We recently received and imaged our new Dell Latitude 110L notebook computers for the M-13 and M-14 science labs. I am very pleased with the budget machines so far. Lightweight, their minimalist design reminds me of a black iBook. We bought 16 of them for about $1050 per unit (volume education pricing).
These machines replace a set of bulky Latitude c840’s that I bought almost immediately after joining UHS three years ago. The great advantage of the c840s was that they had a P4 processor, not common in midpriced laptops at the time. In the lab, however, they caused a great tangle opf ethernet cables, security cables, and power adapters. This time, we are going to keep everything in an Anthro laptop storage cart and pull only the laptops out when needed. Add a couple of wireless access points, and we should have a more reliable, flexible solution computing than in the past.
The catch with laptops is that you don’t really know how good a model is until two years have elapsed. A good model will still run reliably in its third year, whereas a poor model will start falling apart (sometimes literally).