The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed a lot of people to adapt to a new normal of physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. As part of the physical distancing measures, the government has instructed the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct the next semester’s class online and away from physical classes. With that parents are now left with the question about what gadgets to buy for their child’s online classes. Here we give our thoughts and suggestions about what you should get.
Option 1: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook
Chromebooks are perfect for young students who simply need a device to access the internet and do some light browsing. The Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook is a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet that’s powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor. Mostly running on ChromeOS, this is a powerhouse machine, and relies on Google apps such as Doc, Spreadsheet, and Slides.
The best thing about the IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook is that it’s a 2-in-1 that can also function as a multimedia device. Chromebooks offer less distraction to students since they can’t run Windows programs and games, so you don’t have to worry about your kid sneaking in a few games while class is ongoing. Price is also a massive plus for the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook as it retails for a very pocket-friendly PHP 20,995.
Option 2: Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is the second generation of Microsoft Surface Go Tablets. This tablet has a 10.5-inch touchscreen and depending on the configuration can have Intel’s latest M3 mobile processor. It has up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC internal storage.
The main advantage of the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is that it runs full Windows so you can enjoy the productivity of a Windows system. To complete the set you’ll definitely need the Surface Pen stylus, and the Microsoft Type cover.
Pricing makes the Surface Go 2 appealing as the base model is only USD 399 for the tablet itself. The Surface Pen is another USD 100 and the Type cover is USD 130 . The accessories may bulk up the price of the device but the comfort, portability, and the familiarity of Windows makes this a great device not just for students but also for young professionals who just need light computing.
A major disadvantage of this device is the limited number of sellers in the country. Most are resellers buying from overseas, so you might not have the assurance of a warranty in case something goes wrong.
Option 3: Acer Nitro 5
Acer’s Nitro series is its budget gaming line made for users who need a versatile laptop that can game on the side. The Nitro 5 AN515-52 model has an Intel Core i5-8300H processor which is a quad core/ eight threads processor with a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz. The laptop also has an integrated Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM.
For PHP 39,999 you get the 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD variant. If you want higher RAM and SSD there are open slots for future upgrades. I suggest getting the additional RAM right away since 4GBs won’t get you anywhere far.
The major downside of the Nitro 5 is its battery life and portability. The 48Wh battery only has 5.5 hours of juice (according to Acer), so you’ll need the power brick if you want to get some work done outside of your home.
Our choices here may not fit all of your requirements, but rest assured there are a lot more laptops and 2-in-1s in the market. What’s important is that you know what specs you need and want.