The Intelligent Laptop Computer cart (www.bretford.com) decreases heat and electrical stress while proportionally distributing power to the laptops, so batteries last longer. A special Cable Clutter Closet in the back portion of each unit stores all power cords and wires. The “brain” in each Intelligent Laptop Computer cart redistributes power not only to ensure consistent charging but also to keep the laptops cool and prevent them from overheating. The brain also senses when the laptop batteries are almost charged, then automatically decreases power, extending battery life and saving energy. The Intelligent Laptop Computer carts require only a single circuit—one plug to the wall outlet for each cart—to minimize circuit tripping and reduce electricity consumption.
Hewlett Packard Mini 2140 Notebook PCThe 2140 is the most recent upgraded addition to the HP Mininote line of netbooks. The device weighs only 2.6 pounds but sports as much basic computing power and performance as any student or teacher would need in a classroom. The brushed-aluminum-clamshell case protects a 92-percent-fullsize QWERTY keyboard and 10.1-inch diagonal HP Illumi-Lite LED display. The screen supports a 16:9 aspect ratio, similar to those of many newer TVs, and you can choose between standard and high resolution. The integrated VGA webcam enables video and still-image capture built into the top of the open clamshell.PROS: The performance upgrade from the HP 2133 Mini-note is obvious. The enhanced resolution and stereo audio were immediately met by oohs and aahs from the student reviewers. The keyboard is also the most comfortable of the netbooks T&L has reviewed, which makes this the best device for older students and the best personal professional device for teachers. The 2140 feels durable to the touch, and while we didn’t perform any spill tests, the HP DuraKeys finish (a clear coating applied over the keyboard) should give added protection against any cafeteria accidents.CONS: Compared with some of the packaged education applications that come installed in competitive products, the vanilla Microsoft’s OS options are limiting. The price point may be too high for some schools and districts as well.OVERALL EVALUATION: This device would make a terrific one-to-one solution, especially for high-school students. Its performance and multimedia features would work even for students graduating and moving on to college. The netbook could also do double duty as a mobile presentation device for classrooms.www.hp.comRetail price: starts at $449
Bretford has launched its first cart for mini laptops: the NETBOOK32 Microcomputer Laptop Cart. This cart stores, secures, charges, and transports up to 32 microcomputers and peripherals. The NETBOOK32 cart incorporates two shelves each of which has eight compartments that can hold 16 mini computers, for a total of 32 laptops. The cart has two main sources of power: an automatic timer-charger with two 16-outlet electrical units and an auxiliary fouroutlet power strip that is mounted inside the cart to accommodate accessory equipment, such as projectors and document cameras.