It turns out that Tim Cook’s old high school in Robertsdale, Alabama, isn’t quite as fond of the MacBook is he is.
Robertsdale High, from which Apple’s CEO graduated in 1978, has swapped the company’s notebooks it was giving to every student for significantly more affordable Chromebooks built by Lenovo.
MacBooks have been given to Robertsdale High students from third through 12th grade for years for use at school and at home. Teachers also received one, while younger students used iPads. In total, the school was using over 20,000 Apple devices.
This was all part of its three-year “Digital Renaissance” plan, which cost $24 million. Now officials are hoping to reduce that spend by swapping the Apple laptops for Lenovo Chromebooks that cost just $200 apiece.
That’s about 75 percent less than what Robertsdale High was paying for its MacBooks, according The Washington Post. For the 23,500 Lenovo N1 machines it needs, the school will pay just $6.6 million in total — and it will make that back by selling its existing MacBooks.
But it’s not just the price that makes this move a sensible one.
Homer Coffman, chief technology officer for Baldwin County schools, says Chromebooks are also “simpler to maintain and simpler to use.” They’re also more secure, Coffman says, and teacher and students are already using Google’s education applications.
“Baldwin County will not be using bleeding edge technology with this implementation,” Coffman added. “It will be using proven technologies.”