1. eibbed0001's Avatar
    My child starts middle school in the fall and the school district has started a Bring Your Own Technology system. It sounds like the students would use it for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations using either Google Docs or Office 365 (which the district just rolled out free for students). We already have an Asus EeePad Transformer TF101 tablet with a keyboard, but it's from 2011. While the ePad works great, I'm wondering if it would be good enough for school use or if we should consider buying a Chromebook to be taken to school instead. I'm tempted to use the ePad for that since it's older and if it gets broken (this is a middle school so it's likely the kids won't be as careful with things as they should...) it isn't a huge deal. The price of Chromebooks is good, so it isn't a huge investment to get one, but I'd rather have an older device get broken than a brand new one, you know?

    The other issue is how well the kids will be taking care of these devices and what kind of rugged case is best. I know for iPads you can buy thick rubber cases so that it's safe(er) for small children, but what about for Chromebooks? What do people who work on construction sites and other harsh locations use to protect their laptops/netbooks? I'm all for tech in schools but these things are expensive and kids+expensive items are a dangerous combination. I want to be as protected as possible.

    Here's the specs on the ePad Transformer we have: http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_transformer_tf101-3936.php

    Thanks for any advice!
    mstrblueskys likes this.
    04-09-2015 07:46 AM
  2. mstrblueskys's Avatar
    Oh, pick me!

    I'm going through something similar right now. I have an Asus T100 - the Windows equivalent of your TF101, and I got it because my TF100 finally bit the dust. I'll cut to the chase, and remember, I'm an adult, but because of the form factor, I wouldn't think twice about it if you can afford and justify a Chromebook.

    I'm using the Acer CB3 right now - it was 130 at Best Buy last weekend and it quickly became my most used device. It's light (it really feels a lot more like a toy) and I have a feeling it's going to be durable. It's plastic, but it uses the Atom processor, so it has NO moving parts. The same will be true with ARM processor chromebooks as well (Sammy makes a couple, and I think Acer has a couple of them too). If you're worried about something going wrong, anything moving is way more likely to bust than something screwed down. On that same point, My TF101 died because I got lazy and stopped taking care of the latch and hinge on my Asus. Parts that open and close are going to wear and those pins are eventually going to break. I like that there's less going on with the Chromebook. It's a laptop. Your touchscreen isn't going to go out, your keyboard port isn't going to get mucked up, and your latches won't break.

    The next thing I would think about is it is a little bigger. I think the difference between the 11.6" and the 10.1" screen size is the difference between usable and not usable in a laptop format. I did have transformers for a while, so you can struggle through using them, but I think that the screen and keyboard on the 11.6" devices is where they really become work machines and not tablets with accessories.

    Finally, I'm pretty sure Asus is done supporting the TF101. There are plenty of roms that can keep you up to date, but the Chromebook has longevity on its side since it's going to get the software updates. The CR-48 is still getting, and as far as I'm aware, will always get Chrome software updates. It may be average hardware by today's standards, but it will forever be supported. At some point, you're going to start seeing less apps available.

    As for a case? Good luck. I've found that cases for both the TF101 and Chromebooks are pretty sparse. They're really just sparse for all laptops. I think most of your utility laptops are specially built machines. I think Lenovo makes the Toughbook series?

    Yeah, I'd go Chromebook. If you think your kid's going to wreck it, then I'd go refurbished or open box and pay for the drive space if he or she needs it. I've been looking all over for a good Android laptop to help me manage social media and websites (I love some of Android's tools) but there isn't one. So unless there are specific apps/tools that you can only do on Android, the Chromebook is the best option of the two, IMHO.

    Another thing I tell people is to not really shy away from Windows machines. I know the cheap ones aren't sexy at all, but the OS has done an amazing job running on cheap and efficient systems. Again, I'm not sure what the students need it for, but it also may provide just a little more flexibility.

    Hope that helps!
    eibbed0001 likes this.
    04-09-2015 09:35 AM

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