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Dell Unveils Rugged Laptop For Education
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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3/6/2014 | 4:42:49 PM
Rugged?
Is it really "rugged" or is it just less easily broken than the typical laptop? I'd like to see a line of "fragile" or "dainty" laptops for high tea.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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3/6/2014 | 4:49:45 PM
Re: Rugged?
Certainly not as rugged as the ones built for field use, but Dell says they meet military drop specifications, so it sounds like the new notebooks should take a decent beating. I've never taught a class of computer-toting elementary school students, so I'm not sure how often devices get damaged, and how important the extra durability is. Ruggedness is certainly a factor to consider, but if I were buying for a one-to-one classroom deployment, I'm not sure it's the first thing I'd prioritize. But as the article mentions, that's why Dell is also selling Chromebooks and several different kinds of tablets.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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3/6/2014 | 4:53:45 PM
Chrome
I wonder what Microsoft's reaction was to the Chrome OS option.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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3/6/2014 | 5:00:33 PM
Re: Chrome
I suppose Microsoft can take some satisfaction in the fact that Windows still accounts for most of Dell's line-up-- both the Venue Pro tablets run Windows 8.1, and the Latitude 13 can be either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. But they also have an Android-based Venue tablet and the Chromebook, and in discussing the education slate, company reps made sure to emphasize the full spectrum of offerings.

Microsoft's recent ads have attacked Chromebooks more than iPads, though, so I think it's safe to say Microsoft's not thrilled. The upcoming Windows update is supposed to enable OEMs to produce low-cost devices, which can be seen as a reaction to Chrome's invasion of Microsoft's turf.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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3/6/2014 | 5:29:19 PM
Re: Rugged?
...requiring the user to type with pinky extended upward.
WKash
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WKash,
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3/6/2014 | 5:29:56 PM
Re: Rugged?
It probably wasn't too hard for Dell, which had knew what it takes to pass military drop specs, to take some of hardened tech and reapply it.  Funny when you think how there's a whole aftermarket to protect smartphones and virtually nothing like it for laptops.  That said, a little more rugged unit might be worth the price compared to what retailers charge for add on insurance.

 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
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3/7/2014 | 12:11:06 AM
What about funding?
I don't know how many school districts can afford $539a
student - and that's just for starters.
 
I was involved with a project in one of the after school
centers in Boston where we'd get hold of cast off computers
and get them working again. We installed Ubuntu on the
machines, which even the obsolete cast off's could handle.
The beauty of it was that the machines were plenty good for
wordprocessing and learing how to use the internet, but WAY
too weak for gaming. Plus, that operating system is made for
tinkers; there is tons of free software installable at a
push of a button. Everyone became internet savvy, and a
couple of kids REALLY Took Off.

The cost? They bought us pizza!
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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3/7/2014 | 6:55:18 AM
Re: Rugged?
I find it interesting, and the price pretty good. If I'm buying just for my kid I don' t know that the rugged factor is essential, but if I'm buying "by the cart" for a school, I think rugged is key
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/7/2014 | 7:05:13 AM
Re: What about funding?
That's a fascinating volunteer project Gary, thanks for sharing your creativity
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/7/2014 | 7:05:14 AM
Re: What about funding?
That's a fascinating volunteer project Gary, thanks for sharing your creativity
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