Has a “Bring your own device” policy been recently introduced in your child’s school and you need some BYOD recommendations asap? Have you received a sheet of requirements and a list of preferred suppliers and now you need to take care of the rest?
No doubt the prices of the best laptops and tablets can be shocking. And if you have more children, it adds up faster than you can say “money doesn’t grow on trees”. So, now what?
Buying a suitable device outright can really put a dent in your family finances. But with Direct Appliance Rentals, you can make sure your child gets the best device for their needs NOW. Without the huge pressure on your budget that a big purchase like a laptop can cause.
While BYOD policy is not a nation-wide standard just yet, expect it to be spreading to more and more schools as we speak. It’s a new age!
So, whether you’ve been looking for a solution for a while or the new BYOD policy in your school caught you by surprise, read on.
Use these BYOD recommendations as a step by step guide and you’ll avoid confusion and common (and potentially costly!) mistakes. Rather than sifting through all the “bring your own device articles” out there, the following tips are really all you need to confidently choose and rent the best BYOD laptop or tablet today.
Making sense of the BYOD requirements sheet
We’ve outlined the most important device specs to consider comparing laptops and tablets in our Best Rentals For School – Tablet or Laptop? article. But sometimes the BYOD requirements can be very limiting and a lot of schools don’t support the use of tablets or “Android devices”.
On the other hand, sometimes schools can be very demanding. Often times there’s a lot more to be aware of than just the operating system, connectivity, battery, and storage. So, let’s dive in a bit deeper so that you know what to look out for.
MOST IMPORTANT SPECS
OPERATING SYSTEM – The safest option here is Windows 10. The supported versions are always listed in the requirements. Without the right OS, the device might not be compatible with all the school’s required software. Careful about android devices, usually not supported!
SCREEN SIZE – We’ve seen the requirements vary from 9.7” minimum to 15” max. Sometimes the requirements say, “reasonable screen size” – 11” to 13” should be accepted by the majority of schools.
WIFI – This is probably one of the most important BYOD recommendations: It’s not enough to know the device has a Wi-Fi. If your kid’s device can’t connect to the school’s network, it becomes useless. You’ll come across two standards: 802.11 bgn (2.4GHz) or 802.11 ac (5GHz). Sometimes you’ll see a dual-band requirement. Then you want to look for 802.11 b/g/n ac (which means both 2.4GHz and 5GHz). That’s all you need to know.
PROCESSOR – Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 are the most common options, along with Quad Core and other Intel Pentium processors. Keep an eye on the Ghz. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether it’s Intel Core iX or not, as long as the Ghz value is good – Some schools are very specific.
MEMORY – This is not how much can fit onto the disk, but rather how many apps can run at once without the device running slow. Anywhere from 2Gb – 8Gb RAM is common. 4Gb should be sufficient for most.
STORAGE – Minimum accepted for tablet devices seems to be around 32Gb, with 128Gb+ being standard for laptops.
BATTERY LIFE – Minimum we’ve seen is 4 hours, but don’t aim for that. There can never be enough battery power. Today’s apps, software and video drain the batteries fast, so it’s better to be on the safe side. 5hrs minimum, 8hrs+ excellent.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS TO CONSIDER
2-in-1 Touchscreen – Nothing can beat the convenience of a tablet and a laptop all rolled into one. A very sought-after feature that will give your child the most use out of their device. For any touchscreen device, stylus pen can also be a requirement.
Device ports – School requirements often mention the need for a USB port, webcam, microphone port and/or headphones port. These are often a standard. But HDMI or SD card reader slot can be overlooked, so keep them in mind if they’re needed.
“Highly recommended” – Ugh, so is it needed or not? What’s the deal with these half-hearted requirements, you may ask? Will my child be at a disadvantage if the laptop doesn’t have these features?
Short answer? Not really. Consider these optional.
As the rule of a thumb, think of your renting budget first. These features are great to have if you can afford it. If you can fit several of these in, amazing! If you can’t, but really think you need some of these, let us know…there’s so many options out there, you might have overlooked a deal that includes all the features you desire and may still be affordable.
Accessories – Sometimes schools require the device must have a detachable keyboard or come with headphones, a stylus pen or other accessories. Make sure you are aware of these and know which ones are mandatory and which are optional.
Tips for renting the right BYOD
Use a School Code to Preview the BYOD Recommendations That Already Meet the Requirements
If you were provided a school-specific code to purchase a device from JB Hi-Fi Education website, this is a great place to start and get an idea of the device that’s required. Enter your code and several device options to choose from will appear. They all list the specs that are in line with your school’s criteria, so you know what to look for.
Focus on the Most Important Specs First
Now’s the time for some field practice. Browse our tablet range, iPads, laptops or Macs. Our specifications section of each product should make it very easy to check whether it’s a suitable choice or not. Don’t be afraid to ask us, if a feature isn’t available, we can always recommend an alternative.
Your Circumstances a Close Second
Always consider the individual needs of your kids. How is your child going to use the device? Does it have to last several school years? Will you want to pass it down to a second child at some point? Ask yourself these questions and note down what’s the most important features in your circumstances.
Look for Discounts
If you’re after a custom rental, browsing tablets and laptops in your favorite online store, always look for products on sale, special offers or discounts first. The lower the purchase price, the lower the weekly fee we will be able to offer you. Remember we can rent any new product you’re after, so shop around, start with a google search for “student discount laptops Australia” or “student laptop on sale” or similar.
Why You Need a Protective Cover
Because kids. Laptops are expensive technical devices and they can get damaged in a school environment. The most important step to prevent that is to get a protective sleeve, cover, hard shell case or a briefcase. The price range is usually from $7+ for tablet covers and $30+ for laptop covers. As these are fairly cheap, we do recommend buying them outright instead of renting. JB Hi-Fi offers good quality/price balance.
Phone a friend
If at any point you feel like we’re speaking a foreign language, or you feel overwhelmed, either contact your school to help decipher the requirements or give us a call on 1300 339 415.
The Best BYOD for school 2018
Our range specifically focuses on families with school-age children and we’ve handpicked iPads, laptops, and tablets that are the best and the most popular choice amongst our customers. If these BYOD recommendations are not the right fit, check out our full range, or contact us for a custom rental.
Best Tablet BYOD Recommendations
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO
We’ve mentioned that tablets, especially Android ones are not the best choice because of their limited software capabilities. But Microsoft Surface Pro is different. It is a 2-in-1 touchscreen tablet/laptop hybrid that has Windows operating system AND comes with a stylus. A detachable keyboard can be bought separately as well. It is truly the best tablet in terms of often meeting and exceeding the expectations.
Apple products have similar support to tablets. If your school does allow iPads, it is a great quality option that your kids will be proud and excited to have. It is often on their wish list, so they’ll be double happy and hopefully take good care of the device!
Best Laptop for high school students
While some schools start their BYOD programs as early as year 7, year 11 and year 12 student’s laptop requirements are often the most demanding and most expensive. If your child needs a device that will grow with them, it makes sense to look for more powerful options outright. Because getting yet another device after finding out the old one isn’t capable enough anymore can be an unpleasant surprise!
ENTRY LEVEL HP STREAM
Sometimes your school requirements are very basic. In that case, don’t look any further. You’ll love the price of this great little companion and with 11” display, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, Windows 10 and a webcam it’s a great choice. The best part? We offer it as a bundle of two as well, so if you have two younger children that need to get BYOD ready, you’ll save even more!
LENOVO IDEAPAD – Long lasting power
Our Lenovo laptops are understandably one of the most popular in our range. Even the cheapest model we offer has 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, estimated 8hours battery life, Windows 10 and other amazing features. It’s more advanced brother has excellent 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, powerful Intel Pentium Quad Core and an optical drive.
DELL 2-IN-1 TOUCHSCREENS
The best and most convenient tablet/laptop touchscreens in our range. Boasting 4GB RAM, 11” or 15” screen, minimum 128GB storage, Windows 10 and either a 2.6GHz Dual Core or Intel Core i5 processor. These devices are meant to last.
Our goal, like yours, is to make sure your child can learn and grow NOW. That’s why we hope these BYOD recommendations will help you choose and rent the best and the most affordable laptop or tablet you can possibly get.
There are no upfront costs, we deliver your device for free and what’s best – you may be able to make us an offer at the end of the term to buy the item for as little as $1!
Apply online when you’re ready or call and have a friendly 1-on-1 with one of our great team and have all your questions answered right away.
It could only be easier if teleports were invented already 😊
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