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Laptops forum


Laptop required for 8th grade- suggestions?

by splungee / April 1, 2015 10:57 AM PDT

My son's school is requiring a laptop for next year. The requirements (from the school's email) are as follows:

Seventh and eighth graders are required to bring a fully-charged laptop, in a case, with the power cable, to school each day starting on the first day of the 2015-2016 school year. Laptops may be any brand and model (either Windows or Mac operating system) that fits a family's budget, and must have a full-sized keyboard and screen. In addition, it must meet the basic specifications listed below. Chromebooks are recommended as a less expensive and durable option that can meet our criteria. Each laptop will need to join the school wifi. Google Apps for Education along with other carefully evaluated, educational websites will be the primary online learning tools.

Operating Systems

Windows 8 or above OR Latest Mac OS

Processor Type
at least a Core i3 Processor

Hard Drive
at least: a 500 GB standard hard drive or a 16 GB solid state hard drive OR 128 GB Flash Storage


at least 4 GB RAM

Graphics Card
at least 512 MB Video Memory


an included full-size keyboard is required

Screen size
11 to 13.3 inch LCD display (not larger or smaller than these sizes)

Battery Life

At least 6 hrs. recommended - battery life tends to be a projected number and typically is stated as longer than you will actually see in real use on new computers. This amount of time will give students half a school day of continuous in-use life. Students will be given a secure location and time period mid-day (lunch/recess) to recharge laptops, if necessary.

Make sure that the laptop also has:

at least 1 USB port (depending on what you are purchasing, you may need multiples ports for an external keyboard, mouse, or USB drive)

a built-in microphone

a built-in camera/video camera

built-in speakers

Hebrew stickers on keys and Hebrew typing enabled (school will provide directions!)

an external mouse is optional, and at student's preference

Make sure to purchase a case and accident protection

The case should be protective enough whether the laptop/case is stored in a locker or in a backpack, etc. It may be hard or soft/neoprene, depending on your child's needs.

Accidental Insurance and Comprehensive for breakage, theft, liquid spill, hazards (required) A 3yr. warranty is recommended

Incidentally, I have a Best Buy gift card and would prefer to use it, but this is nbot a sticking point. Any suggestions?

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All Answers

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The school must have models in mind for this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 1, 2015 11:05 AM PDT

Ask them to be specific since it's a big world and what I have in Vancouver, BC may not be there where this school is.

Collapse -
XPS 13?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 1, 2015 11:08 AM PDT seems to meet that list. You'll have to check on extended warranty and more.

One school that had a program you could not get out in the open market had a 4 year plan. You bought it on the school's plan and the warranty was bumped to 4 years and the maker had support on site weekly.

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