Providence School is very excited to share with you our technology recommendations for this coming school year. We want to thank you for your partnership with us on this journey. We strongly believe that using technology to engage students in the learning process is a valuable way to prepare our students for their future career endeavors.

With the Canvas Learning Management System, Office 365, and the integration of new teaching techniques, your child will be better prepared for college and beyond. The mobile device your student purchased this past year will still be an acceptable device provided it meets our minimum hardware requirements stated at the bottom of this page. For new students or those looking to upgrade, please continue reading.

Providence strongly recommends the Surface device for our students in grades 9-12. The learning environment regarding technology works better when every device works the same way. Based on feedback from our staff we are asking parents to honor our request providing a device that meets our specifications. Depending on your students schedule there are classes that Apple Laptops don’t perform well in due to software compatibility limitations. Students that will be graduating in 2022 will be required to purchase one of the Surface devices listed below as incoming 9th graders.

You can visit the local Microsoft store at the St. Johns Town Center to see devices in person. Existing students please make sure and bring you student ID card with you for verification.

Model Comparison

Generally any member of the Surface line will work well for your child’s classroom needs. Below is a general overview of the options available. All systems work and function identically; the only differences are in the speed and amount of storage provided.

When you purchase your device, please be aware that the operating system will require a Microsoft Online Account to access the store and purchase applications. We are configuring our cloud services to use the student’s Providence network account to login. You can use your device with the free Microsoft account, but when school starts, you will need to use your school login, which will be provided to you at the end of the summer.

All current students will receive a free subscription through the school for Microsoft Office 365 with Office Pro Plus which allows the installation of Microsoft Office on 5 devices.

Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro


The smallest and most compact member of the Surface family. Starts around $439. Selection may be limited. Best if budget is a primary concern.

We recommend only models that have at least 4GB of RAM and 128GB. This helps when running multiple programs, such as an e-texbook and web browser, simultaneously.

Surface 4 Pro


Midrange tablet. The perfect balance of size and power for working on the go. Starts at around $699. This will likely last students multiple school years. Please note that prices are subject to change.

This is the current model line and recommended for most students.

Surface Laptop

High end laptop. The most powerful Surface laptop to handle any task. Starts around $999. Great option if your student will be entering college soon and will need a full-featured laptop.

Most helpful for Juniors/Seniors who will also need a laptop for college. This product is larger and heavier than the other tablets.

Please note that this laptop comes pre-loaded with Windows 10S and will need to be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for our book applications and complementary Office installation.

Easily switch to Windows 10 Pro for free until Dec 31, 2017.

Other Tablets/Brands

There are many other manufacturers who also build Windows-based tablets (Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer, etc.). If you’d like to find something other than the Surface line, any tablets that meet or exceed the following specifications will work:

  • 8-10 hour battery life
  • 10″ or larger touch screen
  • At least 128GB of storage and 4GB RAM
  • Instant on; SSD boot drive
  • Windows 10; Not Window 10S
  • Keyboard capability (e.g. USB connected keyboard or Bluetooth)