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American public school systems face a shortage of 5 million laptops for students

Chromebooks like the 5190 Education simply aren't available for school districts and students. (Image via Dell w/ edits)
Chromebooks like the 5190 Education simply aren't available for school districts and students. (Image via Dell w/ edits)
As public school systems in the United States shift to online learning in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, many districts face a massive shortage of laptops for students. The shortage compounds existing problems facing American students in the midst of COVID-19.
Sam Medley,
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As many students in the United States start school online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public school systems are facing a major problem: there aren’t enough laptops for their students.

According to the Associated Press, the three largest computer manufacturers in the world (Lenovo, HP, and Dell) have informed multiple school districts that they have a combined shortage of approximately 5 million laptops.

The three companies are the primary source for furnishing school districts with computers for students, primarily Chromebooks. However, the companies’ delivery efforts have been stymied due to a combination of factors, including massively increased demand and tariffs on components manufactured by certain Chinese companies.

Individual districts throughout the states are waiting on the delivery of thousands of devices, many of which are not expected to arrive until late October. Some school systems have been informed that their laptops won’t be available until the end of the calendar year.

According to Danial Thigpen, a spokesman for Lenovo, the Chinese manufacturer has “a backlog of more than 3 million Chromebooks.”

Considering schools’ increased reliance on online learning tools over the past few years and the health risks present due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many students will be ill-equipped to participate in the curriculum of multiple school districts.

Across the United States, public school systems have steadily increased their use of online software and websites to supplement learning, even for students that are physically in the classroom. Without an ample stock of laptops to supply to their students, school districts may need to pivot to accommodate their students.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1121 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > American public school systems face a shortage of 5 million laptops for students
Sam Medley, 2020-08-26 (Update: 2020-08-26)