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A Case for PowerUp laptops


George Zhou, Bellaire, 2015

Part of the PowerUp contract that students and parents are required to sign states that school laptops must be kept in the cases provided by HISD to prevent any damages. But looking around Bellaire, hardly any students follow this “contract”. Even after the administration has started performing random laptop checks and taking away bare laptops, many students still choose to leave their cases at home

What’s wrong with the laptop cases? Why don’t students use them?

For one, many students find the laptop cases to be heavy. The case and the laptop combined weigh over five pounds. Carrying a laptop with its case around school would be like carrying a barbell from class to class for 8 hours. Many teachers, like my AP Statistics and AP Government teachers, require their students to bring their laptops to class every day.As a result, some put their laptops inside backpacks without any cases or protection. Joseph Nguyen, the Bellaire IT department technician, says that laptops, in this way, can be damaged if anyone applies enough pressure on them. Many of the  200+ screen-cracked laptops that have been turned in since the beginning of this school year have been broken in backpacks.

Another issue originates from the straps attached to laptop cases. Some students find the straps to be tedious. Forcing the straps around their necks, frustratingly adjusting the length of the straps, many students irritate their necks with the straps or simply find the straps “uncomfortable.”

Why don’t students just put both laptops and laptop cases in their backpacks? Simple. The laptop cases measure nearly one-third of the width of a typical backpack and four times the width of the laptop itself. Fitting notebooks, textbooks, and homework along with laptop cases in one backpack presents a certain difficulty to students. Having a laptop case with a strap actually proves an inconvenience to students already carrying hefty bookbags.

Laptops, however, do not have to be kept in heavy cases. Standardizing slim, “soft” cases will provide protection to all laptops, and students would definitely appreciate laptops cases that can fit in some of the most packed backpacks. These soft cases are about one-third as wide as “hard” cases and will allow students to fit laptops and books in the same backpack.With a soft case, students won’t have to lug laptops around dragging.–they can easily slide them into their backpacks knowing that the laptops will be protected by sturdy foam.

caseHowever, if “soft cases” are standardized, students should take some responsibilities upon themselves.If a student damages a laptop, he/she will be required to get a hard case. And if a student prefers to use hard cases, he/she should be allowed to do so at the beginning of the year.

Some people argue that laptop cases for the entire student body can be expensive. This is understandable. However, many students find that the benefits of having a lighter laptop outweigh the cost of buying a laptop. These students who wish both to take advantage of the “power up” initiative and carry laptops without trouble should have the right to carry a reasonable laptop case that befits their own needs.



  • Soft case-7.2 ounces
  • Foam(to cover front and back of laptop) – 1.5 ounces
  • School laptop case, hard case(with strap)-33.375 ounces
  • Metal strap-3.875 ounces
  • Laptop- 57.75 ounces


  • Width of laptop case- 3 inches
  • Width of backpack(varies)- 5-10 inches
  • Width of laptop – .75 inches
  • Width of soft case– 1.2 inches

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2015 by and tagged , , , , .

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