For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing the Lenovo X131e Chromebook. For the most part, when folks hear “Chromebook”, they think of the $249 Samsung Chromebook. We’ve bought some of the Samsung models for testing and I’m impressed with the price, but not really that impressed with the product.
Why wouldn’t we want the cheaper model? Wouldn’t it mean that we’d get more devices? It’s true that we’d get more devices for our money, but my concern is durability. The Samsung models are smaller and lighter…. in fact, light enough to present some issues to the screens when they are accidentally dropped. Although the Lenovo model is thicker and heavier than the Samsung models, its strength is durability. They’ve built the frame and corners to be rugged and durable. Another area of concern on the Samsung model is the power adapter, which is an extremely narrow metal connector. We’re seeing them get bent or even worse… bending while connected to the device which breaks the ability to recharge the laptop.
So what does all this mean? Are we returning the Samsung models? We’re not returning the Samsung model that we have, we’re just at the point where we think it’s wise idea to buy several different models so that we can see how the durability pans with real student usage.
Why is the district even looking at Chromebooks? Do you expect that Chromebooks will replace all other computers? No, Chromebooks won’t replace all other models. Instead, it’s another tool that’s available to help provide more affordable access to basic Internet browsing and word processing. Here’s another great resource that explains the 6 reasons educators are choosing Chromebooks.