Laptops for Portable Computer Lab essay

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The technological revolution of the past century has made possible things that one could not even imagine. The Internet, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, touch screens, etc. – all these things were in the imagination of the science fiction writers only. Nevertheless, people use portable computers, smartphones, and other gadgets every day and do not even imagine how we can live without them. A laptop was probably the first sign of the upcoming changes in the world of computers.

Mobility was the main advantage and a major plus of laptops at the dawn of the computer age and the driving factor of the further technology development. Laptops are “handy mobile computers” (D’Silva). Freedom that a mobile device provides cannot be overestimated. In addition, they assure the completion of various tasks a desktop computer cannot provide. Designers and engineers did not stop the attempts to improve the laptop concept in terms of changing forms, functionality, and usability, for which reason new models are presented on the market on the regular basis.

The major objective of the paper is to compare and contrast two laptops existing on the market in order to choose one of them. This device of choice should have the best cost/functionality ratio, and the goal is to advise the laptop to be purchased for a portable computer lab. The task is to purchase 30 units. Therefore, the choice has to be well-grounded and supported by obvious advantages of the best model. However, deficiencies and downsides should be noted, as well.

The first option is Dell Vostro 3560 Laptop (Dell). This is an advanced business laptop with a screen of 15 inches in size. It has the following specifications: “3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Processor (2.50GHz, with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10GHz); Windows 7 Professional SP1, 64-bit with XP Mode Installed, English; 15.6" High Definition (720p) LED Display with Anti-Glare™; 4GB2 Single Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz; 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive; 8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive); Intel HD Graphics 4000; 1 Year Basic Hardware Service with 1 Year NBD Onsite Service after Remote Diagnosis; 5.75 lbs.” (Dell).

The customers provided various reviews regarding the functionality, speed, and other aspects. The customer satisfaction level is somewhere around 3 stars of 5. There are certain issues with fan speed (several customers claimed it is noisy); HDD issues (in case of SSD use); and several minor problems with other components (Dell). In general, Vostro 3560 in this configuration is a fast and reliable computer for a portable computer lab. Integrated graphics and high-capacity hard drive should provide the necessary mobility and space for multiply users of the lab. The price of this laptop is $649. The budget saves $530.

The second option is HP ENVY dv6-7220us Notebook PC (HP). This is entertaining solution; however, the computer can be used for the variety of tasks. It also has 15 inches size. The laptop features the following specifications: “Windows 8 64; Intel® Core™ i5-3210M (3.1 GHz/2.5 GHz ) Turbo Boost Technology; Intel HD Graphics 4000 (up to 1.65 GB); 6 GB DDR3; 750 GB SATA (5400 rpm); SuperMulti DVD burner; 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; 802.11b/g/n; 6-cell (47WHr) Li-Ion; Up to 5 hours; 15.6" HD BrightView LED-backlit (1366 x 768); 5.66 lbs.; 1-year limited hardware warranty with toll-free support.” (HP).

The customers provided rather similar reviews regarding the functionality, speed, and other aspects. The customer satisfaction level is somewhere around 4 stars of 5. There are certain issues with indication of Num Lock mode and lights around the touchpad (several customers outlined these peculiarities as issues) (HP); HDD issues (too slow during the initial load process); several minor problems with other components, among others. In general, HP ENVY dv6-7220us in this configuration is fast and reliable computer for a portable computer lab. Integrated graphics and high-capacity hard drive should provide the necessary mobility and space for multiply users of the lab. The price of this laptop is $659.99. The budget saves nothing.

Considering the objectives of the comparative research and both options it would be advisable to purchase HP ENVY dv6-7220us laptop. The reasoning is as follows. Dell has better screen, the same processor, and weights almost the same as HP model. It costs less, and $530 can be used by the lab in order to purchase additional equipment. On the other hand, HP has more operational memory (6GB versus 4GB); larger HDD (750GB versus 500GB); and newer Windows (8 versus 7) (HP; Dell). The last feature might be an issue for the computer lab at the beginning, due to the differences in interface from Windows 7 and compatibility issues with numerous programs necessary for the appropriate lab experiments and practical tasks. However, it should be noted that Microsoft is solving emerging problems rather effectively and in a timely fashion (using patches and updates of Windows 8). This is the future of Windows development, so this is an advantage that HP has.

After the careful evaluation of the both options, more performance should be provided by HP. Therefore, students should have better work experience in case of using HP ENVY dv6-7220us laptop as their tools for lab works. In the long run, Windows 8, 6GB of RAM, 750GB HDD should provide HP laptops with longer life-cycle within this lab so there would not be the need in comparatively shortcoming upgrading of the computers (in this case, purchase of new laptops) (HP; Dell). Students of the lab will have the opportunity to get themselves familiar with a new version of Windows.

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