Acer dishing out 16,400 cheap OLYMPIC laptops to schools
That's the Back2School market stuffed...with Acer kit
Acer plans to flog 500 "Olympic" laptops to school children in North East London after the Games close.
The Taiwanese firm has also promised that the other 15,900 computers they put into London 2012 will be packaged up and sent into schools around the UK.
The PCs were used for everything from planning athletes' travel to supporting broadcasters zinging out footage of the dressage to the world, but in their new lives will be turned to crunching tasks like Year 6 maths homework, as part of a one-child, one-computer programme.
The 500 laptops will be given out in partnership with the e-Learning Foundation charity and will go to eight local primary schools in the "Olympic boroughs" with a small number also going to Great Ormond Street Children's hospital.
The laptops will be wiped and refurbed by Acer then sold to schools at 17 per cent of their normal price: £145 each with a 12 month Acer guarantee. The laptops are Travelmate 6593Gs which normally sell to consumers for £827. The special "Used in the Olympics" stickers seem to get thrown in for free.
But the Taiwanese vendor could have bagged itself a Gold medal if it had given them away for free.
Acer have provided 13,500 desktops and 2,900 notebooks to the Olympics and UK education manager Colin MacFarlane said these were going out to schools too, on similar deals.
"They have been offered for sale with extended Acer warranties and taken up by schools throughout the UK via Econocom who are the lease partner of LOCOG," he told The Register.
In the North East London scheme, each primary school will choose a year group and hand out the PCs to each child in that year, said eLearning Foundation Marketing Manager Jim Cooper:
"There were a limited number that were available post Olympics, it wasn't going to satisfy the whole need of the school," he said, so the school had to come up with ideas of how to build the computers into educational programmes.
Cooper said the the high cost of technology can disadvantage children who can't afford them: eLearning aims to narrow the digital divide by giving computers to kids who can't afford them. ®
The Acer TravelMate 6593G-944G32Mn?
A four-year-old laptop model—and an Acer piece of cheap and nasty tat at that? Refurbished? And they want HOW much for it? Seriously?
Somebody saw LOCOG coming!
@Phear46: "If its to much of a headache for the IT guys they should find another job tbh."
You've clearly never actually worked in a school. Here's a hint: most can't afford to pay for dedicated, fully-qualified, IT admin people. They often rely on volunteers to do keep whatever cheap rubbish they've been saddled with up and running. Those who were unlucky enough to be forced into a PFI (or PPP) deal with a subcontractor will instead have to deal with "£100 to change a lightbulb"-type price-gouging.
And the amount of warehouse-clearance-grade rubbish that gets "donated" to schools is astonishing. Some of it is crap not even Morgan Computers would touch, and they're not exactly picky.
Don't believe for a moment that Acer are doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts either:
1. Donating electronic goods like this lets them push back their WEEE recycling obligations. Let some future board of directors deal with it while the current CEO can point at all the money they've saved right now! Money they don't have to spend now, but which will likely be needed at some unspecified point in the future is still considered a saving by short-termists like these, so it'll be bonuses and trebles all round.
2. Donations can be set against taxes, saving Acer a lot of cash. As they've already leased this kit to LOCOG, they'll get to benefit from two sets of accounting tricks. (And it's not just Acer either.)
Not that I blame Acer for doing what the rules of the game encourage them to do, but the notion that this is going to benefit anyone but Acer is just naïve. Computers have their uses in education, but spamming kids with a bunch of ageing laptops isn't one of them.
There's not much point in giving a child a laptop if they don't have the support and infrastructure at home to make use of it. That doesn't just mean access to broadband internet—which isn't a given in East London, let alone many other parts of the UK—but also support from family. If you have a large family, it's very likely that the laptop may be the family's only computer. Poorer families will have difficulty justifying buying one for each child. That's going to add to the wear and tear on the machine and reduce its effective lifespan. If it's already four years old to begin with, and is made by a company not known for its excellent build quality, how long do you think it'll be before this token gesture becomes just another doorstop or piece of landfill?
Re: seems a fair price
If you were not challenged by the courses you took then does that not tell you that perhaps you chose the wrong ones ?
And schools do not need more IT at all stages, just because technology exists does not mean it *must* be used. We would do better as a nation to spend more money on what are considered the 'basics' of education such as English (Language & Literature) / Maths & the 3 primary sciences of Biology, Chemistry & Physics.
Improving the teaching and retention of that teaching would reap us many more benefits that stuffing schools full of IT equipment that they really have little use for and wont be used to help education along.
That the charge is to pay for the reimaging, postage and 12 months warranty, so they proably have effectively given them away.
Re: seems a fair price
Learn to type and use a spell checker, then get back to me...
Re: Especially those who've had the misfortune to buy Acer kit in the past.
As an independent consultant I see hundreds of different PCs & laptops each year. Obviously a large proportion of those are Acer lappies & the only issue is with their default software, Acer Empowering Technology' which should be renamed 'Acer Pours Treacle In Your CPU'.
Aside from this crud, & the Acer GameZone, all of which can be removed, Acer kit is solid enough. IME the major fails are VAIOs, which overheat & destroy their RAM if even very slightly mistreated (left resting on a soft surface while on, etc) & Tosh, which tend to blow their Aetheros Wifi cards up with gay abandon.
I've personally bought a few Toshes, Dells, Acers etc & have to say the Aspires are quite nice. Shame they dumped the 'proper' keys in favour of scrabble tiles though...