Whatever happened to the Chromebook?

Discussion in 'Netbooks, Tablets, Slates and eReaders' started by LandSurveyor, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    Chromebooks beating Apple out of the classroom, as Chromebooks take record market share in the educational market and pushing Apple aside. Microsoft still managed to make some gains though.

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/2...-new-hp-chromebook-for-education-unveiled.htm

    More information on the HP X360 convertible Chromebook for educational markets.

    https://chromeunboxed.com/hp-chromebook-x360-convertible-full-specs/

    Chromebooks are scoring big in educational markets due to their simplicity, quick boot and easy network maintenance, but touchscreens and apps on iPads make these more desirable on lower grade levels. The answer to filling this gap would be a new generation of educational Chromebooks with 2 in 1 convertibility, touchscreens and Android app support.
     
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  2. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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  3. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    While watching the NCAA Men's Tournament, CBS was advertising that you could watch the games on your computer or download the app and watch them on your iPad or your "Chrome Tablet". I thought "Chrome Tablet" was an interesting way of describing the Android/Chrome side of things.

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk
     
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  4. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I realize this has been a while, but FWIW, I have been a Chromebook user for years (HP14) and use it almost exclusively at home, doing pretty much the same as you except I stubbornly refuse to participate in social networking.

    I don't view this as an either-or situation. I use the Chromebook at home and use a Windows PC at work to handle apps like AutoCad, etc.
     
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  5. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    A small 'chime in' from the education sector.

    This is from the education market perspective. We deal with high volume, and lack of responsibility / ownership. Your personal experience with a personal device is not likely to be represented by my experience.

    Chromebooks are devouring, pillaging and plundering Apple's education market share. They'll be lucky to have a small fraction of their users after this is all said and done. I expect these numbers to accelerate even more once touch screen Chromebooks with Android fully emerge. These Chromebooks are sweeping in in mass waves. The management of these is trivial in comparison to iPads. The cost to manage a Chromebook is less expensive. You can buy a perpetual management license for a Chromebook, for just under $30 per device. (Hopeful life expectancy of a Chromebook is 4 years.) You can buy a yearly management license at around $10 per device for an iPad. (Hopeful life expectancy of an iPad is also around 4 years.)

    The real kick in the shins is what you can ultimately do with them. In order to do anything productive like writing a research paper, essay, etc, you need a keyboard. It took my district 3 years to admit that. Got an iPad? Now you'll need to spend more $. It's yet another thing to charge, yet another thing to break or get lost. The Chromebook has it built in, and for a total cost that is 1/3rd to 1/4th the cost. 3 or 4 Chromebooks for the price of one iPad?

    Not everything is all roses with the Chromebooks though. There is a race to the bottom for price. When prices drop to insanely stupid prices like $160 per device, plus $30 management fee, you're going to end up with issues. Build quality suffers, and parts are so cheap that you're trying to repair these things in staggering numbers. So while I said the hopeful life expectancy of a Chromebook is 4 years, the failure rate of these devices has been extremely high. 1/3rd of the devices we've bought brand new less than 1 year ago, have been on my desk for some sort of device failure. I've replaced 30 keyboards under warranty myself (after our vendor started shipping keyboards out in bulk to us at no charge). That was after we had 15 devices shipped out at the same time for failed keyboards. The power fails on these devices for unknown reasons. Off to warranty repair they go. The audio jack works one day, and is dead the next. That requires a complete replacement of the motherboard. Off to warranty they go.

    The sad thing is, the warranty on these devices is 1 year, non extendable. In May, the fleet we most recently purchased exits warranty. So, at that point, we're on the hook for repairs. Sourcing and buying a replacement keyboard for failure, or student damage (picked off keys are the bane of my existence) comes in at ~$70 just for parts. Fixing the screen (backlights have failed, or broken screen) comes in at around $50 just for parts. These are the only financially viable fixes we can do on the device. A cracked chassis replacement will cost more in parts and labor than the device is worth. A motherboard that needs to be replaced is the same. So now these stupidly cheap devices that have been hailed as the next best thing, that are supposed to last 4 years, may not even make it 2 years due to high costs of repair.

    I get the idea that they're stupid simple to use, cost is dirt cheap, and they're light weight. But at some point, you've got to admit that they're a massive pain to try to maintain, when they are falling apart so fast. You're not going to get the savings you're expecting when you have to replace your fleet every 2 years, not every 4 like you initially thought.

    I work for a private school district. The failure rate for student inflicted damage is 'shocking' to us, but in contrast to what it is at similar sized public school districts, we have nothing to complain about. You'll never find a district where kids aren't breaking stuff on purpose. It's just a fact you accept, and you keep trying to find ways to reduce their desire to do so.
     
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  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    hc, what would you recommend for schools?

    My kids have been in Minneapolis public schools and use neither iPads nor Chromebooks. They've been hauling a large backpack full of books, papers and binders, while their friends in other districts have none of that. In the Fall, they'll start attending Roseville, MN, schools where I believe they'll have a school-issued device.

    Do you think a higher quality, more durable Chromebook would be the answer for long term cost savings? Are there other viable solutions?

    Just reading your comments about the tech support you do is making me tired. :D They're lucky to have you.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  7. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    Hey Jig,

    Looks like your learners will be getting iPads, at least that's what I'm seeing via some sleuthing. https://www.isd623.org/our-district...l-learning-initiative/11-family-guide-digital

    You ask a really good question. Here's the big thing - it really depends on the curriculum the schools are using, what office suite they are using, as well as what Learning Management System (LMS) they have. You'll likely find 3 different camps for office. Old school - MS Office Professional installed on their workstations, students and staff with Exchange email. Office 365 cloud based office. Or Google Apps for Education, now renamed G Suite. The mobile device they choose, should work well with those services.

    As far as LMS, there are a fair number out there. This one seems to be the hot topic, with administrators and teachers wanting to change the LMS every few years. Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Schoology, and more...That's a technical nightmare the administrators never seem to understand, but not a topic that needs further discussion here. The current LMS they have in place can have impact on what 1:1 device would be best. Some of them still require Java, Shockwave and Flash. Yeah, can you believe that?

    Can you see where there isn't a one size shoe that fits all?

    There are more robust Chromebooks out there, coming in the $350 range. My problem with those is the fact that the Chromebook has an EOL of 5 years from release date. Districts have a goofy fiscal calendar, and thus by the time they order, receive them, and then get them into the students hands, you're likely to have about 4 years left on them. Thus, why we say 'hoped 4 years' of use. To me, that's a bit borderline too expensive for a disposable device. I know were really hanging out there in terms of workstation currency, but 4 years at most is extremely short. I maintain our windows fleet for up to 8 years.

    Well, that's all I've time for, for now. Off to our friend's house for some Easter Egg dying!

    If you've got more questions, ask them here. :)
     
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  8. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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  9. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I still don't get the "flip" concept, at least in the tablet mode. Who's gonna hold that thing? 1.36 kg is about 3 pounds. Sounds too heavy for unsupported casual browsing. I've still got my HP Touchpad and at 1.6 pounds, it was uncomfortable unless propped on something.
     
  10. Hook

    Hook Nexus or Nothin'

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    I think the point is more that there are several ways to get the keyboard out of the way and just use it as a tablet, including supported modes. You might use it in unsupported mode to do something quickly or have it in your lap or on a table in front of you. It's just a natural mode to include in the flip design which is intended to provide multiple modes depending on your needs.
     
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