I have mentioned before that our ninth graders have a mix of iBooks and MacBooks. This has made me notice that the webcam is an essential part of any one to one hardware.
I have talked with several districts in the last two years about a one to one. I would personally not go into a one to one without Apple computers. That being said, I think it can be done without them. What I think you need is a built in web cam. Good teachers use the compelling resources around them in spite of themselves. Believe it or not, some teachers do not see either their own laptops or their students with laptops a compelling tool. I am not saying they do not use it at all, just they do not see it as changing what they do. They still type and print papers, they just use their laptop. They still assign papers, just they do not have to check out the computer lap to do research or type.
The webcam though is a game changer. Always available is the power. Teachers and students alike go nuts when they discover the camera and its power. Teachers use it simply to add graphics easily to a document. No more scanning software required for simple papers, just hold it up to the cam and take a shot. Need to add a little video to a document, record yourself. Need your students to practice their vocab, have the student shoot video and upload it to the class website. Need to show off a small item to the class, turn on the camera and project the laptop screen. There are limitless ideas and applications, and like I said before a good teacher uses all the resources available to them to teach the students that have landed in front of them.