Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charging multiple iPads

Once again schools are looking to the new financial year (April 2012) and considering how they can most wisely spend their money and get the best value. As we all know, times are hard with reduced budgets, so 'big' ICT spends seem out of the question. If you are lucky enough to be considering purchasing iPads or iPod Touches then you will need a hub to both charge and/ or manage the purchase and syncing of apps and content from your iTunes account to the devices.

Check out the following solutions for charging multiple iPads and let the budget decide!

IKEA PS Cabinet
  • The cheapest solution I've been shown to date is obvious - simply charge your iPads via a multiblock power source and sync via iCloud- simples! - depending on how many iPads you have the total cost will be the number of multiblocks you need. Some users I know are using plate-racks (for draining after washing) to line-up and stand their iPads on for charging - check out your local Wilkos if you live in the UK.
    Other schools I know have gone down the 'build your own design' route using the IKEA PS cabinet, adding shelf dividers and securing multiblocks to the inside, another very cheap option for charging - syncing is achieved with the Belkin USB port as described next.
  • Belkin USB 2.0 Port which has 7 ports is available from Amazon for under £20 - currently unavailable - no guesses as to why!
  • Loxit sell a range of Trolleys and chargers for 16 and 32 iPads available from ict-direct for around £1400.
  • AT Computers sell the Kallysta KsyncMA16 charging/syncing product - not sure about pricing.
  • The Leba iCase can be purchased from Jigsaw which will Sync and Charge 16 iPads at a cost of £1325.
  • Ergotron Sync and Charge up to 48 iPads but have solutions for 10/20/30 iPads as well.
  • Griffin have brought out a MultiDock solution for 10 iPads which Sync and Charge for around £500, but also provide solutions for larger numbers of iPads.
  • Configurator is designed for class sets of iPads using a sync trolley  - and volume licensing.
  • Other schools sing the praises of Casper as a proper MDM solution which Lion Server is not.  The advantage with Casper is its education pricing:

    "Education Pricing - JAMF Software offers significant purchasing discounts to education organizations. The Casper Suite is licensed per managed Mac or iOS device, with a 100% discount off the license cost for both higher education and K-12 education. Education organizations pay only the per-seat Annual Maintenance costs, with discounts available for volume purchases. Additionally, every new sale of the Casper Suite is accompanied by a JumpStart, a two day on-site visit with a JAMF Software Field Service Manager to install the software and provide guidance and training to help your IT staff integrate the suite into your environment."
For more information contact me: barbaraainscough@mac.com

1 comment:

  1. Hi, thanks for the info! I just wanted to let you know that the Belkin USB 2.0 is so cheap because it doesn't provide enough power to charge the iPads at the proper rate. Using that product it takes 14 hours to charge an iPad. At our school we use a PowerPad16 from Datamation Systems (www.ipadcarts.com). It charges 16 iPads and has the specs to charge them at the optimal speed.