FHS Press

Windows has more of what students need

Cade Skuse, Editor-in-Chief (Online)

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With how many different laptops that are available on today’s market, it is always difficult picking out which one is the best. Some have more features than others and have far superior hardware that makes them run better. In the case of the new Chromebooks that were bought for the freshmen and sophomore classes, it’s not so clear that they are better than the old Dell Latitude 3340 laptops that are still being used by the junior and senior classes.

One of the main differences between the old laptops and the new Chromebooks is the lack of some of the main programs that came with the old Dell laptops. The new Chromebooks don’t contain any of the Adobe programs such as Photoshop or InDesign that are used in several classes in the high school. Some other programs that the Dell Chromebooks lack are any of the Microsoft Suite programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel or OneNote) because the Chromebooks can only use the Google programs (Docs, Slides or Sheets).

While the use of the Google programs do have their advantage over the Microsoft programs — such as the ability for several collaborators to be able to edit the same document at once — these programs do not have as much customization options as the Microsoft programs. However, they do provide what a student needs in order to succeed, so it is not as bad as not having any word-processing programs at all.

“I think it all comes down to being able to customize on personal preference. With the old laptops, you aren’t just limited [to] Google applications and what you can do,” junior Dylan Chandler explained.

While on the topic of programs, another con to the Chromebooks is the lack of use of the programs when not connected to the internet.

“When the Chromebooks are not connected to Wi-Fi, [they are] limited to a calculator, note app and camera,” sophomore Josiah Dubovi said.

Due to this, the Chromebooks have little use outside of the capability of what a phone is able to do. If a student doesn’t have access to the internet, there isn’t much work that they are able to do, which causes a problem for students to be able to do their classwork outside of school.

While the new Chromebooks have some software issues, there are also some problems with the hardware. One of these problems is a lack of an SD card reader. Instead, the Chromebooks have a microSD card reader. This poses a problem. Students that use cameras that require SD cards are not able to retrieve the pictures off of the SD cards without the use of another device. With the old laptops, students could access both SD cards and microSD cards with an adapter so it would not pose a problem.

Another small issue with the new laptops is their size. While new Chromebooks are smaller and more compact, this also means that the overall computer screen is much smaller. The old laptops have a screen display size of 13.3 inches, while the new Chromebooks only have a screen size of 11.6 inches. This is about a 13 percent difference in screen size and when it comes to laptops, it is often easier to see better with a bigger screen.

Overall, the new Chromebooks lack a lot of features that the old laptops had. The new laptops are supposed to improve how students learn, but with the lack of some features instead does the opposite.

“I firmly believe that [the] limitations of the Chromebooks have diminished my learning experience and I am very frustrated that these problems weren’t considered when purchasing them,” Dubovi stated.

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Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper
Windows has more of what students need