Published Online: November 22, 2013
Updated: July 20, 2015

Eyeing Schools' iPad Alternatives

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Even though the iPad commands the majority of the tablet market in education, there are a growing number of tablet options schools can choose.

  Education features Specifications Price
Apple
iPad Air While Apple does not have a specific education version of its tablet, the new iPad Air is the latest in the line of Apple tablets that currently command almost 94 percent of the educational tablet market, according to some estimates. The iPad does not come preloaded with any specific educational-software, schools are encouraged to customize their devices with apps from the Apple App Store, including Apple's free iWork and iLife suite. 9.7 inches, includes Apple's A7 chip, weighs just more than 1 pound Starting at $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage
Android
Amplify Tablet Created by ed-tech company Amplify, this tablet comes with the full Amplify suite. Amplify's content includes various curriculum and assessment tools, web filtering, a variety of Google apps, a graphing calculator, and Encyclopedia Britannica. 10 inches with included keyboard,
16 gigabytes,
about 1.25 pounds
$199 for 3 years plus additional leasing fees. The company also offers free telephone support for technical issues and suggestions on using the tablet.
Kindle Fire HDX Through Amazon's Whispercast program, schools can connect devices to the Internet with content blocking, distribute books to devices, and add more customization through the Amazon Appstore for Android. 16 gigabytes, 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, weighs slightly more than 0.5 pounds The 7-inch tablet costs $244; 8.9-inch version costs $394
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Note fits into the Samsung School program, which allows for interactive teaching between student tablets and teacher machines and a content management system. The company has its own Google Play app, S Educate, which provides access to Khan Academy videos and tracks student achievement. Also features the company's "S Pen™", a stylus that offers students a more familiar way to take notes. 10.1 inches,
16 gigabytes, microSD slot, 1.4 GHz quad-core processor,
1.3 pounds
$429.99
LearnPad The LearnPad solution includes three components designed to allow educators to deliver digital curriculum and instruction: The LearnPad tablet; the LearnPad cloud-based management portal; and the LearnPad content store. 9.7 inches, 16 gigabytes, Dual Core 1.6 GHZ processor, a Micro SD port, USB port with adapter, 1.45 pounds

10.1 inches, 16 gigabytes, microSD slot, Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, a Micro SD port, HD video out port, USB port with adapter, 1.4 pounds
The 9 inch costs $299.95; 10 inch version costs $399.95; No access, subscription, renewal or reoccurring costs beyond initial cost.
Windows Tablets
Microsoft Surface Billed as a miniature Windows computer. Surface comes with Microsoft Home and Student, and has access to the Windows App Store on Windows' operating system. 10.6 inches,
32 gigabytes of storage, Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, a Micro SD port, HD video out port, USB port, 1.5 pounds
$314.10 after a student or faculty discount.
Dell Latitude Dell's Latitude 10 takes a similar approach as the Microsoft Surface, emphasizing ease of deployment with a Windows tablet and access to Windows apps. Latitude does not have its own education suite. 10.1 inches,
64 gigabyte, dual-core processor, weighs 1.47 pounds
Starts at $499
Google Education Tablets (Powered by Android)
Nexus 7 Google's new Google Play for Education. 7 inches,
16 gigabytes, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, includes a microUSB port and a SlimPort™ for external video, 290 grams
Google Play for Education also includes management and support for the purchase price of $259
HP Slate 8 Will run Google Play for Education. 8 inches, NVIDIA T40 S TEGRA 4 A15 Quad-Core Processor, micro USB and SD ports, weighs 1 pound To be released in 2014. Price will include management and support with Google Play for Education.
Asus Transformer Pad Will run Google Play for Education. 10 inches,
16 gigabytes, 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, will weigh slightly more than a pound
To be released in 2014. Price will include management and support with Google Play for Education.

SOURCE: Education Week

Vol. 33, Issue 13
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