Chromebooks or Laptops?

Laptops or Chromebooks – which is best for my class?

Every year more of our uses of computers become available on the web. This makes it possible to use a less powerful device (a Chromebook) and still accomplish much of our work.  Instead of logging into the SD28 network, Chromebook users only log into Google, making for a very fast login and allowing students to continue their work at home.  Chromebooks also have long battery life, usually lasting at least a full day.  The disadvantages are that they do not access the SD28 network and cannot be used for any purpose involving personal information.

Laptop users can also use G-Suite.  Any student using G-Suite (Google Docs, Drive, Gmail, etc) must have a signed permission form, including a parent signature for grades K-8.  No personal information can be saved to G-Suite.

It is easy to move documents between G-Suite and Microsoft Office.

A Chromebook is not a replacement for a teacher’s classroom computer and students will still need access to some normal computers (desktop or laptop), but for much of their work a Chromebook will suffice. At this point we do not support printing from Chromebooks.

We expect that managing a bank of Chromebooks will be significantly easier for both classroom teachers and Computer Services.  As shown in the table below, there are many factors to consider when selecting a laptop or Chromebook. Schools should not consider ordering Chromebooks for teachers with no experience with Google G-Suite.

Feature

Laptops

Chromebooks

Runs Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

Yes

No

Runs other Windows programs

Yes

No

Browses the web with Google Chrome

Yes

Yes

Runs Google G-Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.)

Yes

Yes

Startup time

~ 2 minutes

~20 seconds

Battery life

1-3 hours

7-10 hours

Print to SD28 printers

Yes

Possibly in the future, but not this year

Save files on SD28 network

Yes – With MS Office

Yes – With  G-Suite

No

Work on same documents at home and at school
(or anywhere with Internet access)

Yes - With G-Suite
No – With MS Office

Yes

Share documents for collaborative work

Yes - With G-Suite
No – With MS Office

Yes

Save files with personal information

Yes – With MS Office

No

Require signed parent permission for K-8 or signed student form for 9-12

Only if signing into Google

Yes

Save files in Google Drive (no personal information)

Yes

Yes

Send and receive email with Groupwise or Gmail

Yes

Yes

Run Google Chrome Apps

Yes

Yes

Time for Computer Services to set up

2 hours

20 minutes

Can be repaired by Computer Services

Often

Unlikely

Requires annual re-imaging by Computer Services

Usually

No

Weight

2-3 lbs

3-5 lbs

Users must log into:

SD28 Network (and possibly Google Cloud)

Google cloud

Price (for student use)

Off-lease (3 years old) $350 - $400

New
$200 - $350


 
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