The 2018-2019 school year is underway and kids have likely settled in but if you’re anything like me, finding the right technological support is an ongoing task. My son is in Grade 1 and he’s starting to have ‘real homework’ this year but we weren’t quick to buy him a device. I wanted to wait and see what his needs would be before taking the plunge. Let’s face it. Laptops and 2-in-1s aren’t cheap so it’s better to take your time and research before making an investment. We’re trying out devices and sharing the experience to hopefully save you a few steps. First up is the Spin 1 by Acer.
Here’s what I love…
The Spin 1 measures 11.73 x 8.27 inches making it kid sized. It’s not too big and not too small; it’s just right for my six year old to handle without a struggle. It fits nicely into the laptop compartment of most medium sized backpacks too.
It’s durable! That plastic shell takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The surface of the Spin 1 isn’t as susceptible to dings as those aluminum finishes – a quality that’s perfect for young computer users. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen first graders sling backpacks to the ground but they do and I’d feel better knowing that the laptop inside has a more durable casing.
It has hinges. The fact that this device is convertible makes it less prone to breakage. It can rest at any angle and be used in tent or tablet mode. Digital Natives are inherently swipers and tappers so laptop mode with a physical keyboard isn’t a popular choice at the moment. Tent mode is the fan favorite but it’s nice for growing students to have options.
It talks back – in a good way. The device comes with Cortana installed and it works from the initial startup. Cortana is great for young students particularly those who are early readers. If your child can’t read at a high level yet, they can still navigate using voice commands. The software walked me through the setup using voice commands which made it so easy the I’m sure my kid can do it. For example, I heard prompts like, “Choose your region”, “Enter your credentials”.
It’s outfitted for light, daily use. With a full HD touchscreen, 500 GB of internal storage, a webcam, a 3220 mAh battery giving up to 9 hours of battery life and Intel processors you get – and pay for – the computing power that your kid actually needs, not bloat ware.
Best of all, the Spin 1 is priced well. You get substantial bang for just a few bucks (as far as computers go). It’s the type of investment you don’t mind making for a young child who’s still learning how to be responsible with their things.
It’s a Windows device (no shade). So I had to sit through all of the swirling. It swirled right after being powered on. Then it warned me – “Leave your device on please”. Then the system tried to justify the delay by flashing – “We’re going as fast as we can”. More swirling ensued. Then I got another status update- “Still updating”. Just when I was ready to throw it out of the window, this message appeared – “Almost there”. This boot up and swirling situation is a Microsoft thing, not necessarily an Acer thing but I’m mentioning it here because it’s part of the experience.
Acer does make computers specifically for use in education and this is not one of them. However, I think the composition and price of this device make it an ideal option for small kids. Spin 1 is available in the UAE starting at AED 1,299 and you can learn more, here.