As you compare carts, be aware that you get what you pay for. For this reason, it's important that you know what questions to ask when shopping for the best storage cart to fit your technology.
We've seen customers choose the cheapest cart and then spend the same amount of money (and a lot more time) paying labor to have them assembled. You may have devices of on size now, but will your cart accommodate devices of another size a few years down the road?
We've outlined some features below that you'll definitely want to think about and consider as you compare carts and choose the best model to standardize on for your organization.
If possible, see the storage cart in person to observe the build quality and test mobility.
You may find after pushing a cart through doorways and down the hall, that the cart doesn't move well, the edges are sharp, or the build is cheap. Better yet, buy from a reseller who will let you test it out. We will!
How Many and What Type of Devices Will You Be Storing?
You can quickly narrow your possible charging cart solutions down by focusing on the number and model of devices that you need to store. Some desktop solutions like Anywhere Cart's AC-MINI, the DeskCabby by LapCabby, or the iQ 10 Charging Station may only fit tablets or iPads. Full-size budget solutions may have a fixed fit for certain devices. Some fully configurable carts may even fit all types of devices - iPads, tablets, laptops and Chromebooks!
Flexibility and Long-Term Viability
Consider looking for models that have adjustable spaces with flexibility for different devices of different sizes, allowing your cart to weather changes in technology through the years.
Carts like the AC-PRO II pictured below have dividers that are adjustable in 1/2" increments to accommodate any device width, which makes configuration easy!
Consider the use of your cart and whether you want a cart that can be rolled from room to room or if you'd prefer wall mounted storage like the LocknCharge iQ Wall Cages or convenient desktop storage that stores only a small number of devices, like the DeskCabby or AC-MINI mentioned above.
If looking for a mobile cart, keep in mind that the larger the caster, the easier the cart will be to move. If students will be moving the devices, you'll want to make sure the cart is easy to maneuver and also contains protective bumpers or detailing at the corners to protect the cart as well as walls, doorjams, etc.
The importance of cable management can often times be overlooked when you compare carts, especially if you are implementing just one or two carts.
However, when you consider a large implementation of carts, the difference between a 30-minute wiring and a 2-hour wiring can put a strain on resources.
Power & Ventilation
If you want to charge and/or sync devices while they are stored, make sure that power distribution strips are included on your charging cart.
Some carts also offer energy saving power management such as a charging timer that allows the user to set charge times and cycles around your classroom schedule. Charging can also be set to turn off after a certain period of time to protect the battery life of your computers.
Make sure that your chosen cart also has good ventilation and a design that can dissipate heat from the power source and keep equipment cool.
Assembly and Delivery
Shipping and delivery can be costly so be sure to ask if shipping and delivery is included in the purchase price or if you'll need to figure it into the total cost of the cart. Some manufacturers include delivery and some don't.
In addition, as you compare carts, make sure to ask the seller if the cart comes fully assembled or exactly what amount of assembly will be required by you upon arrival of the cart. While 45 minutes may not seem like too much time to assemble a cart, when you multiple that by 100 carts, it can definitely add up!
Read the fine print on the warranty and make sure that you know exactly what you are getting. Also, be aware that the warranty on the electronics may be different than the actual cart.
All of the carts that we carry are covered by varying warranties dependent upon the manufacturer, so be sure to visit our partner links for detailed warranty information.