BYOD Buyers Guide

Primary School Buyers Gude

What size?

First things first - how big does this device have to be? This question is always discussed in relation to screen size which is measured diagonally in inches. If you are looking at getting a laptop, you should be looking at a screen size of between 11 and 13 inches. Any larger moves you into unwieldy territory and any smaller can make it hard to be productive.

As for tablets, you are looking at two main categories - 7-inch screens (which include the 7 inch Samsung Tab 3 Lite VE) and 10-inch screens. With the HD screen arms race producing screens with amazingly-high resolution across both sizes, the real decision is form (small and pocketable) versus function (bigger screens make reading/viewing/browsing easier).

So which one suits your needs?

Within each brand's laptop family are usually several similar models that vary in power, capacity and a range of other features. Picking one that suits your needs can be a bit of a pain though. Do you go for a budget unit with limited capabilities, a high-powered top-end laptop that can play the latest games without breaking a sweat, or something in between?

That's a question only you can answer, but first it's a good idea to narrow down how you intend to use your laptop. If you want to take it with you on-the-go a lot, you'll want something thin, light and easy to carry – an ultraportable. If you want something to give you all the power of a desktop computer while being transportable with relative ease, go for a multimedia powerhouse. Most other laptops fall somewhere in between. Here's a broad guide to entry-level, mid-range and high-end models:

  • Entry level: These low-cost laptops are relatively low-powered, but quite capable of most general computing tasks like web browsing, email and general word processing. They can handle most basic multimedia tasks – like video streaming – and are best suited to casual users and students.
  • Mid-range: Aimed at regular computer users, families, students and business people. Mid-range computers can run most software and games, but may struggle a bit with high-end functions like video editing and games that require fast graphics processing.
  • High-end: For serious computer types that like to push their systems with intensive computing tasks like editing video and audio, 3D rendering and high-end games, these are obviously the ones to go for.

Content creation or content consumption?(Laptop or tablet)

The terms laptop and notebook are generally considered interchangeable in reference to portable computers. But there are several subcategories to consider:

  • Ultraportables are small, powerful but relatively expensive laptops. Ultrabooks are a subcategory of ultraportables with special features including increased security.
  • Netbooks are small and cheap, but relatively low performance.
  • Chromebooks look like a laptop but run only the Chrome operating system, not Windows, and require a constant connection to the internet.
  • Hybrids (also called convertibles or 2-in-1s) offer the look and feel of a laptop plus the versatility of a tablet, usually via a removable screen or one that folds back 180 degrees, but they're relatively expensive.

Let's be clear, this is NOT the only opinion on the subject - plenty of educators will tell you that tablets are fine for content creation, but touch-typing is an essential ability, and laptops are still open enough that you can tweak and modify their hardware and software - another important life skill.

What operating system?

Once you've made the above decisions, your choice of OS(operating system) is really a two-horse race with an outlier in each field. In the tablet category we have Android versus iOS with Windows wandering around in the background, whereas in laptop it's Windows (including Google's Chrome OS).

OK, so now you've answered these questions you are probably trying to figure out what to buy. we've put together a list of a few suggestions that would be best suitable for your child and there needs.(All reviews are independent and no influenced in anyway)

Laptops - 11-inch

Chromebook

Tablet