I don’t write reviews often, but when I do, there’s a good reason..
As I said, I’m not a big product review writer, though I do like to talk about the practical application of technology in the classroom. So, don’t think this blog is changing..I'm just taking an opportunity to satisfy my curiosity about the Chromebook buzz among educators.
I wanted to look at the question: Is an affordable tool like a $229 Acer C7 10 Chromebook really going to meet the needs of my students and what I do with technology in the classroom? And, mind you, I am not asking if it will meet “all” of my tech needs! Just wondering if it will meet enough requirements to make it a worthwhile investment.
Since I had the opportunity to review the Acer C7 10 Chromebook I thought: Why not? All I have to do is give an honest review and I can keep it? Sure! (On a side note, since I’ll be out of the classroom this year, I am pondering how I will decide who to give it to! I already have a laptop I love for personal use and think it only fair to have it in a classroom.) Got ideas on that note? Please share in the comments!
Here are the nitty gritty specs:
- Intel® Celeron® 847 1.1GHz 2MB L2 Cache Processor
- 4GB DDR3 Installed Memory
- 16GB Solid State (SSD) Hard Drive
What are the pros/cons to this device I type this post on? ( and incidentally, make a lot of typos on as I adjust to the keyboard)
- Obviously, the cost is a huge factor! At a $229 price tag, this makes tech in the classroom simply more possible for the average teacher. If your school doesn’t provide you with enough classroom devices, ( or those that actually work!), head on over to DonorsChoose.org, write up a grant proposal for a set of 4-5 Chromebooks and for $1,000-$1,200 you just might have a writing center for your classroom!
- It’s simple and uncluttered..well, that’s a no-brainer, right? Want students to have few distractions, with google docs/apps and a browser? Well that’s what you’ve got!
- Quick and easy set-up. Had it going, on the internet in less than 5 minutes. Maybe that’s just standard these days?
- Fast enough to avoid frustration! I honestly didn’t expect it to be so quick in its processing power.
- Battery life seems to be great so far, though the specs state a 4 hour battery life. In the classroom, this could be an issue, depending on the use. In my 4th grade classroom last year, we rarely had work times over an hour so charging really wouldn’t be an issue though I wonder how repeated charging impacts the battery life.
- Lightweight.. at only 3 lbs. it certainly is easy to carry around!
And for the cons, well.. it’s not really fair to compare this device with my favorite laptop is it? Seems to me that would be like comparing a bargain model starter car with a luxury car. The concerns I have are with durability and length of battery life. When I slid my Chromebook out of the box, I thought: this feels like a toy. I wonder how it will hold up to the bumps and bruises it will inevitably suffer in a classroom?
In the handbook, the battery is said to be able to be charged hundreds of times but will lose its ability to charge in time. Hundreds? That might be less than a school year if they need to be charged more than once a day. That said, I’d have to explore the cost of the batteries. You know how printers are great deals and the ink, well..not so much? That might be part of my consideration though certainly you shouldn’t need a new battery too soon, right?
Wherever my Chromebook lands, whichever students get to use it, I will definitely get their report back a few months down the road. Why not combine a product review/opinion assignment into a great learning opportunity? Stay tuned for the update!
Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with this product for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of Chromebooks and laptops online.