Tablets: iPads, Windows, Androids | Chromebooks | Laptops: Apple, Windows

Changes in device requirements

We’ve made some changes to what we consider acceptable devices based on feedback from teachers and students. This does not mean that you have to buy a new device for your student. But when you do buy a new device, it should meet these new guidelines:

Battery life: The minimum battery life requirement remains the same at 7 hours. You might consider a device with a longer battery life if you will want your student to use their device after school as well as during school.

Screen size: Last year we changed the minimum screen size to 9 inches.  Students tended to have more problems with smaller screened devices and students with larger tablets report that they are happier with their devices.

Tablet Storage: The minimum memory requirement remains the same at 16MB. Please note however that this is the amount of space that we recommend for school use. If a student will have their personal games, music, photos and videos on a device then you should look for a device with more memory, expandable memory or cloud storage.

Tablet Type: Students have had more problems with certain types of tablets than others. While these devices might work fine for some applications, they don’t work well for school work. We no longer recommend Android devices (including Kindles and Nooks). We also don’t recommend Windows Tablets that use the discontinued version of Microsoft Windows (Windows RT).

Tablets (iPads)

The majority of our students use the Apple iPad. They report very few problems with the full size iPads. Our teachers all have iPads and will be more likely to be able to help with iPads than with other devices. You can lease an iPad from Lincoln Lutheran for $23 per month.

Although you can still purchase them, we do not recommend the iPad 3. All of the iPads listed below are current models. Note that we have included the iPad mini 4 in the list, but do not recommend that you purchase it for school use.

You might consider checking out the Refurbished iPads from the Apple Store. They come with completely new exteriors and a full warranty. Mr. Sommerer has been happy with the refurbished Apple products that he has purchased for school and personal use. The iPad models that are available from their refurbished section change frequently.

NameCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
iPad mini 4$299.00 11 hours8in.2048x1536 @ 32610oz.8,216,64,128
iPad Air$379.00 11 hours10in.2048x1536 @ 26416oz.5,216,32,64,128
iPad Air 2$399.00 10 hours10in.2048x1536 @ 26416oz.8,216,64,128
iPad Pro$799.00 10 hours12in.2732x2048 @ 26425oz.8,232,128
  • The cost column is the lowest price we could find; typically refurbished or Black Friday.
  • You can sort the tables by clicking on the column headings in blue.

Tablets (Windows)

There are two types of Windows tablets. Tablets that use Windows RT and tablets that use the full version of Windows (either 8.1 or 10). You do not want a tablet that uses Windows RT. Students report many more problems with Windows RT tablets than with Windows 8.1/10 tablets. Unfortunately it is not always easy to tell which is which. For instance: the Windows Surface 2 is Windows RT, while the Windows Surface Pro is Windows 8.1. All of the tablets listed below use Windows 10.

TabletCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
Dell Venue 10 Pro 5000$279.00 10 hours10in.1280x80023oz.5,232, 64
Asus VivoTab Smart$365.00 7 hours10in.1366x76824oz.8,264
Microsoft Surface Pro 2$419.00 8 hours11in.1920x1080 @ 20832oz.1,164,128,256,512
Microsoft Surface 3$479.00 7 hours11in.1920x128022oz.8,464, 128
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000$699.00 7 hours11in.1920x108025oz.8,364, 128
Microsoft Surface Pro 3$799.00 7 hours12in.2160x1440 @ 21628oz.4,564,128,256
Microsoft Surface Pro 4$899.00 7 hours12in.2736x1824 @ 26527oz.8,51,282,565,121,024

Tablets (Android)

Android tablets were the devices that students were least satisfied with for school related uses. We no longer recommend Android devices (this includes the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook). There are hundreds of Android devices. The ones listed below have the best chance of working as part of our 1:1 initiative. Be wary of purchasing a similarly named, but older version of these devices. If the prices are a lot cheaper than the prices listed here, make sure you are getting the same device. Again, based on our student survey results, we do not recommend these devices. But if you need to purchase an Android device, these are probably your best bet.

TabletCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
Google Nexus 9$319.00 9 hours9 inch2048x1536 @28115oz.8,316,32
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7$399.00 7 hours10 inch2048x153614oz.8,232
Dell Venue 10 7000$399.00 6 hours11 inch2560x160016oz.5,216,32
Sony Z4$596.00 8 hours10 inch2560x1600 @ 29914oz.8,532


Chromebooks were rated highly by our students this year.  They seemed to work well for school related tasks. Mr. Heibel has been using a Chrombook for the past 2 years. Chromebooks are not full-featured laptops. They are designed to use Google’s internet based applications. They also don’t cost as much as a laptop. There are other Chrombooks available, make sure you check their battery life before purchasing. The combination of a Chromebook and a smartphone may be a good combination for some students.

ratingChromebookCostBattery LifeScreenResolutionWeight (lbs)CamerasRAM,SSD,HDProcessor
3.5Acer 15$369 9 hours16 inch1920x10804.40,24,32,100cloud1.6GHz Celeron 3205U
4Asus Flip$299 9 hours10 inch1280x80020,24,16,100cloud1.8GHz Rockchip 3288
4CTL NL6B$259 9 hours12 inch1366x76830,24,16,100cloud2.3GHz Celerom N2940
4Dell 13$429 13 hours13 inch1920x10803.20,24,16,100cloud1.5GHz Celeron 3205U
4Dell 11$269 10 hours12 inch1366x7682.80,24,16,100cloudi3 4005U
4Lenovo 100S$179 11 hours12 inch1366x7682.50,24,16,100cloud2.2GHz Celeron N2840
4Lenovo N21$189 9 hours12 inch1366x7682.80,24,16,100cloud2.1GHz Celeron
4.5Toshiba 2 CB35$299 10 hours13 inch1920x108030,24,16,100cloud1.7GHz Celeron 3215U

Apple Laptops

Apple laptops received high scores from our students. We recommend that you take a look at the refurbished ones on Apple’s online store. If you are buying local, Computer Hardware Inc (just South of O street on 70th) has always been very good to Lincoln Lutheran.

LaptopCostBattery LifeScreenResolutionWeight (lbs)CamerasRAM,SSD,HDProcessor
MacBook Retina$1,150 12 hours122304x144020,28,256,02.4GHz i5?
MacBook Air 11-inch$760 9 hours121366x7682.40,24,128,01.6GHx i5
MacBook Air 13-inch$850 9 hours121440x90030,24,128,01.6GHx i5
MacBook Pro Retina$1,100.00 11 hours132560x16003.50,28,128,02.7GHz i5

Windows Laptops

There are many more Windows Laptops with an acceptable battery life than there were last year. The list below is no longer a complete list of Windows Laptops that have a battery that will last at least 7 hours. The less expensive devices on this list are also much less powerful than the more expensive devices. TANSTAAFL.

LaptopCostBattery LifeScreenResolutionWeightCamerasRAM,SSD,HDProcessorNotes
Lenovo Ideapad 100S$180.00 9 hours12 inch1366x7682.20,12,32,01.3GHz Atomnote low memory & processor
Asus EeeBook X205TA$200.00 12 hours12 inch1366x7682.20,22,32,01.3GHz Atomnote low memory & processor
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook (14-inch)$250.00 14 hours14 inch1366x7683.50,22,64,01.6GHz Celeronnote low memory & processor
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA$280.00 10 hours12 inch1366x7682.60,12,32,01.6GHz Celeronnote low memory & processor
Lenovo Yoga 3 14$650.00 8 hours14 inch1920x10803.50,24,128,02.0GHz i3-5005UConverts to tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12$670.00 7 hours13 inch1366x7683.40,14,16,5002.0GHz i3-5005UConverts to tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad X250$700.00 20 hours13 inch1366x7683.70,24,0,5002.1GHz i3-5010Uwith extended battery
Asus ZenBook UX305$700.00 9 hours13 inch1920x10802.60,28,256,0Core M-5Y10
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus$700.00 8 hours13 inch3200x18003.10,28,128,01.6GHz i5-4200U
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 SE$750.00 8 hours13 inch1920x10803.60,28,0,5002.8GHz i5-6200UConverts to tablet
Dell XPS 13$800.00 9 hours13 inch1920x10802.70,24,128,02.3GHz i3 6100U
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s$800.00 15 hours14 inch1600x9003.80,24,0,5002.7GHz i5-5200U
HP Spectre x360 13t$900.00 9 hours13 inch1920x10803.30,24,128,02.8GHz i5-6200UConverts to tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon$950.00 8 hours14 inch1920x10803.10,24,128,02.7GHz i5-5200U
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15$960.00 8 hours16 inch1920x108050,28,180,02.2GHz i5-5200UConverts to tablet
Toshiba Portege Z20t$1,650.00 14 hours13 inch1920x10803.20,28,256,0Core M-5Y71Detaches to tablet