Sponsored by Warrington Collegiate Education Trust, Future Tech Studio is a Studio School, a new type of state school for 14-19 year olds of all abilities, designed to better prepare young people for the working world. The Future Tech Studio provides a new and innovative approach to learning, offering a curriculum that is specifically linked to future employment opportunities in Warrington and the North West.
They are working with more than 20 employers in the IT & Telecommunications Sector, Business & Finance Sector and Engineering Sector to offer a range of academic and vocational qualifications, alongside work placements and employer led project briefs.
Future Tech needed to purchase a number of PCs for their new IT suites and offered their requirements out to various IT companies for tender in November. Lanway (an IT solutions provider and Zoostorm reseller) provided a competitive quote which matched their requirements and the systems were ordered in December and delivered in January.
Nick Smeltzer, Director of IT Services at Warrington Collegiate spoke to us about the process.
Lanway offered us a Zoostorm solution which we were really happy about. We use Zoostorm PCs in the FE college and we knew that they were reliable and hassle free. The systems we were offered met our requirements and the price was right. We went for the all-in-one because of the sleek design. We really love the aluminium bezel – it just enhances the overall look and feel. We like the fact that it has a non-touch screen too, as we’ve had problems in the past with these being easily damaged. The PCs look really good in the new building and they are much nicer to look at than your average Desktop PC.
The compact design and size of the Zoostorm all-in-one desktops meant that we could order smaller computer desks for the suite, enabling better use of the classroom space and creating more space for the students and teacher. The tables are around 20cm narrower than full size PC desks and there is no way we would have been able to fit them in the room in the configuration we wanted. With the all-in-ones in place, there is still plenty of space for the students to work at the desk. We also use these PCs around the building at the reception and for the teachers.
We went for a fairly high spec machine with 8GB of memory and a 256 solid state drive and the PCs are super-fast to boot up. Within a few seconds of turning them on, the login screen is displayed and in no time at all the students are logged on and ready to get to work. Setting up the new PC suite was a very quick and painless process. Imaging a suite of 20 PCs over our network took about 20 minutes.
In the FE College we’ve tried and tested lots of different branded on non-branded PCs over the years, but Zoostorm’s biggest selling point is their reliability combined with the right price point. I’ve experienced a negligible failure rate. The keyboard and mouse are also really durable, the letters haven’t rubbed off the keyboards at all yet.
We have tested lots of systems in the past such as those built by Acer, HP and Compaq etc. but we generally find that the non-branded local PCs are better. Yes they generally use the same components, but we have had some trouble with other brands installing our own image and configuring systems to meet our requirements.
Quite honestly, from an IT director’s point of view Zoostorm systems are faultless. We are interested in testing the Zoostorm 15” Laptop and Plex 2-in-1 tablet PC and hope these are just as good!”