Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Perfect Solution?

I think it is no surprise that I think our school site should move away from Windows and towards Google & Chrome OS. I also have felt that a Chromebox is the ultimate device for teachers. I have documented my own journey, on this blog, from ditching Windows completely and going all in with a Chromebox this year.

But even though the beauty in Chrome OS is to be able to access your files & work anywhere you have a Chrome browser, some people still want a dedicated laptop. And here is where the struggle begins. You have a certain number of teachers who will never embrace a laptop. The keyboard is smaller, there is no dedicated numeric keypad, screen is too small, etc. And you will have another side that will argue that they need something mobile, so they can take it where ever they go.

I have found a solution that makes both people happy. Unfortunately, this pushes the old budget, but keeps it under $1000 a teacher, which is what I have heard our last laptops cost. My solution is to get a Chromebook that allows for a docking station, like the new HP Chromebook 13 G1.

It is one of the best Chromebooks on the market today, if not the best. I would recommend getting the m3 processor, so that initial cost of the Chromebook is $600. Definitely on the high end. But if you get every teacher the docking station that comes with it, for $150, then you have just turned the laptop into a desktop.

So Chromebook and docking station gets you to $750. You can easily find a monitor, mouse, & Chrome OS keyboard for less that $250. I would guess this set up would be around $900. But you actually now have two devices, a Chromebook (top of the line) & a desktop.

Now I know you might be thinking, just plug in an HDMI cable to it and you are good to go, why waste the extra money on a docking station. The docking station has a lot more going for it. More usb ports, ethernet connection, and 2 display ports. I used a Chromebook last year hooked up via HDMI and it worked, but this seems like a more powerful solution.

Also, why HP? Honestly, I think most Chromebooks are the same. I don't get impressed with shiny designs or other cool things. I care about specs. This is nice because it works with a Chromebook. They are made to go hand in hand. 

Now, the Dell Chromebook 13 is also another Chromebook that could work in this case, 

It is a great solid Chromebook as well. It has the option for a touchscreen for $629. So price range is very similar to the HP Chromebook with no touch. Dell doesn't make a docking station, but Plugable recently announced they have a docking station that works with Chromebooks, right now Dell is the only one, but more are coming.

Their docking station is $100, so the combined cost with a touch screen Chromebook is actually cheaper than the HP. It comes with more usb ports and has a DVI output, which is more compatible with most monitors. The only downside is that this won't charge the device when it is plugged in like the HP will.

But two solutions that gives everyone what they want.

1 comment: