If your school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, choosing the right device may seem a bit daunting.
Microsoft and our technology partners have worked together with schools and Microsoft Expert Educators to bring you this short guide of things to look out for.
Always check with your school to see if they have a preferred device list, recommended specifications or a preferred specialist supplier before making your choice.
Look for the    when choosing a device for school.
Tablets have no physical keyboard and so are best for viewing content, using apps and playing games. Their smaller, lighter form factor means they are often used by very young students. Tablets are also a great ancillary device for older students who want to read content, conduct simple web research and play games on the move.
Laptops or Notebooks range from the ultra-lightweight devices to powerful rugged devices to suit the toughest of school environments. Powerful laptops can run the more demanding educational programs and are good for students who want to write code, edit videos and create games, as well as manage their schoolwork in a single device.
Laptops with a touch screen as well as the keyboard are very versatile, making them ideal for diverse student learning styles and tasks. With plenty of power for running full programs and a touch screen for visualisation and kinaesthetic learning, they are great for multimedia and visual arts students. Some laptops have the option for a pen, increasing the potential of the device further.
2-in-1 devices are laptops where you can remove the keyboard, making them a great investment for school. With the addition of a digital pen, students can take handwritten notes, spontaneously capture and sketch out brainstorm ideas, write mathematically and input character based writing such as Chinese. The flexibility of this style of device gives students the option to study whilst lying on the floor or even in bed.
Check if your school has a BYOD program with recommended devices, and preferred suppliers who may offer useful additional services and extended warranties.
To help you choose, print the Choosing a Device for School Checklist.
A slim profile, lightweight laptop with a long battery life may be the right choice for creatives. These flexible devices are good for students who use creative software and want a really portable device to work where they work. Choose a 2-in-1 model with touch and a digital pen for the ultimate versatility.
Laptops with high performance features are ideal for more complex work, coding (or gaming). Technical students will also benefit from the features of a 2-in-1 with touch screen, and ideally, a digital pen- great for note-taking, in maths, science and languages.
2-in-1 devices work as a tablet and a laptop, so are a great investment for serious school work. Some have a digital pen to take notes and jot down maths and science equations or for handwriting in foreign languages. Plus there's a full keyboard for typing longer assignments.
Important to note: Microsoft advises that purchasers always check that the detailed specification of a particular model is as expected and that it meets your desired criteria. Features and functions will vary within a manufacturers range. This checklist, has been created by Microsoft as a guide only. It is based on our experience of working with K-12 schools in Australia and has been built with assistance from device manufacturers. Please remember that actual requirements will vary by usage and user, and we recommend you seek advice from a specialist supplier.
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