Device Specifications

The specifications outlined below are to be used as a guide only. The most important feature to look for when purchasing a device is the wireless connectivity.

The DEC wireless network installed in high schools only operates on the 802.11n 5GHz standard.

The NSW Department of Education has a 5GHz (n) wireless network that uses a full range of channels. Will your device connect on all channels in the 5GHz range?"

DO NOT purchase a device for BYOD UNLESS the answer to this question is "YES".


Note: Devices marketed as "802.11bgn" probably do not support the required standard. Devices with 802.11a/b/g or 802.11n 2.4GHz only will not be able to connect.


Please ensure there is a return policy from your chosen vendor in case there is a need to return the device.

One low cost alternative to tablets is the Chromebook. It is a laptop with an 11 inch screen that runs the Chrome OS for under $400. The devices includes a full size keyboard. Apps can be obtained from the Chrome store. For the majority of classroom actvities, this would have sufficient power. It does, however, struggle with some of the more creative tasks such as video editing.

If video editing is required then a class would make use of the more powerful computers in one of HHS's computer laboratories.

Flash is a browser plugin and many websites rely on flash. Difficulty may be expected using iPads as some websites will not work because they use flash. This may limit the learning outcomes a student can achieve during a lesson.

Due to the lack of flash support, and the fact that the virtual keyboard takes up a large portion of the screen, iPads are not a recommended device. The Heathcote High School library has a set of iPads should a teacher require these devices for teaching and learning.





Specs Mac Airbook Chromebook

Microsoft Surface

Pro tablet

Laptop (example:


Thinkpad X131e)



 $350 - $700


 $500 - $2000







 Flash 128GB

 Flash 16GB

 Flash 32, 64GB

 500Gb solid state


 1.4GHz duel-core
 Intel Core i5

 Samsung Exynos

Intel Core processor
family (i3, i5, i7)

 Intel Celeron processor
1007U (2M Cache,






 Battery Life

 Up to 9 hours

 8.5 hours

  Up to 10 hours

  Up to 8.5 hours





 No more than 2kg


 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking;
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible


 Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)





Full size

 Full size

 Full size attached

 Full size

 Flash Support





Operating System



Windows 8.1 Professional

Windows 7, 8.1


While many devices meet the minimum system requirements/hardware specifications, HHS strongly recommends that students choose a laptop device that will maximise their learning experiences. The device will need to last several years and therefore a robust device with a good protective case will be required.

The following suppliers have indicated that they provide devices which meet the minimum specifications.

  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Toshiba


Form Factor Laptop of Tablet with Physical Keyboard
Screen Size

Between 11 and 13 inches. Larger screen sizes makes the device unwieldy and any smaller screen sizes can hinder productivity.

Wireless Capability

Device must have 5GHz 802.11n support
This may be advertised as "Dual Band Wireless", "802.11abgn", "802.11agn", "802.11ac" or "Gigabit Wireless".
Note: Devices marketed as "802.11bgn" are not supported.


2-4GB depending on the device

Max. Boot Time

10 seconds

Operating System

Chrome OS
Microsoft Windows 7, Windows
8.1 or newer
Apple MacOS X 10.6 or newer
Apple iOS 6 or newer
Android OS is not recommended as it may have problems connecting to the DEC network

Battery Life

Minimum 6 hours

Hard Drive Space

Minimum 16gb (iPad )
Minimum 64gb Windows
It is anticipated storage space in the cloud will be utilised such as GOOGLE Drive and Dropbox


Minimum 4gb.
The more RAM the better applications will operate

Weight 2kg
Available Software

Currently students with a NSW government education email address can download Microsoft and Adobe software at

One copy of this software can be loaded on a desktop computer or a laptop. This software cannot be loaded on tablets that are only app based.

Another option is OpenOffice software which is a free download alternative to Microsoft Office.

Microsoft provides a free Antivirus called Security Essentials which can be loaded onto Windows platforms. Apple products and Chromebooks do not need an antivirus although ClamXav is available free for Mac OSX .

Additional Software

Microsoft Office Software is available free to students. Microsoft Office is suitable for Windows based platforms. A Mac version is also available. This software can be downloaded from within the student's NSW DEC portal.

Alternative office software freely available is OpenOffice which can be downloaded from .

Google Apps is free and a GOOGLE account can be created for free which gives access to free office tools and cloud storage. GOOGLE Apps is most suited to the Chromebook. It is also Flash compatible.


Tablet or IPAD cover
Insurance cover`