What Device?


Baffled by tablets, laptops, notebooks, Ultrabooks™, Chromebooks, 2 in 1 devices?

Do you need some guidance on what device to invest in? Follow Harvey Norman's two-step process to identify what devices will suit your school and your IT eco-system.


Step 1: Identify your priorities

  • Performance

School apps may require some grunt, especially the higher up the school you go. When looking at a laptop for school, we think it’s worth considering at least 4GB of RAM, with 8GB for secondary students (depending on usage models). Tablet RAM is usually around 1GB but we would recommend upgrading to 2GB for school use.

For primary, look for Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors. For secondary, consider devices running the Intel® Core™ family of processors: the Core™ i3, Core™ i5 and Core™ i7. The Core i3 is designed for a balance of performance and affordability: it’s great for email, web browsing and social media. The Core i5 packs the power you need for everyday work and play: choose this for mainstream productivity apps, watching HD videos and playing games. And the top-of-the-line Core i7 processor makes light work of heavy-duty tasks like 3D design, video editing and immersive 3G gaming.

  • Battery Life

Students will need to get through the school day without needing to charge their device, so look for at least a 6-hour battery life, longer if you think they need it.

  • Weight

School bags are heavy enough. Look for devices less than 2kg. Long battery life also means that the student does not need to carry (or lose!) the charger.

  • Connectivity

Look for dual-band WiFi for quick access to the school and home network. Plus for older students USB ports to connect digital devices such as digital cameras, hard drives and printers may be important.

  •  Peripherals – keyboard and stylus

printers may be important A stylus is useful for students with tablets to undertake design and drawing. Tablets used by older children may also benefit from a folio keyboard. Mechanical keyboards will become increasingly necessary as a student progresses through school due to the increased amount of text-based content creation. Touchscreens will accordingly become less important. 

  • Durability

Children are the ultimate durability test for any device. Look for a solid state drive (no moving parts so less likely to be damaged when dropped) and a protective case.

  • Storage

Today’s students use media big time. You will need at least 32GB of storage in a tablet and a minimum of 128GB in a laptop or Ultrabook™. Look for expandable storage options.

  • Warranty

Devices will come with a 12-month warranty but schools should consider a warranty of up to three years with ‘on-site’ service or loan devices. Some schools might also suggest that parents take out an insurance policy as well as an extended warranty, so that the device is covered against accidental damage, loss and theft. Read more about Harvey Norman’s warranty service.

  • Out of School

Are some of your students Mindcraft whizzes or gamers? Provide options for parents of children who want to play more sophisticated games. A device that runs on the new Windows 10 will run more demanding games, have incredible graphics thanks to DirectX 12 and the ability to stream Xbox games on Windows devices.


Download a checklist for parents