Announcements

Device Satisfaction Survey Results

Next week we will send out our annual device Buyer’s Guide, but before we do that, we would like to share with you the results of our survey of how satisfied students are with the devices that they currently have. These results come from surveying all of our students at all grade levels with a 95% participation rate.

Devices used

Approximately 65% of our students have an iPad or an iPad Mini. This is not surprising as this is the device that we indicated our teachers were most familiar with. It is also the type of device that we lease to students. About 7% of our students use Android tablets and about 4% use Windows tablets. 23% of our students use laptops (13% Apple, 10% Windows) and 2% of our students use Chromebooks. Note the relatively small number of Chromebooks and Windows tablets when you read the data below. It is a pretty small sample size.

Would/Did you switch devices?

Approximately 11% of students have switched devices since the start of the school year. Students with an Android tablet were the most likely to switch to a different device (28% of them switched). Most students who switched to another device chose the Apple iPad as their new device followed by an Apple laptop.

We also asked students if they would chose the same device again if they were starting the school year over. About 80% of them would keep the same type of device. Students with an Android Tablet (42%) or Chromebook (50%) were the most likely to switch with the Apple iPad and laptop the most likely device to switch to.

Note that Android tablets and Chromebooks tend to be lower priced devices and Apple iPads and Laptops tend to be higher priced devices, so this may just be students wanting a more expensive device.

Also worth noting is that we did not include students in the above statistics if they switched or indicated they would switch to a newer version of the same device, for instance, from an iPad 2 to an iPad Air.

Battery usage

Most of our students report that their devices (94%) have batteries that almost always last for an entire school day. Windows tablet users report that their battery life lasts the longest (averaging 8 hours) and Windows laptop users report that their batteries last the shortest amount of time (averaging 5.6 hours).  Keep in mind that these are survey results and that actual usage will vary by student and by day.

Problems with school work

Students with Android tablets, iPad Minis and Windows tablets reported the most problems working on school related tasks. Students with Windows laptops and Apple laptops reported the fewest problems. One reason that laptops had the fewest reported problems is that it is assumed that you cannot annotate assignments with a laptop and that you can with a tablet. Annotating with eBackpack has been somewhat problematic.

In this section we asked students how often they had problems with the following school related activities:

  • Getting assignments from eBackpack (best: Apple laptops, worst: Android tablets)
  • Turning in assignments with eBackpack (best: Apple laptops, worst: Android tablets)
  • Using Google Drive/Google Docs (best: Chromebook worst: Windows tablets)
  • Using Moodle (best: Chromebook, Windows laptop, worst: none)
  • Using email  (best: Chromebook, worst: none)
  • Using Kahoot, Quislets & Socrative  (best: Windows laptop, worst: Chromebook)
  • Using word-processing software  (best: any laptop & windows tablet, worst: chromebook)
  • Using spreadsheet software  (best: any laptop & windows tablet, worst: chromebook)

Chromebooks performed surprisingly bad on word-processing and spreadsheets. This may be due to problems printing or turning in assignments rather than creating them (an area where we expect Chromebooks to beat tablets).

Of all of the questions we asked, this is the one that will most strongly affect the types of devices that we recommend. In general we will be suggesting that parents avoid certain kinds of Windows and Android tablets and devices with small screens in the future.

Satisfaction with devices for school work

We next asked students how satisfied they were with using their device when working on the same types of activities as above. From most satisfied to least satisfied they were: Apple laptops, iPads, Windows laptops, iPad Minis, Chromebooks, Windows tablets and Android tablets.

Satisfaction with devices for personal use

Because some parents buy devices as birthday or Christmas presents, we also asked how satisfied students were with their devices for personal uses. We asked them about listening to music, reading books, playing games, using social media, browsing the internet and reading news. For personal use the devices fell into three groups. At the top were Apple laptops, iPads and iPad Minis. In the middle were Android tablets, Windows laptops and Windows tablets. At the bottom were Chromebooks.

That Chromebooks were at the bottom for personal use is not surprising and not necessarily a bad thing. They are usually viewed more as productivity devices than personal devices.

Device quality

Overall, students with Apple laptops and Apple iPads were most satisfied with the quality of their device. Students with Android tablets, Chromebooks and Windows laptops were least satisfied with the quality of their devices. Specifically, we asked students about these items: Durability, Battery Life, Screen Size, Screen Quality, Camera Quality, Speaker Quality and Ease of Use.

Under Durability, Apple laptops came in first by a wide margin. Chromebooks came in last, but we are not aware that Chromebooks have been damaged at a higher rate than other devices. This result is to be expected as Apple laptops are, on average the most expensive devices that students have and Chromebooks are the least expensive.

For Battery Life, Apple laptops come in first and Windows laptops come in last. You can buy Windows laptops with just as good battery life as Apple laptops, but they cost more than cheaper Windows laptops (our buyer’s guide will have Windows laptops with a battery life over 7 hours).

Students with iPad Minis and smaller Android devices were the least happy with the Screen Size of their devices. Apple iPad and laptop owners were the most satisfied. This result was mirrored in the Screen Quality section with the added note that Chromebook users were also unhappy with the quality of their screens.

Students with Apple devices thought more highly of the Camera Quality of their devices than any other group. This result was mimicked by Speaker Quality with the exception that Windows Laptops also performed above average in this category.

As far as Ease of Use goes, students with Apple laptops and iPads thought their devices were much easier to use than others. Users of Windows tablets and iPad Minis were in the middle of the pack and users of Android tablets, Chromebooks and Windows laptops were at the bottom.

It should be noted that there are many different types of Android Tablets, and that the higher end devices scored higher than the low-end devices. Also, Android tablets with a more recent edition of the Android operating system tended to score higher. The same thing applies in general to all devices. Students gave higher marks to the iPad 4 than to the iPad 2.

Conclusions

There were students who were happy with each kind of device and students who were unhappy with each kind of device. All we can present here are general trends. We hope these are helpful for you when you decide that it is time to purchase a new device.

Next week we will publish the list of devices that meet our requirements. If you are interested in receiving an email when we find a good price for one of these devices, please subscribe to our “Device Deals” email list here: http://bit.ly/LL-device-deals

Lloyd Sommerer

 

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