Computing at your Fingertips
While the typical desktop computer is clunky and, well, deskbound, compared to even the biggest notebook, Samsung’s latest all-in-one PCs are sleek and beautifully designed. With chrome bases that make the displays seem to float in space, these computers may be stationary, but the screens can respond to multi-finger gestures as if they were tablets.
Both the Series 5 and 7 systems come well equipped with Web cams, wired and wireless networking as well as a good variety of ports and connections. The pay-off is that these systems use less power than the typical PC, saving on school expenses. Look for them at the end of October when Microsoft officially introduces Windows 8, but the surprise is that they are inexpensive enough to be used in many parts of the school.
The Series 5 all-in-one starts at $750, has a 21.5-inch full HD screen that uses Intel’s HD 4000 integrated graphics and can work with up to 10-finger gestures. On top of Windows 8, it is powered by an Intel Core i3 3220T Ivy Bridge processor, comes with 4GB of system memory and can hold up to 8GB. The system is stocked with 500GB of hard drive space and includes a DVD Super Multi drive. On top of 802.11n wireless networking and a wired LAN port, it has a 14-watt stereo sound system, which should be more than enough to fill the classroom with audio. On top of a Web cam, the system has the bonus of a wireless keyboard and mouse, which are almost never included with systems in this price range.
By contrast, the Series 7 all-in-ones can be had with either a 23.6- or 27-inch screen that can show full HD programming and handle up to ten finger inputs. These systems are high-performance through and through with a Core i7 processor along with either 6- or 8GB of system memory and a 1TB hard drive to store everything from classroom lesson plans and tests to field trip videos. Rather than the integrated Intel graphics that’s on the Series 5 and the smaller Series 7 system, the 27-inch Series 7 comes with more powerful AMD HD7850M graphics engine. These all-in-ones sell for between $1,100 and 1,700, depending on the screen size chosen.