Google Chromebook vs Microsoft Surface SE Laptop
Welcome to the exciting world of cloud computing! The clash between Microsoft Surfaces and Chromebooks has everyone talking, and we’re here to uncover the ultimate victor. So, don’t hesitate – join us as we step into the arena of cloud-powered devices and place your bets on the reigning champion. It’s time to buckle up and dive into this epic showdown!
SURFACE LAPTOP SE
This specific brand of Surface Laptop is aimed for student use. There are other Surface Laptops that are designed for staff use.
We asked our techs to take a look at this new product and they were pleased with the quality. It has a sturdy exterior and slick design. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, however due to the light grey colour, we can imagine they may start to look a bit grubby after a while.
All files are downloaded or saved in OneDrive and students will have their own 365 account to log in to the device. We see this as a very good way of transitioning over to a more cloud-based file storage solution and avoiding setting up 2 lots of email accounts for students (i.e. 365 and Gmail).
It’s worth mentioning that these specific laptops are not available for the average consumer at the moment as they are solely designed for use in Education – which bodes well for functionality and rigorous testing/specialist educational features.
I think the most exciting feature for us, is the ability to play Minecraft (included in the license cost). Also, the admin Intune portal replicates the policies on your school’s server and so makes it very easy for our technicians to set up reliably.
Speaking of licensing: You will need to purchase one license for every 40 students.
As with the Chromebook, there are limitations with not being able to download anything that is not accessible from the Microsoft store i.e. ActivInspire.
The cost of these Surface Laptops is a very big talking point, coming in at almost half of the traditional Windows laptops – very similar to Google Chromebook cost.
For a few years now, the Chromebook has been a good cost-effective alternative to laptops within schools and home. For schools who have already been using Gmail accounts or Google Classroom, they have been and continue to be a great resource.
However, from a technician’s point of view, we find the admin control centre (the app that controls updates/policies etc) to be unreliable at times due to having differing policies from those on your server.
They use a Chrome OS, so apps are limited to only what is available on the Google Store.
The low cost, comparable to the Surface SE laptops, is what makes these devices so popular.
Although Teams can be downloaded onto Chromebooks to access a limited version of Word, Excel etc, we find that the functionality is better when using a Windows device (ie. Surface SE laptops) because it is designed for use on these machines and the full versions are already installed.
Licensing is also needed for the use of these devices, however the cost is per device.
If you are a school who have opted primarily for Windows for students, the Surface SE laptop would be a great (and much cheaper) alternative to go for. However, if you are already using Google accounts/Google Classroom within your school (although switching to Windows would be relatively simple) you may wish to stick with the traditional Google Chromebooks.
Both of these devices come with restrictions, as they are designed primarily for browser/online use. As with the great debate of Apple Vs Android, there are opinions for and against both however it really comes down to what the user prefers. Why not speak to your technician to see what their opinion would be to best suit the needs of your students.