By The Wirecutter Staff
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read the full article here.
You don’t need the thinnest, lightest, or most elegantly designed items for your home office. You want reliable, comfortable, efficient tools—but it doesn’t hurt if they look nice, too. That’s why a team of three experienced remote workers spent more than 150 hours researching and testing new gear and apps, and picking the most office-friendly items from The Wirecutter’s guides, to give you a selection of tools that we’re sure will earn a place in your workspace.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display offers the best balance of power and portability. Photo: Kevin Purdy
For most home-office users, we recommend the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. It offers the best balance of power and portability for a range of work, plus it has a fantastic screen, keyboard, and trackpad. We like the 13-inch model with an Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM for most people, but if you regularly work with complex spreadsheets, compile large blocks of code, or edit photos and video, you may want to step up to 16 GB of RAM.
Its superior specs will keep the Pro relevant and working well for longer than the more portable MacBook Air; it also offers a higher-resolution screen and a Force Touch trackpad. Because the Pro has an HDMI port and two Thunderbolt ports, you can connect an external display and still have another left for connecting a Thunderbolt dock, storage devices, or other peripherals. At 3½ pounds, the Pro is still portable enough for occasional business trips.
In addition to its fantastic hardware, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display runs Apple’s stable, easy-to-use, bloat-free OS X. And if you ever have a problem, AppleCare plans and Apple’s Genius Bar Support are peerless in their quality.
Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are the quintessential business notebooks, thanks to their rock-solid construction, easy serviceability, and excellent, deep-throw keyboards. Photo: Marshall Troy
Most people, even actual businesspeople, don’t need a “business laptop” anymore—any ultrabook (such as the MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13) will do just fine for most office work. But if you need a laptop that will still be kicking in five years despite knocks, bumps, and spills, and you’re willing to pay a little extra, you should get the Lenovo ThinkPad T460, specifically the configuration with a 1080p screen, a backlit keyboard, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive.
After more than 30 hours of research and testing, we found that the ThinkPad T460 is fast and durable (with a military-specification certification for ruggedness) and still reasonably light, thanks to its magnesium-alloy body. It has dedicated buttons for the TrackPoint and one of the best keyboards of any laptop, period. It even has batteries you can swap in and out while the system remains running. It’s the best option for anyone who needs more ruggedness and more ports than an ultrabook can offer.
The Dell UltraSharp U2715H has a fantastic high-resolution display and a great combination of connections, adjustability, and USB 3.0 support. Photo: Kevin Purdy
The Dell UltraSharp U2715H is the best large monitor for your home office. It has a beautiful 27-inch IPS display and ultrathin side bezels that make the screen look even larger. Its stand is among the most adjustable we’ve found, which is crucial for a monitor you’re going to spend hundreds (or even thousands) of hours looking at every year. It can tilt, swivel, and easily rotate from landscape to panel mode.
The 2560×1440 display is large enough to put two windows side by side, but not so high-resolution that you run into weird scaling issues. Its factory-calibrated display is near-perfect, as we discovered when we tested it with a $1,200 X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer and a $170 Spyder4 Pro colorimeter. No other 27-inch monitor we tested looked as good.
The U2715H has two HDMI 1.4 connections, one Mini DisplayPort 1.2 connection, and two standard DisplayPort 1.2 connections—one for going from your PC to your monitor, and the other for hooking up a second monitor to the first. Many monitors have the DisplayPort input; not as many have the output. You also get an audio jack for connecting your own set of speakers or headphones to the monitor (if your computer can pass audio signals over HDMI or DisplayPort), as well as five USB 3.0 ports—including one specialized for quick-charging devices (up to 1.5 amps).
Wireless mouse and Bluetooth keyboard
The Logitech MX Master and the Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard are pricey, but the investment is worthwhile for people who spend all day using these devices. Photo: Kevin Purdy
After spending more than 100 hours testing 28 mice and 21 Bluetooth keyboards over the past year, we found that the Logitech MX Master is the best wireless mouse for home office professionals, and that Logitech’s Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard (for Mac or Windows) is the best Bluetooth keyboard. The MX Master has five programmable buttons, a second (programmable) scroll wheel for your thumb, and a rechargeable battery, plus it can pair with up to three Bluetooth devices at the same time. It’s comfortable, too.
Logitech’s Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboards have long been the gold standard for Bluetooth keyboards because of their smooth, well-spaced keys, their adjustable key backlighting, their platform-specific layouts for Mac and Windows, and their ability to switch instantly between multiple paired devices. Both the Logitech MX Master and the Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard are more expensive than the other mice and Bluetooth keyboards we recommend, but we think the investment is worthwhile for people who spend all day using these devices.
Portable document scanner
The Fujitsu is speedy, accurate, and portable, with easy-to-use software. Photo: Amadou Diallo
Don’t let the “portable” label fool you: The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i is the best tool for getting a large amount of scanning done at your desk, keeping your space tidy and your documents organized. After more than 70 hours of research and hands-on testing, the S1300i delivered the best combination of accuracy, speed, and portability, and it came with the easiest-to-use software of any we tested. It can load as many as 20 sheets of regular laser paper and scan them, duplexing if needed. And it’s small and capable of drawing power from a single USB port, so it’s great for carrying on business trips or simply moving to another room.
Because the Brother Hl-L2340DW is a laser printer, it’s low-drama compared with any inkjet.
We’ve spent more than 200 hours researching and testing printers over the past few years, and of the 100 cheap printers we’ve come across, the Brother HL-L2340DW (or—if it’s cheaper—the HL-L2360DW, which adds an Ethernet port but is otherwise nearly identical) is the safest bet for most home offices.
For home offices where printing is mostly limited to mailing labels, packing slips, and the occasional document, the dirt-cheap cost of ownership is the best thing about the HL-L2340DW. Each page costs just 2.7 cents’ worth of toner and drum wear, less than with any other printer out there. The HL-L2340DW also provides automatic two-sided printing, and supports mobile printing standards like AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, as well as printing over Wi-Fi (though in a small office connecting to the printer via USB is probably easier).
Because it’s a laser printer, the Brother is relatively low-drama. Toner cartridges have a high capacity, which reduces the chance that you’ll find yourself out of toner when you really, really need to print. Laser printers don’t need to run lengthy cleaning cycles, either. You give up color printing with a cheap laser printer, but that’s more trouble than it’s worth at this price.
Webcam and Web-meeting app
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 has the best call quality for frequent video meetings. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you need a webcam, we recommend the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, our choice after we researched 15 different webcams and tested two head-to-head in Skype calls, Google Hangouts, and Zoom meetings. It has great image quality and helpful software, and reviewers universally love it. The C920 sits on top of your laptop screen or monitor and braces itself against the back of the screen, or you can mount it on a tripod.
The best Web-meeting software for people who work from home and get to select their own is Zoom, which works on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry. Zoom’s free Basic plan contains enough features and free connection time to cover most teams’ meeting needs, and it works across the vast majority of devices. Among the 20 services and plans we considered, it’s the fastest, most painless route between “We need to have a meeting” and being in that meeting.
Time-tracking and invoicing apps
Harvest conveniently tracks time, and FreshBooks provides robust, multiplatform tools for billing, payment tracking, and expenses.
If you don’t have a good time-tracking or invoice-generating service already set up, the easiest services to try out are Harvest and FreshBooks. If you’re a one-person shop and need time tracking, project management, and simple create-and-send invoices, we recommend Harvest. If you generate trickier invoices, have many expenses, and need to closely track payments from different clients, FreshBooks will help you get paid. Both are easier to set up for most people than the 40 other invoicing and tracking services our experienced freelancers considered.
USB 3.0 docking station
Anker’s Dual Display Universal Docking Station offers the best selection of ports plus fast-charging USB. Photo: Kimber Streams
We researched 30 docking station models, tested six top contenders for more than five hours, and found that Anker’s Dual Display Universal Docking Station is the best for most home offices. In a field of very similar products, Anker’s dock offers the best combination of high-speed drive transfer, fast-charging USB ports, and 4K video support at the lowest price.
Anker’s dock has two USB 3.0 ports and an additional four USB 2.0 ports. In our tests, the USB 3.0 ports put out 0.5 A (enough for some small accessories such as Bluetooth headsets), and the USB 2.0 ports were more impressive at 1.5 A. That’s still a slower rate than what many smartphones and tablets support, but it isn’t bad. And 4K video support from both the HDMI and DVI connectors worked without issue.
Router and modem
The AC1750 Netgear R6400 is faster than the TP-Link Archer C7, and the ARRIS SurfBoard SB6141 supports most of the fastest Internet packages. Photo: Kevin Purdy
The router and modem we recommend for home office users are the the Netgear AC1750 R6400 and the Arris SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0, respectively. The Netgear AC1750 R6400 was faster at most tests than the router we recommend for most people—40 percent faster at longer distances under ideal conditions—and it offers power features usually found in much more expensive routers, such as a built-in VPN server to provide a secure connection to your network while you’re on the road, and a QoS feature to prioritize certain apps’ traffic. Meanwhile, the Arris SURFboard SB6141 is more than fast enough for the Internet plans most people have. Though it’s compatible with most of the fastest Internet packages from seven of the eight major ISPs, you should confirm that it works with your Internet plan before you buy it; if it doesn’t, you’ll want to buy one of the cable modems your provider recommends instead.
This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.
When it’s not being an austere provider of corporate IT services, Fujitsu likes to try its hand at a little bit of mad science. The latest project to come out of the firm’s labs is an artificial intelligence that’ll assign police units to specific locations during large-scale manhunts. Given that cities are large and there are never enough police around, the idea is to co-ordinate their efforts using big data and game theory. The only downside to all of this is that we might have seen the end of the bellowing police chief screaming orders at maverick cops with nothing to lose.
When you boil it down, catching a criminal as they race around a city is nothing more than a very complex game theory problem. But rather than being able to run down 10 streets to evade detection, they can drive, get a bus, catch the subway or sprint down 100,000 streets. A computer can crunch those numbers, but not fast enough or efficiently enough for it to be any good. With Fujitsu’s system, you can tell it how many officers you’ve got and it’ll tell you where to put roadblocks and concentrate your manpower.
One of the reasons that the system is now a lot faster is thanks to a partnership with Japan’s University of Electro-Communications. Researchers there were able to get the number-crunching down to a speed that’s actually useful for practical use. For instance, the company claims that, to suggest a policing plan for the 23-ward Tokyo, its new system will take less than five minutes. It’s just a shame that a supercomputer can’t yet bang the table and tell someone that they’re off the case with any sort of panache.
Much in the same way that Sony got rid of its PC division last year, Fujitsu has announced that it’ll do the same in 2016. The outfit’s leadership has revealed that its laptop and desktop firm will be spun out into a new wholly owned subsidiary, Fujitsu Client Computing Limited, on February 1st. In addition, the firm will do the same to its mobile arm, tossing it out to become the newly-formed Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited.
As Fujitsu itself says in the release, commoditization of PCs and phones makes differentiation difficult. That’s business-speak for the PC industry is dying, and you can now knock out a half-decent mobile device for $50. Those two factors combined mean that there’s very little profit to be made and when firms like Samsung are bleeding, Fujitsu has no chance. Spinning these businesses out into their own separate entities is an easy way to get rid of a painful, loss-making division without admitting that’s what you’re doing.
There’s another element to this story, and that’s what this decision means for the combined fates of Toshiba and Vaio. At the start of December, we brought you rumors from Japan that scandal-ridden Toshiba and Fujitsu would spin-out and merge their PC divisions together with that of Vaio under the latter’s brand name. Fujitsu has either begun the merger process a little earlier than its new frenemies, or it simply believes that it can do without them.
The PC business as we know it is dying, and whenever an industry reaches this point in its life, it has to team up with the other survivors to avoid oblivion. To that end, Nikkei Asian Review believes that Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio, Sony’s spun out computing division, are considering merging their PC divisions together. The move would create a desktop, laptop and tablet-manufacturing supergroup that controlled more than 30 percent of Japan’s market — making it bigger than Lenovo, the current local champion. The paper believes that Vaio would be the name that survives, absorbing its rivals into its existing operations.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review
Biometric authentication is nothing new with mobile devices, or technology in general for that matter. The TPM platform on Windows PCs has been around for ages, and even some feature phones (mainly those produced by Fujitsu for Japan) had it well over a decade ago. With respect to Android however, the stepped-up security staple has been of a generally less-than-impressive affair. Both Motorola and HTC tried it several years ago and suffice to say, nothing caught on. After the mainstream consumer’s attention was suddenly “alerted” to the technology via Apple’s iPhone 5s however, Samsung was first to step up to the plate and let Android have another stab.
Unfortunately, the authentication seen in the Galaxy S5 was a much more traditional method of fingerprint reading, namely that the sensor required a swipe (similar to the Windows TPM and Fujitsu feature phone products) and had a less-than-perfect track record when it came to accuracy. Software updates made the problem a little better, though even the newer module seen on the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 released later in 2014 were hardly what one might say as a stress-free experience.
The release of the Galaxy S6 has brought with it not just a major redesign for the hardware and software, but also the fingerprint sensor as well. Samsung’s implementation of a touch-based input method this time around works fantastically. Granted it’s still not perfect (neither is Apple’s) but with a few tricks and tips at hand (more on that later), it’s possible to have it read your print correctly over 95% of the time, if not 99%.
The problem now, however, is an ironic one. The sensor in the Galaxy S6 works so well that you actually want to use it, and in doing so, it becomes that much more cumbersome to use any other form of security, namely passwords and patterns. Despite my tablet remaining at home 95% of the time, it still has pattern unlock set up, as have all my tablets in the past as well. So frustrating was it to be bothered with entering the pattern each time the screen turned off that after about a day, I disabled the security entirely. Even when I was testing out the Chinese Galaxy Note 4, I found the pattern unlock to be downright irritating. Sure the device has fingerprint security avalible, but it just works so badly that I simply couldn’t put up with it. The same also held true for the few days I spent with the LG G4 last week: the Knock Code is too time consuming.
Of course, if you haven’t spent time with the Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor then it’s quite plausible that pattern unlock won’t bother you at all. Heck, I never minded it. Even the iffy fingerprint sensor in the Note 4 might be OK for those with nothing else to compare it to. But for me, hands down, anything less than the hardware in the S6 simply comes off as inferior.
Vast implications (for me, at least)
It needs to be clarified that as a tech writer, my device habits are not in any way reflective of mainstream customers, or perhaps even enthusiasts. If someone has the Galaxy S6 for example, it’s quite logical that what I am about to say won’t be a valid point of reference. Likewise, if someone prefers another device (like the Xperia Z3+) then the point is also lost. Still, it must be made: After just a few weeks with the Galaxy S6, I have trouble considering any other phone as a valid replacement, literally because of the absence of a fingerprint sensor.
Consider just for a second, how many times you unlock your device in a day. Obviously those users who have a screen timeout setting of 2 minutes, or who don’t have any security lock period will be far less bothered. For those of you like me, however, in any given 10 minute period, your device usage might consist of this:
I’m listening to music and want to change albums. I want to see if a System Update is available. I want to check my Hotmail account (which is set to pull, not push). I want to make a quick memo. I want to upload a picture to Google Plus. I want to check my schedule for the next day. I want to activate Silent Mode.
These are just 7 perfectly valid examples of why I might unlock my phone. Now imagine unlocking the device each time with a pattern. Or even worse, imagine doing it with a 7-digit password or numerical sequence. How much wasted time is involved? How easy is it to just activate the power, place my fingertip over the Home Button for just a second, and its unlocked, and with basically no errors.
For those interested in improving the accuracy of their Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge fingerprint sensor’s accuracy, perhaps the best advice is to select one (or two) fingers that you will use exclusively to unlock the device, and setup all four of the available readings to the designated digits. I, for example, had originally registered four different fingers to the sensor, but it often missed reading them on occasion. After I set two different print reads for my left thumb alone (the first being all vertical, and the second being split between left and right horizontal orientation about 50:50), things improved to what I would argue is 99% accuracy. I repeated the process with my right thumb.
If you are comfortable with just registering one finger however, you could technically set up all four reads to ensure the most accurate reading possible. You could have one stored file for each 90-degree position your finger could possibly scan the button.
Security risks and shortcomings
While I have spent a great deal of time extolling the virtues of fingerprint sensors, it must be said that they are not an absolute form of security. Just as how a pattern unlock sequence can be “stolen” by looking at the oil residue on the phone, so too could a fingerprint be lifted from the device, or literally anything for that matter, even a photograph should the resolution be high enough. And, unlike the pattern unlock which has literally no value outside of Android, a fingerprint can be an absolutely damning piece of incriminating evidence or even proof of legal registration.
It also needs to be said that even the Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor can’t do the impossible. If you have even the slightest bit of water or dirt on your finger, there is a large chance the scan will result in an error. In one typical instance, I had just washed my hands, hastily dried them, and tried to unlock the phone a few seconds later. Access was not granted, and when I checked my finger, indeed it had a small droplet of water or two that had got on the sensor and caused the error. Likewise should the biometric reader get scratched or damaged in any way, the error rate will increase if not become absolute.
An eye for detail
One possible increase in safety, security, and sanity could be the iris-scanning technology that Fujitsu has placed into its “brick-sized” Japan-only Arrows NX. Having tested it out at a local docomo store, I was generally impressed by the accuracy of the reading, at least from the dozen-or-so times I tried it out. Unfortunately the actual scan itself takes a bit of time and is therefore much more cumbersome than simply holding down your finger… or drawing a pattern. This is something that can be improved with future software (or hardware) updates however, and thus I wouldn’t necessarily see it as a death toll for the tech.
On the other hand, it needs to be said that in addition to having pitifully bad eye-sight, I wear brown-colored contact lenses. This is in part because I like darker eyes, and in part from awkward experiences with Japanese people “mystified” by my true blue-green color. Why mention this vanity confession? Simple: the lenses have a “fake iris” on them. I literally scanned the contact lens, and that alone is great cause for concern. Assuming the manufacturer has a single design for the pattern on the lens, anyone who buys the same brand that I do could have “my” eyes. The security implications are quite grave to say the least. This isn’t some kind of high-tech Minority Report-type scheme here; it’s not even as complex as creating false fingerprints from a magnified image.
After doing a bit of research, there seem to be conflicting reports of the biometric authenticity with respect to colored lenses. Some reports suggest or claim the technology is now advanced enough to read “beyond” and see the intricacies of your true iris, however other reports indicate that there are limitations imposed by colored contacts. The question is just how accurate or advanced the sensor in Fujitsu’s latest smartphone is. As a personal experiment, within the next week, I will attempt to go back to a docomo store and see if I can get permission to try and experiment with the Fujitsu phone: to scan my eyes with the lenses, then see if I can unlock them without, and vice-versa.
Focus on the future
Regardless of whether-or-not people are excited about the security benefits of biometric authentication, there is one major reason they should care about it: expedience. Many smartphone users opt to go without setting a password or pattern to unlock their device simply because they don’t care, they don’t want the hassle, or they don’t realize the risk of theft and what that might entail. Including some form of advanced authentication that is integrated into a basic movement or gesture is the key. In the past, companies like HTC, Motorola, and even Samsung have managed to make a mess out of the fingerprint feature. With the Galaxy S6 however, Samsung has made a huge advance in the functionality factor, as the reader works so much better than that of last year’s flagships.
In my honest opinion, I feel that well-implemented biometric security elements should be a core feature of smartphones from today onward. What do you think however? Are you satisfied without it? Leave us your comments below and let us know.
Move over Knock Codes and fingerprint scanners, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo has unveiled its new Arrows NX F-04G smartphone that uses iris scanning as its security method of choice. The novel smartphone was announced on Wednesday in Tokyo and was developed by Fujitsu.
Not only can the iris scanner be used to unlock the phone, but it is also integrated to authorize mobile payments. The device works with authentication specifications set by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which is supported by Microsoft, Google, PayPal and others.
To save their profile or begin a scan, users simply look at two animated circles on the screen. The scan time takes one or two seconds, making it a tad slower than a fingerprint scanner or traditional pin, but not by enough to make it difficult to use. Fujitsu said that the error rate for the bulkier prototype is about one in 100,000, and the actual product should be even better.
The Arrows NX F-04G also comes with some other high-end technologies. It features a 5.2-inch WQHD (2560×1400) display, 21.5 megapixel rear camera, and a 3,120 mAh battery, housed in a modest form factor that weighs just 155 grams. The smartphone will be release in Japan at the end of the month with a price tag around ¥55,000 (US$460), making it the first handset to hit the market with this technology. However, it won’t see the light of day outside of the country.
We may well see more iris scanning technology in future smartphones, as ZTE has already also shown off a similar eye-based unlocking system with its Grand S3 and Samsung filed a patent for its own iris scanning technology last year.
The common objection to using your phone for purchases is that any sufficiently-motivated criminal could lop off your thumb and go on a spending spree. That’s one of the reasons why Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu have teamed up to unveil the Arrows NX F-04G. The pair say that it’s the world’s first smartphone with iris recognition technology that can be used to both unlock a device and certify mobile wallet payments.
Spec-wise, the Arrows NX F-04G comes with the usual complement of specs, a 5.2-inch QHD screen, Android 5.0, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. Of course, such a device isn’t likely to make its way over to the west any time soon, but if the iris scanning features work as promised, we may see it pop up in other devices soon. That is, unless, even more motivated criminals decide that they’re comfortable doing Iridectomies on the sidewalk…
Filed under: Cellphones
Smartphones and tablets are no strangers to the limits imposed by heat-constraints. Without proper airflow and limited space for cooling components, mobile devices are stuck balancing CPU clock speeds and component placements to avoid shortening hardware life through overheating. Even so, mobiles today are known to become a little warm when running at full speed.
However, Fujitsu has a solution in the form of the world’s first loop heat pipe that measures less than 1mm thick. The principle of a heat loop pipe is quite simple – collect the heat at one end, move the heat to a dissipater via a fluid and then cycle back the cooled liquid to collect more heat. Closed-loop heat-syncs are typically much larger and often require components to pump the liquid around the system, neither of which make existing designs suitable for small form factor mobile products.
To accomplish this on a smaller scale, Fujitsu designed a porous copper evaporator with holes etched into multiple 0.1mm layer sheets. When stacked together, these layers maximise heat transfer between the metal and the liquid, and creates a capillary action which causes the fluid to circulate throughout the system. The result is a structure that can transfer five times as much heat as current thin heat pipes, without the need for an external pumping system.
The benefits are that SoC components can run a little cooler and heat can be spread throughout a device more evenly, preventing hotspots that are bad for components and that can be uncomfortable for the user.
Unfortunately, Fujitsu is still prototyping the cooling system, improving the design and looking at ways to cut costs for mobile products. A practical implementation is scheduled for fiscal year 2017.
Taxi companies aren’t pleased with Uber and Lyft, but they could be making way better use of ride-sharing technology themselves, according to researchers. A study by MIT and Fujitsu examined why cabs are usually underutilized, but never available during surge periods when you need them. To combat that, they developed on-demand tech that automatically assigns vehicles three possible operating states: taxi, ride-sharing and fixed-route modes. Customers could choose one of those when they order a ride, and immediately receive the boarding times and fares, which would vary by mode. That could save passengers a lot of money, and a test on Tokyo roads resulted in operators making 80 percent more profits too. Fujitsu’s goal is to see it operating in Tokyo by 2016, but it might take some convincing to get it adopted more widely. Still, why not beat the upstarts at their own game?
Microsoft isn’t just supporting White House’s ConnectED education program by lowering the cost of Windows — it’s also giving schools the cash they’ll need to buy Windows PCs. The company is donating $1 billion to make sure that students have the tech they’ll need for both getting online and learning technology skills. The funding comes alongside a new device pricing program that should make the PCs more affordable — to start with, it’s offering sub-$300 systems from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba.
The company isn’t shy about having a commercial incentive behind its generosity; its Education CTO, Cameron Evans, tells CNET that there’s a hope that kids will become loyal Windows fans down the road. However, he adds that any eventual sales are secondary to the more immediate focus on improving education. The influx of cash should reduce the technology gap for less fortunate students, many of whom could miss out on digital learning without a little help.
[Image credit: Getty Images]