The holidays are not over but parents are gearing up to send the kids to school and there is something on the book list that is creating a good deal of concern.
Most schools are asking that parents provide high school students with their own laptops as they enter year 8 and beyond. Some schools don’t care what you supply as a laptop or tablet while others seem to say that getting an Apple product would be a good idea almost to the point of saying “You have to supply an Apple product.”
Nobody likes being told what to do…
- Especially by schools
- Especially if it is Apple if you don’t have warm fuzzy feelings for Apple.
Why do schools like Apple?
Socio-economic and political agendas aside, I can see why schools would rather have Apple over other brands.
Think of a large business where you are managing over 100 devices with limited budget and a high demand on the availablility of the technology that is used day to day.
Notice something in common? All the laptops and desktops tend to be the same make and model. This is beacuse it is much easier to manage one product type over 200 devices than it is to manage 10 product types over 20 devices. Making sure that all this technology is available to everyone dictates that the IT departments will need to make strong recommendations to stick to a particular product. This is why Apple has the education market pretty much sewn up.
Not all bad news though..
I recently had a chat with Apple sales (Australia) and found that the educational pricing is the best pricing that apple can offer (even cheaper than what large businesses would be paying) and teamed up with Student Edge discounts you can get some additional value on the deal. More on that later.
Pro or Air?
I might be strange in the fact that I like to spend money on a purpose once. If I am going to buy a laptop for highschool, I want to only spend that money once for the entire duration of high school. I don’t want to buy two or three devices to perform the one task.
Macbook Air is all well and good but it is limited on storage space and features. All the work has gone into making it super-slim and very good looking.
The Macbook Pro for my money is the winner as it may be a little thicker and heavier but it also has the extra storage as well as the means to play DVD media and take advantage of more features.
What about the pricing?
Sure, Apple is expensive by comparision to most PC equivalents but Apple is keen to give students a hand.
The Macbook Air (11-inch, 128GB) retails at AUD$1099* and after a student discount drops to AUD$1049*
The Macbook Pro (13-inch, 500GB) retails at $1349* and a respectable student discount brings it down to AUD$1229* meaning for an extra AUD$180 you get almost 4 times the storage space, an optical drive and a slightly larger screen.
I can’t afford that right now.
There are finance packages available and Apple also offers 6 months interest free. I am no financial advisor but in my mind, this can make life easier if you can find at least AUD$205 a month to secure a MacBook Pro. If you can afford more, you should be able to include other extras into the finance including Apple Care, an external hard drive for backups and a solid carrying case to protect your investment.
I am a parent of children in and about to enter high school and I am in the same situation. My pick? The Macbook Pro and some smart accessories to keep the computer as safe as possible in the day to day rough and tumble of absent minded teens.
I found that simply talking to Apple on 133622 (Australia) I was able to get some good answers.
Watch this site for an accessory pack I am putting together for new students.