Apple beat Dell in Henrico with 12-inch iBook G4, superior OS features, Mac-only software

“Henrico County received proposals from five companies to supply the middle schools with laptops, but in the end, negotiations came down to the same two that faced off for the high school laptop contract: Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.,” Olympia Meola reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Dell snagged the high school contract from Apple in April. This time, Apple’s offer was sweet enough to keep iBooks in the hands of county middle school students for the next four years. ‘Apple came in and was more aggressive this time,’ said Lloyd Brown, Henrico schools’ director of technology and selection committee member.”

“The nine-member selection committee unanimously chose Apple, and the School Board on a 3-1 vote recently approved a contract for 12,675 laptops at $1,246 each for a total of $15.8 million,” Meola reports. “Dell offered different prices for varying services, but the cost per laptop with a summer refresh program was $1,224. At that price, the contract would have come to $15.5 million, according to Dave Myers, assistant superintendent of finance. But price was only one of the factors the selection committee considered.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Price was only one of the factors?!” Miracles can happen!

Meola continues, “Several members cited the size of the Dell laptop [too large for student’s backpacks] and the breadth of instructional programs on the Apple laptops as two distinguishing factors… The Apple iBook G4 designated for students, at 12 inches, is a newer version of what the middle school students carry now. Machines for teachers measure 14 inches. Apple’s machine features a slot-load drive and a battery that is supposed to last six hours, both of which are advantages, Myers said. Also, Apple included some attractive extras for instruction, such as certain software [iLife was mentioned (the new iBooks will also include Microsoft Office according to reports)] and an operating system with built-in features for special-education students, such as text-to-speech and zooming capabilities.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How’s that Dell program going in the high schools? Seems the Henrico School Board have already learned their lesson; they even figured out that sticker price isn’t the end all be all when choosing a personal computer. Imagine that.

MacDailyNews Note: To use Zoom on your Mac (Mac OS X 10.2 and higher):
• [Command,Option,*] toggles Zoom on and off. That’s “Apple, Option, Asterisk” in English.
• [Command,Option,+] zooms in, centering on the cursor position when Zoom is on. “Apple, Option, Plus Sign”
• [Command,Option,-] zooms out. “Apple, Option, Minus Sign”
Easy, huh? And it zooms waaaaaaaaaaaaay in. Try it. It will zoom out to your display’s current resolution, as you would expect. If you move the cursor while “zoomed” in, you will scroll around the screen.

[Power has been restored to MacDailyNews’ sprawling northeast U.S. campus as of 2:30am EST. 65 hours without power, water, heat in weather that approached minus 10°F wind chills – how was your weekend?]

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple beats Dell: lands deal to supply 12,675 iBooks to Henrico County Middle Schools [UPDATED] – February 09, 2006
Keep or dump Apple iBooks? Henrico restarts laptop bidding on middle school computer contract – October 28, 2005
Henrico to decide whether to ditch Apple iBooks for Dell laptops in middle schools – October 10, 2005
Henrico students ‘excited’ to have Dells after four years with ‘hated’ Apple iBooks – September 24, 2005
Dell VP on Henrico’s switch from Mac OS X iBooks with to Windows XP Dells: ‘a computer’s a computer’ – September 22, 2005
After dropping Macs, Henrico officials work to protect students’ new Dells from viruses – August 30, 2005
Woman wets herself to keep place in line for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico closes $50 Apple iBook sale to general public; only Henrico residents can buy – August 03, 2005
Henrico moves $50 Apple iBook sale to Richmond International Raceway due overwhelming demand – July 28, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005
Henrico residents object to public sale of Apple iBooks – July 26, 2005
Henrico County Public Schools to sell Apple 12-inch iBooks for $50 each on August 9th – July 25, 2005
Henrico blasted for choosing Dell laptops with Windows XP over Apple iBooks with Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005
Henrico school officials on Apple to Dell switch: The logo will change, but the tool is the same – April 30, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Henrico County Apple iBook plan in jeopardy? – April 02, 2005
Survey shows support for Henrico iBook program with ‘lukewarm support’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – March 07, 2005
Henrico poll finds students are using iBooks successfully – February 11, 2005
Henrico iBooks raise concerns among some parents – May 28, 2004
Henrico high school laptop program to continue, but will it still feature Apple Macs? – February 24, 2005
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003


  1. and best of all, apple can deplete its stock of ibooks right before the new macbooks (or whatever the heck they’re gonna be called) arrive!

    Tried the zoom feature for the first time myself after reading this. Most impressive.

  2. waxMi downunder –

    “Spent the weekend at the beach -Bondi – a balmy 30degrees C. Very nice for eating Gelato, watching the glassy blue swell and the very attractive sun seekers.”

    Oh yaah, well . . . well, here in New England we had . . . frost. Yaah . . . FROST! Frost on everything. Yaah, yaah. Frost everywhere. Hah! So there. Bet you feel kinda silly now, doncha . . . you . . . you, Australian beach guy, you.

  3. If you zoom all the way out, that’s not the same as turning zoom off. Turn if off in Prefs, or by pressing cmd-opt-* again. Otherwise zoom is still on and wastes a tiny amount of speed. Look at Activity Monitor and you’ll see.

    Also, laptop users can hit cmd-opt-8 and cmd-opt-=, no need to hold shift or use numpad mode.

    BTW you can change these keys in Keyboard prefs.

  4. I think some on this list may be confusing zoom with font scaling. To increase the font size within the window you are viewing, use the Command-+ (no shift key required). Command– reduces the font size.

    Zooming is done with the combination of Command-Option-+ keys to
    zoom in and Command-Option– to zoom back out. Similar results, but not quite the same thing.

    So next time someone complains about your text size, use font scaling, not zooming. Want to view a video in a larger size, use zoom.

    BTW, I’m suprise how many on this list did not know about zooming.

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