Today sees the launch of the 10″ GoNote, touch screen laptop which is squarely aimed at the student market as we head into the academic year in the UK.
The notebook from Ergo Electronics is a UK first, combining a traditional laptop layout with a tablet style touch screen for educational computing. It combines some of the user interfaces that students may already be familiar with and runs Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
The laptop is one of the first Android products specifically designed to help school-children and students with their studies. The price point reflects the need to put affordable computing in the hands of a younger audience – or appeal to parents who are already meeting the costs of children in education. The suggested retail price is £149.99 and the laptops will be available from September.
GoNote comes with Kingsoft Office pre-loaded so users can create documents in the more ubiquitous file types including Microsoft Office .doc, .ppt and .xls. However, users cannot install the Windows OS as the unit is Android only.
It’s fairly roomy with 8GB onboard storage which is expandable via Micro SD to a maximum of 32GB. Maybe not enough room to mix a feature film, but likely to be enough for the average student writing and researching essays and users can always save to the cloud if they choose.
The computer comes with a 10 inch diagonal display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, full colour LED backlit screen and 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The GoNote is WiFi enabled but does not have GPS or embedded 3G.
The laptop also comes with Google Play Store access so that students can find applications that might help them with learning (or fill their computer with various and assorted games to pass the time in boring lectures, not that we would condone this activity of course.)
Tools for students
ICT is high on the agenda for schools this year. Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State Education pointing out that the UK curriculum could do with some real change, Eric Schmidt of Google visited the UK earlier this year and stressed the importance of supporting computer science teachers and a number of alternative sources of courses for coding and computer skills outside of state education.
The resources for learning are being refined which can only put pressure on parents to find the tools for their kids to take advantage of these options. While there are many laptops on the market aimed at student finances, the addition of new models with alternative functionality will hopefully help to drive prices down and make computer science a more affordable career choice.
If the UK is to be the “the technical creative, intellectual, scientific capital of the world” as stated by London mayor Boris Johnson, then emerging talent is going to need something to work with.
Image Credit: Mike Willis