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: 9 inches. Last year we said that the screen size should be at least 7 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 or expandable memory.

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 don’t think you should buy tablets that use non-standard versions of Android (for example Nooks & Kindles), that use older versions of Android (older than 4.3), that use the discontinued version of Microsoft Windows (Windows RT) or that use hardware that is more than 3 years old (iPad 2)

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 2. When you look at ads, make sure you are getting the iPad that you intend to. The other iPads listed below will all work, but will become outdated sooner than the latest model.

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.

RateNameCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
5iPad 4$299.00 09 hours10 inch2048x1536 @ 26423oz.5,216,32,64
6iPad Air$339.00 11 hours10 inch2048x1536 @ 26410oz.5,216,32,64,128
6iPad Air 2$499.00 10 hours10 inch2048x1536 @ 26409oz.8,216,64,128
  • The rate column is a composite score from several review sites.
  • 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 Windows 8.1. You do not want a tablet that uses Windows RT. Students report many more problems with Windows RT tablets than with Windows 8.1 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 8.1.

RateTabletCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
4Dell Venue 11 Pro 5000$429.00 08 hours11 inch1366x768 @ 15025oz.8,232,64
4Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000$799.00 08 hours11 inch1920x1080 @ 20425oz.8,2128,256
5Asus Transformer Book T100$319.00 11 hours10 inch1366x768 @ 19019oz.1,032,64
5Microsoft Surface Pro 2$805.00 08 hours11 inch1920x1080 @ 20832oz.1,164,128,256,512
5Microsoft Surface Pro 3$799.00 07 hours11 inch2160x1440 @ 21628oz.5,564,128,256

Tablets (Android)

Android tablets were the devices that students were least satisfied with for school related uses. We no longer recommend devices that use older versions of the Android operating system or devices that use non-standard versions of the Android operating system (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.

RateTabletCostBattery LifeScreenResolution & PPIWeightCamerasStorage
4Asus Transformer Pad TF103$249.00 09 hours10 inch1280x800 @ 14919oz.1,28,16
5Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+$348.00 10 hours10 inch1920x1080 @ 22422oz.2,532
5Samsung Note 10.1 2014$499.00 09 hours10 inch2560x1600 @ 29819oz.8,216,32,64
5Samsung Tab 4 10.1$319.00 10 hours10 inch1280x800 @ 14912oz.3,116,32,64
5Samsung Tab Pro 10.1$499.00 09 hours10 inch2560x1600 @ 29812oz.8,216,32,64
5Samsung Tab Pro 12.2$549.00 13 hours12 inch2560x1600 @ 24726oz.8,232
5Samsung Note Pro 12.2$649.00 11 hours12 inch2560x1600 @ 24726oz.8,232,64
5Google Nexus 9$399.00 09 hours09 inch2048x1536 @ 28114oz.8,216,32
6Samsung Tab S 10.5$499.00 13 hours11 inch2560x1600 @ 28716oz.8,216,32,64,128


Chromebooks were the student’s least favorite device for personal use (music, games…) but they seemed to work well for school related tasks. Mr. Heibel has been using a Chrombook and finds that it works well. 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.

RateChromebookCostBattery LifeScreenResolutionWeight (lbs)CamerasRAM,SSD,HD
4HP 14$299 08 hours14 inch1366x76840,22,16,100cloud
4Dell 11$299 09 hours12 inch1366x7682.60,22,16,100cloud
5Acer C720P$249 08 hours12 inch (touch)1366x7682.80,12,16,100cloud
5CTL (rugged)$279 09 hours12 inch1366x7683.30,24,16,100cloud
5Samsung 2$299 10 hours13 inch1920x10803.30,24,16,100cloud
5Toshiba 2$329 08 hours13 inch1920x10802.90,24,16,100cloud

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 Air (2013)$769.00 09 hours11 inch1366x7682.40,24,128,01.3GHz i5
Macbook Air (2013)$779.00 12 hours13 inch1440x90030,24,128,01.3GHz i5
MacBook Pro (2013)$899.00 07 hours13 inch1280x8004.50,24,0,5002.5GHz i5
MacBook Air 11-inch$899.00 09 hours12 inch1366x7682.40,24,128,02.7GHz i5
MacBook Pro Retina (2013)$929.00 09 hours13 inch2560x16003.50,24,128,02.4GHz i5
MacBook Air 13-inch$999.00 12 hours13 inch1440x9002.40,24,128,02.7GHz i5
MacBook Pro Retina$1,299.00 11 hours13 inch2560x16003.50,28,128,02.6GHz i5
MacBook Pro Retina (2013)$1,489.00 08 hours15 inch2880x18004.50,28,256,02.0GHz i7quad
MacBook Pro Retina$1,999.00 08 hours15 inch2880x18004.50,216,256,02.2GHz i7quad

Windows Laptops

We realize that you can buy Windows laptops for much less than those listed here. However, the battery life on those laptops will not meet our minimum requirements. We believe that this is a complete list of Windows laptops that have the required battery life.

LaptopCostBattery LifeScreenResolutionWeightCamerasRAM,SSD,HDProcessor
Acer Aspire M5 (2013)$422.00 08 hours15 inch1366x7685 lbs.0,18,0,5001.6GHz i5
Dell Inspiron 14R (2013)
(Touch Screen)
$559.00 09 hours14 inch1366x7685.1 lbs.0,14,0,5001.7GHz i3
Avatar AVIU-145A2 (2013)
(good reviews on newegg)
$649.00 08 hours14 inch1366x7683.7 lbs.0,18,0,5001.7GHz i5
Dell Latitude E6430 (2013)
(with upgraded battery)
$693.00 10 hours14 inch1366x7684.4 lbs.0,14,0,3202.4GHz i3
Dell Inspiron 15 Ultrabook 7000$699.00 09 hours16 inch1366x7685.6 lbs.0,16,128,5002.6GHz i5
Dell XPS 12 (2013)
(Converts to tablet)
$749.00 09 hours13 inch1920x10803.5 lbs.0,14,128,01.6GHz i5
HP Spectre 13t h211nr x2
(Converts to tablet)
$749.00 09 hours13 inch1920x10803.3 lbs.0,24,128,02.7GHz i5
HP EliteBook 2570p (2013)$943.00 09 hours13 inch1366x7683.6 lbs.0,14,0,5002.6GHz i5
Lenovo Thinkpad X230 (2013)
(w/9 cell battery option)
$968.00 12 hours13 inch1366x7682.9 lbs.0,28,0,5002.1GHz i3
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (2013)$969.00 08 hours13 inch1600x9003.3 lbs.0,24,128,01.9GHz i3
Acer Aspire S7 (2013)$999.00 08 hours11 inch1920x10802.7 lbs.0,14,128,01.8GHz i5
Toshiba Tecra Z40$1,177.00 09 hours14 inch1366x7683.2 lbs.0,18,0,3201.9GHz i5
Asus Zenbook UX32VD-DH71 (2013)
(good reviews)
$1,249.00 07 hours13 inch1920x10803.2 lbs.0,14,24,5001.9GHz i7
Sony Vaio Duo 13 (2013)
(Converts to tablet)
$1,250.00 08 hours13 inch1920x10802.3 lbs.0,14,128,01.6GHz i5
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
(with upgraded battery)
$1,299.00 14 hours13 inch1920x10803.5 lbs.0,18, 256, 02.7GHz i5
Lenovo ThinkPad x240
(with extended battery)
$1,329.00 20 hours13 inch1366x7683.2 lbs.0,18, 256, 02.7GHz i5
Acer TravelMate P645$1,348.00 10 hours14 inch1920x10803.5 lbs.0,18, 256, 03.0GHz i7

One thought on “Educational Tablet & Laptop Guide Christmas 2014

  1. This post help me a lot in knowing the gadgets and the features and works they are serving ,which help me to select the best gadget for me. Thank you for the educational post.

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