2019 - 2020 Specifications (Updated 20200401)
Our recommendations have changed a little this year. While there are two good Small Form-Factor (SFF) configurations, 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 $150 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. It does include wifi, which is not included with configuration 2.
Config 2 isn't bad, but is poor value as compared to Config 12. Config 2 Alt. Config (2) is a very good option for someone who might need a little more computational power. It includes a more powerful processor and a dedicated graphics card. Not that anyone needing more significant GPU capabilities would be better served by the GTX1650 Add-in Card available in the "Additional Components" section. These would need to be added by a tech, but could be purchased on the same PO. The Alt. Config (1) is only recommended for people who need additional storage space, as it includes a 256GB SSD.
I'd pair the 24" E24 with any of these units, though the 21.5" T2224d is a little cheaper.
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 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 touch-screen 24" All-in-One unit (configuration 4) is, similarly, a good choice for minimizing wires/clutter for teachers/administrators or for users who could benefit from touch-functionality. The SFF (Config 2, Alt. Config 2) build and a 24" monitor are a notably better bargain for better performance if that is the appeal.
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 T495 (Configuration 7) is the best unit around. It is just over 3 lbs. and is small enough to carry from one location to the other with relative ease.
The High-End Touchscreen Ultraportable (Configuration 9) is a wonderful machine. It is mostly as powerful as the T495 but slightly lighter and smaller. Notably, it includes a touchscreen and the capability to operate in tablet mode. These features do make this machine cost more than the T495.
We mostly recommend the T590 for individuals who need a built-in number pad or who want the largest screen possible from the notebooks/laptops we offer. 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 T495 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)