2018 - 2019 Specifications (Updated 20190125)
For general purpose computing, the SFF (Small Form-Factor, configuration 2) configuration with the 24” E24 monitor is our recommended buy. The price is great and there are very few drawbacks with this configuration. We'd recommend SFF alternate configuration (either Alt Config is a little more powerful) for more heavily-used machines or to future-proof a little, as the alternate builds feature more processing power, available storage space, and a better graphics card for 3d applications or heavy computational loads. The Tower Configuration is great if workspaces are specifically designed for this size of machine, but the same resources can be found in the SFF alternative build for less, so it is hard to recommend otherwise.
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 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 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) Alternate build and a 24" monitor are a notably better bargain for better performance if that is the appeal.
It is difficult to recommend portable configurations due to all the circumstances to take into consideration.
For anyone often on the go, the 13" Ultraportable Thinkpad L380 (Configuration 10) or 14" Thinkpad A485 (Configuration 7) are good option as they are the smallest traditional setups we recommend which can function as a desktop replacement. The 13" L380 is lightweight, while the 14" A485 weighs a lttle more and offers a little more screen size -- both have good, high quality full-HD IPS screens. Both are good general-use machines which would be well suited to individual use or used to fill Laptop Carts, but power users may want to consider higher performance configurations like the 13" Yoga x380 (Config 9) if light-weight is a priority or the 15" T580 (Configuration 8) if a larger screen is preferred, even if it comes with some more weight. The 12" 11e Yoga (Configuration 5, Alternate build) isn't bad, but the processor is a little underpowered and screen will feel small to most not looking for the smallest size. Additionally, the price bumps into price of the 13" models mentioned above, which are only a little heavier and much more powerful. The 13" Chromebook (Configuration 11) is another option if you are "all in" with Google and don't want to rely on a budget device.
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, unless you are fully comfortable with your feet in the Google stream, a traditional setup (even a shared desktop) may be needed occasionally. The student ultraportable device (Configuration 5) is a little underpowered for our recommendation outside laptop carts for testing and minimal multi-tasking. It will handle one or two simultaneous taks reasonably, but the limited processing power will be noticeable so we recommend that device for testing or research or writing papers with limited multi-tasking. The previously mentioned ultraportable notebook (Configurations 7 and 10) are reasonable options and could even replace a user's Desktop depending on the needs.
The 15" Thinkpad T580 (Configuration 8) is great and will more properly simulate a desktop experience, but will be less transparent to carry around due to the 5-pound weight that comes with the more powerful setup. These are recommended for users who need portability (moving from one building to another) and enjoy the screen size, but not for those who carry their computer from meeting to meeting, room to room, all day, which leads us to...
Our high-end ultraportable is a 13" ThinkPad Yoga x380 (Configuration 9). It is a sleek, powerful, and lightweight notebook and the price of this configuration is indicative of the quality and refinement. The Yoga features a touchscreen and 360-degree hinge allowing tablet mode when that is the more convenient form-factor, although the weight is heavier than a traditional tablet (iPad). The Yoga can be a supplemental computer, but is normally intended to function as a user's sole computing device -- replacing the traditional desktop. A popular usage model would be to use the Yoga on the go, but attach to a larger display when "in the office" for a time, to offer more workspace and a simulate a more traditional keyboard and mouse environment.
Current Bid Winner PC Specifications (Vendor: Presidio)