Back in about 1988, our school had upgraded to Apple IIgs machines. Labs full of them, all with RGB monitors, dual 3.5" and 5.25" drives....
But no hard drives. They were still insanely expensive. Just a stupid 140k floppy drive cost you $300+. Hard drives in EACH computer? For the time, such a thought was INSANE!
Anyone remember the "Welcome to the IIgs" floppy disk? Although the IIgs had great graphics and sound, the 3.5" drive interface was very slow. From boot to showing the program took something like 3-4 minutes, even with the IIgs in fast speed.
Without a hard drive, the new-fangled graphics and sound features of the IIgs were hard to use effectively, and especially so for the ROM 00 IIgs which only had 256 kilobytes of built-in memory.
So really for most purposes, those IIgs the school bought in volume, were in many cases little more than a slightly faster Apple IIe, running pretty much the same programs.