Looking for inexpensive, high-quality PCs for school? This recommendation may well be your solution.
With tight budgets and limited time, it can be difficult to source high-quality PCs.
This is what most educators look for:
- Value-for-money computers that make the most of stretched budgets
- Kid-proof (to an extent)
- Low heat and noise output (to keep rooms cool and minimise cost of energy)
- Take up little room to maximise physical desktop space available
- Computers that will last at least 3 years
- Inexpensive maintenance
A little while ago, faced with limited funds and aging PCs, I did some research to figure out what would be good value for money. I settled on the Gigabyte Brix J1900 Celeron computers. I was initially sceptical about the performance of the Celeron processor, but for everyday school use, they've proven to be perfect - and extremely cost effective. You really don't need to pay an excessive amount to a third party to source them for you.
- Gigabyte Brix J1900, £94.97
- 120GB Solid state drive, £30.99
- 16GB SODIMM memory kit (8GB x 2), £116.15 (i.e. £58.08 per PC)
Total per PC: £184.04 (as of April 2018)
The PCs have USBs for keyboard, mouse and memory stick. Support WiFi and have a normal network connection. They can output to VGA and/or HDMI. There are also audio ports.
Of course, if you are not replacing existing PCs, you'll need a few extras.
A keyboard and mouse will add around £15. I'd stick to a branded keyboard as some of the cheap ones really do make typing hard work.
If you need a screen, it will add around £70.
I am making the assumption that you have a school licence for an operating system. If you are moving to 'The cloud', there is always Chromium OS available for free, but this may take some technical know-how to get up and running.
For a total cost of around £270 for a reasonable-spec computer, I think it's difficult to go wrong!
And those who are more thrifty may be able to pick up components on eBay or similar. Just remember that the memory is SODIMM - you need the right type for it to work!
They are very quick and easy to set up (my students did most of this) and mount on the back of existing LCD monitors - so they are generally out of the way and probably less likely to be fiddled about with. They are silent, consume little power and take up next to no physical space, helping to keep energy bills down and maintain a nice working environment.
Yes, there are limitations if you ever wanted to upgrade, but given the cost of these machines, it would be less hassle to replace them in 2-3 years' time if needs be.
©2018 Laurence James