Bretford Adds Network-Ready Laptop Cart

Bretford Manufacturing has introduced its first network-ready 32-unit laptop cart for K-12 and higher education environments.

Designed to charge, sync and fully manage up to 32 laptops from inside the cart, the MDMLAP32NR is now available for order and will ship at the end of this month.

“Our education customers have been asking for a Bretford cart that not only stores and charges the laptops and netbooks being used by students during the school day, but one that also acts as a ‘mobile computer lab’ allowing the devices to be synced and updated from inside the cart,” said Dan Berger, product manager for Bretford Manufacturing. "Our new network-ready cart gives IT administrators and technology directors the ability to simultaneously send security patches, software updates and software installations, which saves a tremendous amount of time compared to the existing practice of removing each computer one at a time and updating individually. In addition to storing and charging the computers, the cart provides the infrastructure to facilitate this connection to the network so that all the laptops and netbooks can be managed together."

The new cart comes with 32 cables wired to each storage slot and an additional one for connecting the switch to the port on the side of the cart for a total of 33 cables. It has a dedicated space for a 19-inch rack-mounted network switch and also includes an external network port on the outside of the cart for accessing the network. For complete organization within the cart, the MDMLAP32NR is separated into four compartments that store eight devices each for a total of 32 laptops. Laser printed numbers provide identification on every device slot and the plastic shelf dividers may be removed for storing larger items so educators can tailor the cart to their needs.

The MDMLAP32NR has Bretford’s signature “Power Manager” system to analyze power requirements. The Power Manager uses a “Round Robin” charging cycle that constantly evaluates the demand for power and concentrates on the devices that need it most. The Power Manager not only prevents circuit tripping, but also allows each set of device batteries to cool down between charging cycles, thereby extending their life. Two thermal-controlled fans and venting on the side panels serve to dissipate heat, keeping the internal temperature of the cart within the laptops' recommended limits.

For easy accessibility, the cart has full doors in the front for the educator and doors in the back for the IT administrator. Security is provided by the solid steel construction and unique locking handles that can be opened using either a re-programmable combination or a key. The cart also has cord winders on both sides, one for the power cord and the other for a network cable.