Here’s a thing. Samsung have brought out a semi-ruggerised netbook and are showing it off at BETT (Stand M45). Samsung netbooks are widely known as being amongst the best and they have had a model at the top of PC Pro’s A-List for as long as I can remember.
The NB30 has a waterproof keyboard, shock-protected hard drive and a rubberised lid. The netbook should be able to run for around nine hours in a school. It costs less than £280 for one running Windows 7 (or £233 for XP). Obviously one of the draw backs is the screen size – at only 10″ it probably won’t be suitable for pupils with a visual impairment unless they are using JAWS or another screenreader in which case it could be just about perfect.
It also has three USB ports so attaching multiple assistive devices such as a rollerball and bigkeys won’t be a problem. Watch out again for the screen size as it might be difficult to see if the laptop is pushed away from the user to allow space for these devices.