We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Laptops for Education

Greetings everyone,
                                       I'm looking to for laptops to be used in a classroom setting for children at the K12 level and younger. Chromebooks are attractive but not looking at them at the moment, so sticking with Windows.  I was looking at the Lenovo N24 as a great example of specs and price,  Lenovo

Not wanting to purchase from Lenovo directly, does anyone know any company that specializes in providing educational products and services. e.g  TKO Education

Thank you kindly.
Watch Question

Jose Gabriel Ortega CastroCEO Faru Bonon IT /Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork / Photographer
Awarded 2018
Distinguished Expert 2018

I think that the laptop as a whole is an investment in nowadays but unnecessary.

You have raspberry Pi to use it wisely for education that age kids. You can teach them how to program,

You have education resources and training.


The only disadvantage I can see is that it uses Linux (Debian), or windows using IoT.
But I think that the main objective of learning computer programming or other stuff can be done with such a "computer" of 39$US by unit.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

If you're looking at buying computers to be used in primary and secondary education, the best advice I can give you is to go talk to the IT departments of at least ten different school districts in your state.

Talk directly to the IT people, not to the school boards or administrators.  Find out what they think is supportable and is good value for money.

Then go talk to the teachers, on the side and quietly, who have to use that equipment and find out what they think.  Quite often there is a major disconnect between the IT department and the people who have to use that equipment, like it or not.

Then see if the two positions can be reconciled for use in your situation.

Avoid companies who specialize in "educational computing services."  Again, there is often a major disconnect between their advice and what is practical in the field and what will be accepted by the people who have to use it.  They are not the ones who will have to live with the final product but they will get their consultancy fees no matter how badly things turn out.
K12 level is such a wide range.  Are they K-5/6, 6/7-8, or 9-12?  Those are the 3 main groups and they have very different needs.  What is it you're trying to accomplish?

The fact that you're looking at underpowered CPUs(really should be obsolete) in the N24 form factor suggests that you're looking for the really young kids.  These are worthless systems for worthless "educational software".  Not powerful enough to do anything remotely useful in this day an age.  They're basically just for typing training.

For K-3, I don't believe any computers are necessary.  All those specifically earmarked "educational software" are pretty worthless.  I found very little value in them.  The earlier Minecraft, before the Microsoft buyout was actually more educational, and that's just a game.  Children gravitate towards computers because they're game devices, not because they're educational.  They'll learn them quickly enough on their own.  Besides, they need to learn all the fundamentals before they graduate to being stuck on the screen playing games all day.  At 4th to 5th grade, they just need to learn to type first.  Typing is probably the very first skill they need to master for all the papers they'll need to write later.  If that's what it's for then great.  They can start with MIT's scratch: https://scratch.mit.edu/

At higher grade levels, get real systems with real CPUs so they can run Office, Video editing, and anything any adult would normally use in their work life.  In high school, you could also run free mathematical and scientific programs that colleges already use, assuming the teachers know anything in the first place.
Also, the laptops are only part of the overall solution. For educational use, I would not advise any solution that does not included some sort of imaging, so that laptops can be quickly reimaged, even by teachers who have been given some basic instructions.  Between users, reimage as well

Get the kids to purchase a USB key each, or have them keep data in some cloud. When a laptop is not working for any reason, attempt a reimage, if that fails, it is a hardware problem, so do a warrantee claim. Otherwise, someone will be having to constantly reinstall applications, remove malware etc.

Aside from that, avoid "Education" class laptops like the plague as they tend to be cheaply made and get sold to the school for triple cost. They're rarely a good investment and they tend to be locked down by the "manufacturer" so you have to return to them and only them for fixes. You're better off opening up Newegg or TigerDirect and purchasing a couple of quality (but reasonably priced) laptops and moving forward from there. If you're not comfortable purchasing on your own, then go to your local PC shop (or Best Buy/Frys) and see if someone there would be willing to order for you. You're going to spend less money getting it through a standard retailer in almost all cases and with less hassle.

Off the top of my head:


There's a pretty cheap Lenovo "Powerhouse" for what you'd need to be doing. It comes with Professional Windows 10 already installed, which would allow your IT guys to setup restrictions on the machine to help limit misuse. As a school, you should have access to office already, so no purchase needed there. Is this a perfect choice? Probably not, but I can't imagine a scenario where you need something with higher specs than this offers. Again, I would follow the previous advice in this thread as well. Consult your IT department, other IT departments, your local PC shop.