S2E6: Back to School#Podcast

Back To School

In This Episode:

Chuck is Back!

Technology in Education with Chromebooks vs Windows vs iPads in schools

Statistics (where we got our data)


More Stats: In 2013, Macs and iPads made up half of all technology purchases for schools K – 12.

Still more stats:

Now in 2017, the tables have turned: Google has made a strong showing and now

58% Chromebooks (k-12), 22% Windows, and 19% (both iOS and macOS devices)

That is why Microsoft and Apple both have come out with new products to try and compete.

Microsoft released the Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S. 10 S is a limited version of Windows that will only run apps from the Microsoft App Store, which means if your favorite browser is Chrome or Firefox, no dice. It is a walled garden with briars along the edges. And it isn’t cheap. Cheaper than a Surface Pro sure, but not cheaper than a Chromebook some of which sell for as low as $199.00.

Comparison of why iPad or why Chromebook (this is a good article)


This school district found Chromebooks to be better than iPads after testing iPads then Chromebooks

Apple released a new low end iPad that sells for $329 to get back in the game.

My favorite Notebooks:

K-12: I have to say if your school isn’t doing Chromebooks yet, it is just a matter of time. Yes, the new Surface might seem nice but it costs too much for your Elementary kids. May College kids but not K -12

This is one of my favorite Chromebooks, the Asus Flip Chromebook. The cover can fold down and you can use it as a tablet.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-Inch Touchscreen on Amazon

If you student is a History or English major, then this is probably an okay laptop for them. But pricey. Here is the Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S. Remember, you can only run or install what comes from the Microsoft store so that means no Chrome. However, they will gladly sell you an upgrade of the OS if this limitation bugs you. Along with the lack of games you might actually play in the Microsoft Store. You can’t study every hour, right? Don’t go with less than an i5 processor and 8 gig of RAM and 256 gig SSD. Less and your hard drive will fill up a week after you install Windows the first time.

Microsoft Surface Laptop on Amazon


I have never been an Acer fan but the reviews for this Windows laptop are really good. Acer Aspire E 15. It is for the midrange use area. Office, Web Surfing, Skype, Facebook if you must.

Acer Aspire E 15 on Amazon


If you are an engineering student, then this is a slippery slope. First I recommend asking the Engineering department at your future college what laptops they recommend. They will often recommend Dell and Apple. I used to be a huge Dell fan but their support has left a lot to be desired. But it is a good solid laptop usually if you buy the right one. The Inspiron series is usually the plastic ones and the XPS series is the souped up ones. If you want a Gaming machine and you want a laptop then the Razor Blade Stealth 12.5 inch with 16 Gig of RAM and 512 Gig SSD hard drive. Pricey yes, but it will be fast.

Razer Blade Stealth 12.5″ 4K Touchscreen Ultrabook on Amazon

My favorite laptop personally and the one the Engineering department of most schools recommend, is Apple MacBook Pro. If you need high end graphics you will have to get the 15 inch MacBook Pro but the middle range graphics of the 13 inch one will get you most places you want to go. I recommend regardless of what you buy, get an external monitor at least 22 to 24 inches wide to connect to it. This is true for the Windows notebooks as well. With the 13 inch, it is lighter and can go more places as it is a smaller form factor but the Retina display on the MacBook Pro rocks. Get i5, at least 8 gig of RAM, and at least 256 gig SSD hard drive. With a Mac unlike some you can’t fix anything if it breaks or if you want to upgrade it. It is as it is when you buy it. It is a downside but I recommend going to and scroll to the bottom and find certified refurbished.

Apple Refurbished Laptop shop

This way you can buy a MacBook Pro for less and have enough money saved to add Apple Care so if anything does go wrong you are covered for three years.

Here is a link to TechRadar’s breakdown of what they think are the best laptops for students.

And PC World’s list. It is strange as it is made up of a lot of Chromebooks and I can tell you from experience, these will not work at College level. I wish they would.

I also recommend looking at The Wirecutter’s website for their picks. They do extensive testing before making recommendations so you can count on their reviews.

Here is a link to their pick for best laptops for every need.


Christian | Father | Tech Evangelist | Author | Public Speaker | Future TEDx speaker |WordPress Aficionado * I am the author of "WordPress: Setup to Website". I love all things tech and gadgets and I probably have an opinion about it which some people seek out. Follow @aroyrichardson