Choosing the best Chromebook for your school, students and curriculum can be difficult when the options seem endless. Before considering the best model, consider the overall benefits of Chromebooks:
- They can be turned on in 8 seconds, and often last 8 hours
- Any frustration with a netbook’s poor internet connectivity or tablets’ lack of keyboard now have a similar, but better alternative.
- The Chrome browser is one of the most secure browsers around
- The Chrome OS has nothing for a virus to attach to as it’s not a typical OS
Interface recently reported Auckland’s Carmel College’s enthusiasm for Chromebooks. After considering a range of alternatives including Apple iPads, netbooks, and Android tablets to roll out its 1:1 programme, the school eventually opted for the Chromebook based on a successful trial and its low cost. It was also a good fit as the school had already been using Google Apps for Education.
So! Chromebooks sounds great, but which model will you choose?
1. Dell Chromebook 11
The Dell Chromebook 11 starting at USD$279 (AU$350), is affordable, has a long battery life, two USB 3.0 ports and falls in line with the specs already set by other Chrome laptops on the market. It’s has a hardy shell, perfect for students who throw their computer around in their schoolbag.
2. Toshiba Chromebook 2
For $418, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 boasts more RAM and a full HD 1080p screen and Skullcandy speakers making it a superior model in its class. This model works perfectly for students as both a school and recreational computer, saving on purchasing a home laptop for streaming and movies along with a school model. Make sure you’re planning on using the Google ecosystem though, as it is an expensive choice if you decide to use Windows.
3. Acer Chromebook 13
Powered by Nvidia’s ARM Cortex A15-based Tegra K1, this Chromebook is impressive for a smaller unit. Its size and 1.5kg light weight makes it one of the most portable models, perfect for younger children with heavy schoolbags. It only comes in 1 colour and has a slightly clunky keyboard, but for $330, this featherlight model is worth the compromise.
4. HP Chromebook 11
The HP Chromebook 11, with pricing starting from $440, feels strong and solid, yet remains on the affordable end of the scale – perfect for parents with multiple children needing Chromebooks for school. The Chrome OS is limited on this model, but as apps continue to develop, these limitations are encountered less and less. This Chromebooks will appeal to students who have used a Macbook Pro or Samsung ATIV Book 9, as the UX and feel are similar.
5. Acer Chromebook C720
Starting from $440, this is the perfect choice for web browsing and office-applications, ideal to stop distracted teenagers procrastinating during homework time! The C720 features an Intel Celeron 2955U CPU running at 1.40 GHz. It uses the Haswell micro-architecture and built on a 22 nm process. With a long battery life, a personalised Google account login and interface, this lightweight model is a simple yet effective machine.
The OS is basic though, so look elsewhere if you want to use Photoshop filters, do video editing, or play 3D games.