience any feedback from Fujitsu as the call for that brand of product is really low,
    The only point I would mention is that when purchasing a laptop for education generally its not to go for the highest spec , a simple Pentium Dual Core 2.0ghz 2GB 120GB HD is more than enough for the software they are using in educational nowadays , its the battery life that is normally coming in first place, Batteries normally come in 3,6,8 or 9 cell variates and the higher the cell the more the money , Toshiba dont make many nine cell laptops normally its 3 or 6 if your lucky, HP usually 6 or 8 but Dell can be bespoked to your needs so they have an advantage of the others unless you can ask HP for a special build that is which isnt as easy,

    Just a few pointers from my experience with laptops so I hope it helps and obviously be sure to pm me if you like some comparison quotes hun,

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Our Laptops4Pupils are all Toshibas and I have to say that I agree with you. They are falling to pieces and are a big headache for us.
    Would be insteresting to know the year they was made, I mean all laptops will start to fall over years but it would be great to comparison the older technology and pastics to whats around today.

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Unfortunately i have been through all of the above advice with my many chiefs.

    The one is adament that we are having laptops so no chance of netbooks there.

    It's not coming from my budget so im going to let them learn from their own mistakes im afraid. I looked after 4 trolleys in my last school and they were an absolute nightmare!!

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    The questions I keep asking are "Why?" and "What's it for?".

    Sometimes this comes across in the wrong way, they think I'm just bein obstructive, but if they can't explain what it is they want to use the machines to do, then they're not really going to use them very well.
    Get someone to make up a lesson plan for their use.

    The Science departments in our school have bought 60 netbooks, out of their own budget, and they will be supporting them themselves, the only things I will do for them are:
    1. pay the MS licences
    2. pay the Antivirus/spyware licences
    3. allow them to connect to the wireless, and actually configure the original image to do so.

    The rest is up to them. They want to use them as a data logging device, and it was cheaper to buy netbooks than the alternative devices they were looking at. But I am sceptical about them needing 60, and they bought no spares.

    I had a similar issue last year with another dept, that wanted laptops, despite me telling them that the wireless coverage in their rooms was awful, and would cause them no end of trouble. They bought them, and guess what, they keep losing connection to the wireless.



    The trouble with the Toshibas is the only ones worth getting start at about 600, they sell other lower spec ones, but these will break, as they're not designed for the heavy use you get from students.

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    I'm in the same situation at the moment as the junior school IT suite is needed for extra classroom space we are looking at converting it to a mobile solution. Orignally they wanted laptops but i think i've convinced them to look at netbooks instead, the new Dell Latitude 2100 look ideal, especially with the carry strap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPLTD View Post
    Would be insteresting to know the year they was made, I mean all laptops will start to fall over years but it would be great to comparison the older technology and pastics to whats around today.
    These laptops are brand new (well, given out as brand new earlier this year, though I suspect they may have been in a warehouse for some time). They are the Satellite Pro A200. Apart from the usual mess-ups you get from these situations such as someone setting a start up password in bios and forgetting it (and being asked an exhorbitant amount to reset it), we've had power failures and hdd failures.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    These laptops are brand new (well, given out as brand new earlier this year, though I suspect they may have been in a warehouse for some time). They are the Satellite Pro A200. Apart from the usual mess-ups you get from these situations such as someone setting a start up password in bios and forgetting it (and being asked an exhorbitant amount to reset it), we've had power failures and hdd failures.
    As the laptops are in the first year of warranty have the problems been delt with by either your supplier or Toshiba themselves ?

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    Also in regards to toshiba after the extended plug in/plug out of the chargers the pins have started braking off inside of them.

    Although i have to say the sat pro's seem to be well built (enough that i bought an amd64 version for myself) and it has a muhhassive hinge so no chance of the usual hinge damage.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossj View Post
    Also in regards to toshiba after the extended plug in/plug out of the chargers the pins have started braking off inside of them.

    Although i have to say the sat pro's seem to be well built (enough that i bought an amd64 version for myself) and it has a muhhassive hinge so no chance of the usual hinge damage.
    which model did you have that problem with ?

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