2020 - 2021 Specifications (Updated 20210405)
Our recommendations are similar to last year. Both Small Form-Factor (SFF) configurations are reasonable this year. I like the "Alt Config" which is more expensive, but give much more value. This year, again, the best value PC for general purpose computing happens to be the Ultra SFF (configuration 12). It has basically the same parts as configuration 2, but costs $50 or less. This tiny form-factor does have a couple of drawbacks: 1) it is tough to upgrade as there is VERY little space in the case and 2) the size makes it a little easier to walk off with or drop and there are fewer connectivity ports. All three devices include wifi, which is convenient at times.
Config 2 Alt. Config is definitely the best choice for someone who needs more raw power as it includes a 6-core/12-thread processor and twice the memory and storage as compared to either other config. Note that anyone needing more significant GPU capabilities would be better served by the GTX1650 Add-in Card available in the "Additional Components" section (though graphics cards are CRAZY overpriced due to unique high demand and low supply). Config 1 is hard to recommend unless you need more space for a very powerful graphics card.
I'd pair the 24" E24 or T24i with any of these units as the price of the 21.5" monitor went up this year.
The All-in-One configuration (configuration 3) has many benefits. It is a powerful, space-aware, minimal clutter, and aesthetically pleasing setup. The price is a little higher than a comparable uSFF or SFF configuration and monitor, though. AIO PCs are also a little more fragile and less repairable, so we don’t recommend this unit for everyone, though those wanting to minimize the space dedicated to computing may appreciate these devices.
The 24" All-in-One unit (configuration 4) is no longer a touchscreen, this year. It is, however, a good choice for minimizing wires/clutter and a little more powerful and has a larger screen as compared to Config 3. The SFF (Config 2, Alt. Config) build and a 24" monitor are a notably better bargain for better performance, and a uSFF (config 12) and one of the associated TIO monitors with touch capability would still offer touch-screen capabilities for those interested. Note there is no solution that offers a touchscreen *and* webcam for an All-in-One class device this year. A webcam would have to be added.
Both these devices do include a microphone/camera, so this might be considered if you'd like to video conference without having to rely on a laptop.
It is difficult to recommend portable configurations due to all the circumstances to take into consideration.
For anyone often on the go, the 14" Thinkpad L14 (Configuration 7) is the best unit all-around. It is just over 3 lbs. and is small enough to carry from one location to the other with relative ease. It has a powerful processor, capable graphics, and a Full HD screen. I'd be happy with this machine.
The High-End Touchscreen Ultraportable (Configuration 9) is a wonderful machine. It is mostly as powerful as the L14 but slightly lighter and smaller. Notably, it includes a touchscreen and the capability to operate in tablet mode. These features do notably increase the cost of this device.
We mostly recommend the T15 (Config 8) for individuals who need a built-in number pad or who want the largest screen possible from the notebooks/laptops we offer. Either option is fine, but the Alternate Config improves on the base model in all computational areas (more memory, more storage, better CPU/GPU) and has a brighter screen for $160 more. Otherwise, our previous recommendations stand.
Any of these devices are powerful enough to function as a desktop replacement.
For a portable option which will be used as a supplemental computer, a Chromebook (Configs 6) is a wonderful option. As our district leans more heavily on Google (G Suite/Google Apps) for Drive and Docs usage, these may eventually be perfect for a user's only device. For now, depending on your workflow, a traditional setup (even a shared desktop) may be needed occasionally. Either the 500e or 300e (Config 6 Alt Config) are great for filling Chromebook/Laptop Carts!
It is hard to recommend the 11e (Config 5). Even for laptop carts, most users would be better-served by a L14 or either Chromebook configuration.
We recently added Chromebook Carts to the Specs. The referenced price includes the assembled cart, fully wired with Chromebook power adapters and teacher and tech (front and back) master locks. The price does not include the Chromebooks, and they must be purchased on the same purchase order or the wiring cannot be done, as the cart prep and wiring is done in the Presidio warehouse. We suggest Wireless Access Points travel with each (new) Chromebook cart. This will help reduce wireless infrastructure overload. Please work with your building tech to request Access Points from the CTC (contact: Tom Abraham).
Current Bid Winner PC Specifications (Vendor: Presidio)