Need a new device for school?
Here's some help finding your perfect match
A growing number of schools are adopting a ‘bring your own’ policy, which lets students use their own laptop or tablet in the classroom. This makes it more important than ever to choose the right device for your children. The team at Intel Australia have put together this simple guide to help you pick a great tablet or laptop or even a versatile ‘2 in 1’ device that’s both a tablet and a laptop.

WHAT REALLY MATTERS WHEN YOU‘RE CHOOSING A DEVICE?

Finding the ideal tablet or laptop can be time-consuming. There‘s a lot to consider, but we’re here to help simplify the process for you. Here are our suggestions on what to look for in a great school device.
  • Performance1
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    School apps may sometimes be pretty demanding, especially as you move from one year to the next. Performance usually matches price, so look for devices with great ‘bang for buck.’ Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors are terrific for primary students. If you have the more demanding needs of high school (such as running apps like Adobe Photoshop), you should consider devices running the Intel® Core™ family of processors: the Core™ i3, Core™ i5 and Core™ i7.

    (Not sure what a processor does? See ‘Tech Terms Explained’, below.)

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  • Battery Life2
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    Look for a device that can run for at least six hours before you have to recharge it. If battery life is really vital for your child, consider the very latest models fitted with Intel‘s energy-efficient 4th Generation Core™ processors, which can help stretch battery life even further. Choosing a device with long battery life means your child may get through a full day of lessons without needing the laptop‘s battery charger or a power point.

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  • Weight
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    Those book-laden backpacks are heavy enough, so look for a laptop weighing less than two kilos. The featherweight champ of the laptop world is a special device called an Ultrabook™. These are light and slim designs, while their long battery life2 means your kids rarely need to carry a laptop charger around.

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  • Durability
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    We don‘t need to tell you how rough kids can sometimes be with their stuff! To protect your investment in a BYO device, look for one which uses a solid state drive rather than a conventional hard disk drive. With no moving parts, modern SSD storage is generally more resilient when bumped, knocked or dropped. And don‘t forget to add a good quality carry case to your shopping list.

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  • Wireless networking
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    Most tablets and laptops sold today have built-in wireless networking (also called ‘Wi-Fi’). This lets them ‘plug in’ to the school’s own internet connection. The latest Wi-Fi technology for connecting to wireless networks is called 5GHz and can often give you a better connection with less interference or drop-outs – even in crowded classrooms. Some schools may require 5GHz wireless, so check your school’s requirements before you buy any BYO device. (5GHz Wi-Fi might also be available in your local café, too.)

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  • Storage
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    Documents, photos, video clips, multimedia, apps … they’ll all be fighting for space on your device, especially in high school years. We suggest you look for at least 128GB of storage in any laptop or Ultrabook™, and 32GB in a tablet.

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  • Warranty and Insurance
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    Most tablets and laptops sold in Australia come with a minimum 12-month warranty. However, some schools may require a warranty up to three years with ‘on-site’ service. You may be able to buy an extended warranty package from the device’s manufacturer or retailer. Some schools might also suggest that parents take out an insurance policy as well as an extended warranty, so that the device is covered against accidental damage, loss and theft.

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  • Work vs Play
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    Even for the hardest-working student, it can’t be all about school. For general internet browsing and simple after-school apps, a tablet is usually more than enough. But if your kids like playing more sophisticated games (after their homework, of course!) you’ll probably need to look for a more powerful device.

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