Chromebook vs Netbook vs iPad vs ASUS Transformer

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Chromebook vs Netbook vs iPad vs ASUS Transformer

Currently we have several desktop labs, a few mobile Windows laptops labs and three iPad mobile labs.  Looking forward to next year with increased usage of Google Docs and Moodle, I am looking to increase our accessibility to computers.  We are not planning to go 1 to 1.  Has anyone done a true comparison of the options?  Here are my thoughts off the top of my head.

Windows laptops:  Pros:  Easy to manage, Software availability.  Cons:  Slow, battery life.

Windows Netbooks:  Pros:  Same as laptops with better battery life.  Cons:  Slow, screens are small.

iPads:  Pros:  Instant on, great battery life.  Cons:  No user accounts, no management, expensive.

Android Tablet:  Pros:  Instant on, great battery life.  Cons:  not sure since I don't have one.  Do they have user accounts?

Chromebook:  Pros:  Instant on, great battery life, real web browser.   Cons:  Not sure since I don't have one yet.

Just looking for people thoughts.



Chromebook experience

This year we raised funds to purchase 13 Chromebooks (the Samsung variety at $249).  

Our initial impression is that these machines are just what we needed!  They are small, light, portable, support numerous user accounts (without having to set them up), cloud storage (so students are not clogging up the server with saved documents etc.), and it integrates the GoogleDrive (which we are really trying to use for all projects).  

Since our school utilizes the Google Apps for Education it was really simple to upload the 100 student usernames using a simple spreadsheet for a batch add.  We were able to group all students separate from teachers so they had limited access to email (within the domain only), and to try and have a better handle on what the kids were doing/accessing.

We also have a COW with Dell Netbooks (tiny screen!) which stopped being used as soon as we got the new Chromebooks.    While I would have LOVED to purchase a set of iPads for our school it was just out of the budget.  

Here are the pro's and con's we have come up with so far:

Pro: nice size screen, light, long battery life, great touchpad size and function (multitouch gestures), portable, multiple user accounts all on one machine (can be added and removed very easily), economical, a REAL keyboard for teaching students typing skills, EVERYTHING Google is integrated and easily accessible, 

Con: cheap and flimsy feel, only a webcam style camera (no ability to use camera to capture anything else), teachers fighting to get access to the Chromebooks, students now think that netbooks are lame and out-dated

As you can tell we are really pleased with the Chromebooks!  I was a major supporter and advocate for purchasing the Chromebooks over other devices and up to now I have not heard any real complaints (which was not the case with the old COW full of netbooks).  

I would like to see what others are saying about Chromebooks and other tech devices as well.

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