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 v9, Android 4.4(KitKat), Windows 10
Typical devices that would be suitable would be any Apple iPad higher than version 1 (mini, 2, retina, air etc), 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
- At least a 10″ screen and keyboard
- At least a 3-hour battery life
- Wireless networking
Almost any reasonably modern laptop will suffice, particularly from the main brands of Acer, Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Dell etc. Chromebooks from various vendors are also completely suitable for sixth form work and integrate very well with our GSuite for Education environment.
Students are given unlimited cloud storage space on Google Drive, meaning storage on the device itself is less of an issue.
Whilst we do not specifically recommend an individual retailer or manufacturer, we can point you in the direction of where we know families have purchased from previously.
Online retailers such as eBuyer and Laptops Direct often sell tablet devices cheaper than the high street can offer. Free delivery is available on the majority of products too. On the high street, we have Apple stores close by in both Watford and Brent Cross. John Lewis is a reputable retailer who continue to offer a price match guarantee if you see the same product cheaper at a comparable retailer. For peace of mind, John Lewis also includes a minimum 2-year guarantee on all electrical products. Whilst we do not endorse any retailer, we know these are just some of the popular choices among parents.