Which Device?

We wish to encourage students to have devices that are adequate for school and classroom use. If considering a device to purchase we encourage you to consider a product that includes these features to ensure your son has the greatest possible access to the educational resources that will support and enhance learning. The type of device that you consider will also relate to the type of subjects that your son studies, particularly in the senior school. Device configurations change regularly, as do prices.

Model Considerations

Is this the student’s main, or a secondary device?  Is specialist software, or alternatives, required/desired for particular courses?

  • Some tablets will provide students with a limited learning tool and can be used as an information consumption device.
  • A laptop or tablet with a full operating system and keyboard provides students with a comprehensive learning tool. This provides the greatest flexibility, and will tend to have a longer usable life.
  • Models change frequently and there are now a number of hybrid tablet/laptop devices.

Recommended Specifications

  • Screen 10” or larger (12″ is better)
  • An  external keyboard
  • A full operating system – eg Windows 10
  • A minimum of 5 hours of use from one battery charge (there is limited ability for recharging)
  • Rugged hard shell or suitable protective case
  • Microsoft Office installed  – this is available free for all Westlake Students

Other Considerations

  • Suitable for carrying in terms of weight (the lighter the better) (Preferrably <2kg)
  • Battery life – Check the battery life on the model. Five hours should be considered the bare minimum as there is limited ability for recharging batteries at school. Using a SSD (Solid state drive) can help increase battery life, but adds to the cost
  • Processor Speed – These vary – i3 to i5 models are faster.
  • Graphics – High end applications may require dedicated graphics memory – these are more expensive
  • Optical Drives – these are no longer considered essential

Common Device Types

These are the most common options considered, although options change frequently

Tablets – iPad, Android – Ultraportable with good battery life. Limited wordprocessing capabilities and keyboard is usually onscreen. Applications limited to reduced features, although frequently a wide range in app stores. Backup, storage and file transfer can be challenging. Not the equivalent of a laptop. Prices range from $400 – $1200

Entry Level Laptop – Slower. Able to use one application at a time. Limited space for installation. – Good for research and wide range of functions.
Example specifications:  Lenovo N22 Semi-Rugged design Education Notebook 11.6″ Intel Celeron N3050 4GB 64GB SSD NO-DVD Win10Pro 64bit

Recommended Laptop Configuration – Suitable for research and most functions
Example specifications: Acer Travelmate B117 Win10 Pro Academic, Intel Celeron N3160, 4 GB, 128GB SSD – 3yr Warranty – 3 year Insurance – Air Protect Sleeve

Performance Laptop – Suitable for graphics applications
Example Specifications: Acer Aspire V3-372-56V8 Home Student Notebook 13.3″ Intel i5-6200U 4GB DDR3L 128GB SSD NO-DVD Win10Home 64bit 1yr warranty

UltraBook Equivalent – High performance. Light and Powerful
Example specifications: HP Probook 430 G4 SSD Business Notebook 13.3″ Touch Intel i7-7500U 8GB 256GB SSD Win10Pro 64bit NO-DVD 1yr – No support for Windows 7

Upgrades – Consider the following upgrade options: Light strong aluminium case, faster processor (i5 or i7), extended battery life, use of SSD (Solid state drives) which supplement or replace hard drives and extended battery life.

What about ChromeBook? – The Chromebook does not have a full operating system, has limited accessibility to our core technologies including Office365 and does not have a client version of OneNote.

Some Sample Devices with Indicative Costs

The link http://wbhs.nz/currentmodels, shows some current models available from organisations that we work with. In some cases preferential pricing is available, but always pays to check standard and special pricing that occurs from time to time. Our sheet will not necessarily include this.

Some organisations also provide insurance for accidental damage and theft as well as warranty for up to three years.