Choosing the device that best fits your child's needs will depend on a number of factors, including age, special services, and cost. Listed below are a few things you may want to consider.  This is a link to a comparison of chrome and windows machines.

Age/Grade Level

Grades 5–8

For most middle school students, a Chromebook will be sufficient for the type and level of work required of them. Most documents will be created using Google Apps and other web-based tools, making the Chromebook an excellent device for these grade levels. The only exception would be students with special needs, such as assistive technology.

High School

Chromebooks are the standard device for high school students. But, upperclassmen may want to consider buying a Windows that will better serve them in college and other postsecondary options. This is especially true of a student pursuing computer science, engineering, or the arts/media.

Special Needs

Although many assistive technologies (e.g., text-to-speech) are available on a Chromebook, students who need specific assistive software may need a Windows. Students with an IEP should consult their case manager before purchasing a device.

Special Interests

Computer Science

Students interested in pursuing computer science, including app development and web design, may want to get a MacBook or Windows laptop. Macs come pre-installed with XCode, a development environment, but more advanced development software costs extra. Windows does not include any development software, however, there are many free applications available.


Students interested in pursuing engineering and other hard sciences will want to get a Windows laptop.

Art & Design

Students interested in pursuing arts or multimedia (e.g., video production) may want to get a MacBook or Windows laptop. Adobe Creative Suite and other industry-standard production software are available on both platforms.