CTL 2go PC
I got my hands on two mini laptops at ACPE this week, the CTL 2go PC and the HP 2133 Mini Note PC. Along the same lines as the ASUS eeePC and the XO, they promise to provide a low-cost device that is suitable for basic classroom use. The HP appears to be just a low-cost version of a regular laptop, whereas the CTL 2go sports a carrying handle and rugged case. The 2go is also less expensive: $379 for the Linux version. The HP keyboard is nearly normal size, whereas the 2go has small keys. While I am sure that these fit kids’ fingers just fine, will they have any difficulty adjusting from full-size and small keyboard formats?
HP 2133 Mini Note PC
Although both models offer a Windows option, I can’t believe that the computers would remain useful for more than a couple of years running Windows XP on an underpowered processor. With Linux, we would have to learn to manage Linux on the desktop for the first time, but the machines would likely last longer. We would also have the opportunity to choose a Linux distribution with a super kid-friendly user interface. We will evaluate and purchase a handful of these devices next year with an eye to purchasing classroom units by next summer. I would like to hear your experiences with inexpensive, classroom laptops.