Key Stage 3/4
- At least a 7″ screen
- At least a 5-hour battery life
- Wireless networking and internet
- Still and video camera recording facility
- At least 16Gb of storage
- At least iOS v13, Android 11 (Honeycomb), Windows 10
Typical devices that would be suitable would be a new Apple iPad, popular Android tablets such as Google Nexus and Samsung Galaxy. The tablet most popular amongst students is the iPad Mini. There is an element of ‘you get what you pay for’, and although Apple devices are more expensive, students who have had their devices since year 7 are still successfully using them in year 11. Some of the very cheap Android tablets suffer from slower performance and problems connecting to WiFi. Android Tablets such as the Asus ZenPad 8 S or 10 inch version retail at around £150 and are well specified devices that are good value.
Some students have opted for Windows tablets (e.g. Acer Iconia Tab 8) or hybrid tablets with detachable keyboards. These will be fine in general, though be aware that not all Apps on the recommended list are available for these platforms and the laptop format is less portable for students and not well suited for still/video photography. Kindle Fire HD 8 or better are also generally fine, although Amazon’s app store has fewer applications than the Google Play store.
Key Stage 5
Our minimum requirements are simple:
- At least a 13″ screen
- At least a 3-hour battery life
- Wireless networking
Almost any reasonably modern laptop will suffice, particularly from the main brands of Acer, Apple, Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Dell, etc. Chromebooks from various vendors are also completely suitable for sixth form work and integrate well with our GSuite for Education environment.
You will be given unlimited cloud storage space on Google Drive, meaning storage space on the device itself is less of an issue.
You should consider the weight of the device (you will be carrying it to and from school and between lessons) and battery life so that you are not constantly having to recharge it. Insuring your device is up to you, but personal devices won’t be covered by school insurance so you should consider coverage for accidental damage or theft if you think that is a risk. A robust carrying case is a wise investment in keeping the laptop safe.
We do not recommend specific vendors since prices are constantly changing. Vendors such as eBuyer.com typically offer good value on frequently changing stock and stores such as John Lewis have a reputation for good customer service and extended warranties.