www.neverware.com■Retail Price: $25.00/device (annual subscription)
CloudReady is a solution that takes existing PC and Mac computers and, in approximately 20 minutes, effectively turns them into a Chrome device. CloudReady offers a digital download of CloudReady, so customers can create their own installers immediately. With CloudReady you can add and manage your converted devices in the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) admin panel with the purchase of an additional management license for each device. The CloudReady solution supports most of the same features as a Chromebook, with a couple of exceptions (check their website to see what features are not supported). It will work well alongside your existing Chromebook inventory. CloudReady is currently certified to work with over 164 different computer models. There is a good chance that your existing systems are on the list.
Quality and Effectiveness: CloudReady is easy to install and does most of the work for you. Overall, the laptop I tested booted up quickly and functioned just like a Chromebook. I experienced no issues with the installation or functioning of the converted device. The devices can also be joined to your GAFE domain in the same manner as a Chromebook.
This solution is an easy and economical way for school districts to extend the life of older computers. Students and teachers can use most of the same features as a regular Chromebook. The devices are an effective way to get more Chrome OS devices into your students’ hands without buying new devices.
Ease of Use: Setup directions are easy to follow and the company Web site provides several support resources. To install CloudReady on your devices, it is recommended that you first backup everything because your hard drive will be erased during the install of the new operating system. After your backup, you will need to set your computers BIOS to boot from USB, insert the USB installer, and let CloudReady do the rest. The install takes 10-20 minutes. The system will shutdown once the installation is complete. After the installation is complete, you can then reboot and log in.
Creative Use of Technology: Cloudready is an innovative solution that will allow you to repurpose existing devices that may be too old, slow, or inefficient in the classroom. The ease of installation and feature set makes is very creative and attractive for education.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: CloudReady is very suitable for use in an educational environment. They are adding newly compatible systems and working on feature additions to make their product better. There are some feature exceptions, so do your homework before making your final decision. There is a trial period to see if the program fits your needs. However, I am confident that it will meet the needs of most schools quite well.
Overall, CloudReady is a good solution for districts to extend the life of their existing fleet of older systems. The annual cost per device, $25.00, is affordable compared to buying new systems. This product is worth your time to see if it’s the right fit for your students and teachers.
• Ease of installation to convert a PC or MAC to a Chromium device.
• Includes all of the core functions of an actual Chromebook and can be added to, and managed, in your GAFE domain.
• Low annual cost compared to buying new devices.