22,000 Netbooks Headed to Schools in New South Wales

Microsoft and Lenovo just landed a contract in New South Wales, Austrailia, that will see them providing 22,000 Netbooks to the school system there for $150 million. That breaks down to about $681 per Netbook.

Anyway you slice it, that’s a lot of Netbooks and I guess it begs several questions. Many of us in the Tabletscape kept wondering when we’d see large rollouts of Tablet PCs in the education sector similar to this one. With pinched budgets, lower priced Netbooks certainly become an attractive option, but in my mind, the small screen size, and I guess limited processing power of Netbooks don’t lead to the best creative solution.

Loren Heiny (I got this story from him) suggests that something along the lines of an interactive eBook reading device might be more conducive to both the creation and consumption of content. I’d have to agree.

But then again, it seems like the promise of Tablet PCs certainly offered all of that and more, but I think that day may have passed us by.