The Verge has run this article twice this year and they just republished it with slightly different recommendations. So, I’ve written (now my third time) a quick articlethat you should ask your school, not just trust a blog (hey-this is a blog) to which laptop/device is appropriate for your child. The school will have recommendations that will support their curriculum.
What’s my problem?
If you notice the circled part of the article – it is a disclaimer that states that The Verge may get earn a commission if you click one of their links and purchase the product. That’s how that works. That is also how sites like the New York Times Wirecutter and Commercial Reports help to generate revenue.
I like The Verge and their content and those writers need to get paid and advertising and affiliate links help keep the lights on and those people employed. I like that.
The author (Monica Chen) early on does recommend that this is a jumping off point not the end all be all list.
So why would you title your article “What’s the best student laptop? We asked students“
It seems as though the answer is just a mouse scroll away.
The list itself
I also have issues with the list itself. I won’t dive deeply here. I will just make two points.
The recommendations for Elementary students has a Kindle Fire tablet for school. This is a bad idea.
First off, it does not have any Google apps. That means no YouTube, no Google Classroom, no Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets – you get the picture. There is a work around to get that on there, but how many parents are going to take that time when they can just purchase an iPad or Chromebook (two options that are on the list).
What this tablet does have is a great holiday price point, lots of videos that can be consumed. It is primarily a device for entertainment and is usually a big seller around the holidays.
The next is the list for middle school, high school and college students. Check them out below. The order is not all that important.
Do you see a MacBook Air anywhere on the list? Here is a link to The Verge review of the latest MacBook Air where Dieter Bohn proclaims:
And the fact that it starts at $900 USD – why wouldn’t you put it on the list?
Reminder – ask your school
Just a reminder out there people – ask your school. They will have recommendations and then go try them out yourself. One good thing about devices these days are the choices. There are a ton of choices and at a lot of different price point. You are sure to find something that matches your budget and your child’s needs.
Back in June I wrote this same article. You can read it here. Basically it was in response to an article written by Monica Chen of The Verge. The article “recommends” the best laptop for students at all levels by students.
Well, they just republished the article again and I thought I’d just remind parents and students out there to use these articles as a jumping off point. A place to start your research not as a definitive source.
Remember that all of these sites are powered off of ad revenue. All of them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these recommendations were actually paid for. For example, no way I would recommend an iPad Air for a high school student where I live. I know that all the surrounding high schools are either Google Workspace schools or Office 365 schools. There are much better options at that price point for those students than an iPad. An advertisement that looks like an actual article is a native ad and it may be what is happening here.
Again, check with your school. They will have recommendations and can help you narrow down your search much better than a tech journalist or a blogger like myself 🙂
Alright boys and girls. As promised this is the first post of many from our podcasting panel that talks about what blogs we read, why we read them and where to find them. We all agree that you will find valuable information that pertains to your teaching practices. Of course they can be pretty darn entertaining to read too which makes them even compelling to try out. So read on past the break to see my list and of course, if you have some great blogs that you read, leave them in the comments. For the record the girl in the picture is not me.