Update: August 2016
Schools don’t really need top of the range equipment. Given our budgets, we only need equipment that runs the software that we use. Since the Internet and Open Source software has become so mainstream, there really isn’t any particular software we need that requires a huge amount of power. In fact, with cloud computing and Internet services, we don’t really need anything other than a good Internet connection these days.
We only need something to run an Office Suite (Open Office or Google Apps for Education are free), the Internet (Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are great) and then any software we have knocking about in the school, (most of which is old.)
A refurbished computer is basically an old computer that a company has thrown away because it’s too old for their needs. When I say old, right now, an old computer is one with anything from 2 to 4GB RAM RAM. Because of the recycling laws, rather than it landing on a landfill, it is recycled by a company such as Camara, GreenIT or Rehab. These refurbishing folk take a computer, wipe the hard disk clean then usually install a copy of Windows on it. They then sell these computers to anyone who wants them.
The price is usually the reason people want to buy these refurbished computers. You can get a fully working laptop from around €120 to €250. This compares to the €400 or so one would spend on a brand new laptop. Some companies also offer refurbished PCs and iPads. Because the refurbished PC is adequate for most schools’ needs, there seems to be no reason to buy a new PC. Schools, who are also meant to be environmentally aware, are doing their bit there too.
What’s the minimum spec PC or Laptop that I would go for? I’d say you’ll need to be looking at a i5 processor minimum with at least 4GB RAM, (You might get away with 2GB for a little while longer though.)
I always tell people that there are three reasons I always buy refurbs. Firstly, they are cheap. Secondly, they do exactly what I need in a primary school setting. Thirdly, they are usually fairly ugly looking things, which means they rarely, if ever, get stolen!
Last Update: August 17, 2017