OXFORD — A typhoon in China has delayed the delivery of 1,290 laptop computers to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School students until the end of September, SAD 17 Technology Director Mike Dunn said Wednesday.
The machines were expected to be here this week, he said, but the deadly storm that battered the eastern coast of China and the island of Taiwan last weekend with more than 80 inches of rain and winds of 74 miles per hour has postponed shipment.
SAD 17 ordered the computers as part of the Maine Network Consortium, a group that included SAD 52 in Turner and SAD 36 in Livermore Falls. SAD
52 ordered 800 laptops and SAD 36 ordered 350.
"We took a long time going through them to end up with the one we picked," Dunn said Wednesday. He, along with technology support specialist Billy Ayotte and high school systems manager Ray Seames and other educators from Maine researched machines from more than 20 vendors.
Some computers did not offer wireless Internet capabilities, others had too small keyboards or screens. The ASUS was selected because it met criteria, including durable cases and local service and repairs by the vendor located in Gorham, Maine, he said. Students also tried out the various laptops to give their opinions, he said.
The cost of each machine is $290, but Dunn said, surprisingly a group rate did not make a big difference in price. "We found their profit margin so small that going from 100 to 1,000 (laptops) only dropped the price by $5," he said.
SAD 17 will lease the computers for three years.
High school Principal Ted Moccia told the school board Monday that the students will probably receive their laptops around the third week of September. Students and their parents will be given a set of guidelines they must adhere to while using them.
The state announced in June that it placed an order for 64,000
MacBooks for students and faculty in grades seven through 12. SAD 17 decided to shop for its own machines. Middle school
students, including those in SAD 17, have had Apple notebooks since