Class of ‘23 gets new Lenovo Chromebook models; sophomores and upperclassmen to keep using Acers

Librarian+technician+Laura+Prompongsatorn+scans+one+of+the+new+Lenovo+model+Chromebooks+on+Aug.+13+in+the+school+library.+The+Chromebooks+were+distributed+to+freshmen+at+the+beginning+of+the+school+year.+%28Photo+taken+by+Accolade+photographer+Paul+Yasutake%29%0A

Librarian technician Laura Prompongsatorn scans one of the new Lenovo model Chromebooks on Aug. 13 in the school library. The Chromebooks were distributed to freshmen at the beginning of the school year. (Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake)

Aaliyah Magana

After three years of issuing Acer Chromebooks used by the graduating senior class to incoming freshmen, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District has decided to provide brand new Lenovo devices to incoming ninth-graders for all campuses. 

“I was kind of jealous because I’ve had the same [Acer] Chromebook for three years,” said junior Samantha Alvarado, whose younger sister, Monique — a freshman– came home with a Lenovo when the school year started. “I noticed it works faster and doesn’t have a sticker next to the touch pad that gets worn out.”

As of late September, a total of 580 Lenovo 300e models have been checked out to this school year’s ninth-graders, school officials said.

“The reason for the new Chromebooks are because the amount of damaged, lost and stolen [Acer] Chromebooks surpassed the amount expected [for incoming freshmen],” said Sonya Joyce, Sunny Hills’ site technician. 

Meanwhile, 620 Lenovo laptops are available in case more freshmen enroll at Sunny Hills or freshmen’s Chromebooks are severely damaged, library technician Laura Prompongsatorn said.

Meanwhile,  Acer R11 models will remain available as loaners for all grades and transfer students while they await repair of cosmetic issues, Prompongsatorn said. 

That’s what happened with Monique Alvarado’s Lenovo.

After one week of using it, Monique Alvarado said the monitor became unresponsive, which prompted her to go to the library to get it repaired and obtain a loaner Acer Chromebook.

The freshman said she is still using the loaner and awaits to be called out of class to pick up her fixed Lenovo from the Lyceum.

Meanwhile, she is fine with using the loaner chromebook and doesn’t feel any different when her freshman peers are using Lenovos in her classes.

 “An Acer looks thinner and more compact so it’s easier to work with, but I [do] want my Lenovo back,” Monique Alvarado said.

The district’s technology committee had planned for the rollout of the Lenovos during the summer. Reasons the group opted for the Lenovos over other brand name Chromebooks included price, appearance, processing speed and a touchscreen feature, Joyce said. 

“Appearance-wise, the Lenovo is ruggedized and more sturdy,” she said. 

The site tech was referring to the sturdy rubber bumper going along the outer screen and keyboard, which makes the Lenovo Chromebook less fragile than the Acers without the exposed hinges and less likely to have the screens to come off.

Other than that, both weigh the same — three pounds — and they have the same software with 4GB memory and 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron processor. 

“I noticed that the [Lenovo] is entirely seamless; if there was any damage from impact, it could take it because the material seems well-constructed enough,” said sophomore Anthony Keem, who used an Acer as a freshman at Troy before transferring here as a sophomore but was mistakenly issued a Lenovo to use since the beginning of the school year.