Archive for K-12

Back To School NoteBook PC for Kids

If you still need a computer for your kids as they return to or enter into grade school, then you might want to take a look at the lightweight and inexpensive Dell Mini 9 Notebook.

First off, it runs on XP.  Yes, that’s Windows XP.  Didn’t think you’d see that for a new computer, did you? It weighs less than 2.5 pounds, and all it’s dimensions are under 10 inches. Just look at the picture at right.

It also has a solid state hard drive instead of a traditional hard drive, so there are fewer moving parts to get damaged by not-so-careful kids.

On the hard drive you get Microsoft Works which allows your kids to do some typing for school.

The starting price for this computer is $349 though you can add a larger hard drive for an additional charge. Just remind yourself that the computer is for them to take to school and do their homework, and with all that moving around you don’t want to worry about it getting smashed, or being so fancy that some other kid takes a liking to it. Plus you don’t have to worry about the kids wasting time playing games on it because the unit wasn’t built with that in mind.

Other features include wireless (WiFi) Internet capability, three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA out (to connect to a larger monitor at home or in the classroom), an Ethernet port (for wired Cable or DSL internet access), an SD Card slot for working with music or photo files, and headphone and mic jacks. Bluetooth and a 1.3-megapixel Webcam are extra-cost options.

For more information just check out the Dell web site: Introducing the new Inspiron Mini 9 starting at only $349!

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New Computers for K-12, pt. 2

In yesterday’s post I started discussing some new ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) for K-12 students as many school districts across the nation attempt to increase access to computers and the research sources on the Internet. In 2003, the U>S> Census bureau revealed that 5% of high school juniors and seniors hadn’t used a computer, while 20% hadn’t used the Internet. (See the report)

Yesterday, I showed you two UMPCs: the Intel Classmate and the Asus Eee PC series. Today, I have two more computers which are being used in one-to-one computer ownersehip programs in school districts across the nation: the HP Mini-Notebook, and the Everex Cloudbook.

HP 2133 Mini-Notebook (www.hp.com, Product page)

Hewlett-Packard has 5 models in the UMPC line priced from $499 to $849.They weigh in at about 2.5 pounds and are just slightly more than an inch thick. The screens are 9 inches wide with a good sized keyboard, two USB ports; connections for microphone, headphone, and external monitor; with wired and wireless Internet (WiFi). Most models use a standard hard drive (moving parts), but the $499 model uses a Flash drive (no moving parts). The higher priced models are suitable for older students and non-students alike.HP Services includes a one-year standard parts and labor warranty, pick-up or carry-in, and toll-free 7 x 24 hardware technical phone support (depending on model). On-site service and warranty upgrades are also available.

  • Model KR922UT for $499: Linux operating system (OS) (instead of Windows), 4 GB storage, 512 MB RAM (memory) with digital camera.
  • Model KX868AT for $599: (Shown in video at right) Windows Vista Home Basic operating system (OS), 120 GB storage, 1 GB RAM (memory), integrated camera.
  • Model KR939UT for $729: Same as KX868AT above, but with Windows Vista Business OS (or downgrade to Windows XP Pro), and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Model KR945UT for $749: Same as above with slightly faster processor.
  • Model KR948UT for $789: Same as KR939UT, but with 2 GB of RAM (memory), and 160 GB hard drive (storage). Weight: 2.6 pounds.

HP 2133 (KX868) – $629
Click image for more info or to buy

HP 2133 (KX870) – $849
Click image for more info or to buy
Other models available direct from HP

Everex Cloudbook (www.everex.com)

The Cloudbook has a 7 inch screen, weighs only 2 pounds, has a 5 hour battery life for surfing the web, sending email, blogging, IM, Skype, and computing. Based on the latest gOS Rocket operating system, the ultra-mobile Everex PC comes with popular applications from Google, Mozilla, Skype, OpenOffice.org and more. Also 512MB RAM (memory), 30GB Hard Disk (storage), wired and wireless (WiFi) Internet, 2 USB ports, 4-in1 Media Card Reader, webcam, headphone/line-out and microphone/line-in connections, and stereo speaker. Price: $349 at Walmart.com.

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New Computers for K-12, pt. 1

A 2003 U.S. Census survey found that among school children, ages 3 to 17, 14% didn’t have computer access at home or at school, and similarly 44% didn’t have Internet access. Among students ages 15 to 17, 5% hadn’t used a computer, and 20% hadn’t used the Internet.


Since then, more schools have adopted one to one computing programs to provide each student with their own portable computer for use at home and school.

The computer of choice for function, portability, and low cost has been the “ultra-mobile pc” platform. Ultra-mobile PCs began appearing in 2006. These PCs are:

  • about the size of a large paperback book
  • smaller than the typical laptop
  • screens are 7 to 9 inches wide
  • weighs less than 3 pounds
  • shockproof to withstand drops and bumps

In January 2008, the third generation of ultra-mobile PCs began to appear. Many of these run on either Windows or Linux, have wireless Internet access, and word processing and spreadsheet applications (like Excel). Many sell for less than $390.

Intel Classmate
(www.classmatepc.com)

This computer is designed with students up to age 14 in mind. It has WiFi (wireless Internet), a water-resistant keyboard, a built in microphone, and an optional digital camera. It also has a special feature called “mesh networking” that allows it to connect to other Classmate PCs within 300 feet. This allows students to work together on projects and share information. Price: About $350. View photo gallery

Asus Eee PC (usa.asus.com)

Asus’s entry into the ultra-mobile PC market is available in 5 different models ranging from $300 to $550. This shock-proof device has a screen that measures 7 inches wide, and it is preloaded with either Windows or Linux, WiFi, 3 USB ports, built-in card reader, speakers, and microphone. Some models include a camera. Available in white, blue, black, pink, and green.

Linux models:

  • 2G Surf: 7 inch screen, wireless and wired Internet, 512 MB RAM (memory), 2 GB storage, weighs 2 pounds with battery.
  • 4G: Same as the 4G Surf below, plus a webcam.
  • 4G Surf: Same as 2G Surf with 4 GB storage.
  • PC 900: 8.9 inch screen, 1 GB RAM (memory), 20 GB storage, webcam, and weighs 2.18 pounds with battery.

Windows models include the PC 900, and the 4G with specifications as shown above.

Check back in the next few days for additional information and models in the ultra-mobile PC line. All the models discussed are ideal for school students. As always, comment or ask questions with the links below, and subscribe by email or RSS news feed.


Asus Eee PC 900
Windows, Black

Asus Eee PC 900
Windows, White

Asus Eee PC 900
Linux, White

Asus Eee PC 900
Linux, Black