January 20, 2011 3:08 pm

Microsoft & HP partner with “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to give an Australian high school a technology makeover

There are millions of kids around the world who are eager to learn, but don’t have the resources to get a great education. That bothers us at Microsoft and there are a lot of great things our company does to support education. So we partnered with our friends at the “Oprah” show and HP to help some very bright kids and some very determined teachers give the Canterbury Boys High School in Sydney, Australia, a complete technology makeover.

Every teacher and student in the school will get a new HP Pavilion dv7 laptop running Windows 7 and Office 2010 and the school library and music rooms will be outfitted with brand new, Windows 7-powered HP TouchSmart 600 all-in-one desktops hooked up to high-end audio equipment by “Beats by Dre.”

Of course, a technology makeover is only worthwhile if it’s the right technology, which is why I wanted to give you a bit more background on why we & HP selected these PCs for the classroom:

I’ve talked about the HP TouchSmart 600 many times; it’s one of my all-time favorite all in ones and a PC that I’ve taken with me to many events, including our recent Holiday PC Showcases in New York and San Francisco. It’s a great multimedia PC that’s loaded with Blu-Ray, a huge hard drive, discrete NVIDIA graphics, and a 1080p multi-touch display is one of the best in the business. And it’s reasonably priced, too – you can get one starting at $949. I love this PC for classrooms because it has full desktop power to run Windows 7, Windows Live and Office beautifully, and it brings together the best of touch and type. That means that students can work with traditional apps like PowerPoint and Excel to build skills they’ll need in the “real world”, but also explore a world of creative touch-based software, too. That’s a really powerful combo.

HP_TouchSmart_IQ600_FL45

On the laptop side, the HP Pavilion DV7 is kind of the big brother to the HP Pavilion DM4 that I’ve been raving about for the past several months. It’s a 17” PC that has massive screen real estate that’s great for students working on presentations, watching educational videos on the web and working with graphics, and sports a full keyboard that includes a number pad, which makes it perfect for math class. Design-wise it has the same modern look and feel of the DM4 – brushed & etched aluminum case, responsive island-style keyboard, and the new HP clickpad. Build quality is excellent and it looks and feels much more expensive than its starting $649 price tag would normally indicate.

HP_Pavilion_dv7t_BVO

HP_Pavilion_dv7t_LSO

These are both great PCs and we’re really happy to have partnered with HP and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to get them to the Canterbury Boys High School. Coupled with Windows 7 and Office 2010, these bright minds now have all the technology tools they need to support their education.

Have a question about these or any other PCs?  Post a comment, hit me on Twitter, or Ask Ben Anything via email.  Your question might appear in my monthly Ask Ben Anything Q&A column!