Classroom Technology

Educators Eye iPad Alternatives

By Ian Quillen — June 15, 2011 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The iPad got the clear head start on the rest of the tablet-computing market with its release in April 2010, and it already has a second edition, the iPad 2 that was unveiled in March.

But while observers say that Cupertino, Calif-based Apple Inc.’s development of the iPad is not over yet—some suggest new editions could be coming out for the next several years—that doesn’t mean other computer makers can’t and won’t catch up.

“You figure they’re going to take a while to get there, but the difference is going to diminish over time,” says Tom Greaves, the chairman of the Greaves Group, an education consulting firm based in Encinitas, Calif. “I think if you looked out a few years, the tablets will get more mature, and the process is going to get more powerful.”

Tablet computers were the most popular new devices on display at January’s CES 2011, the annual international trade show of the Consumer Electronics Association. Some have already been released for sale, and others are set to hit the market soon. And as more schools and districts explore using tablets, some are beginning to think beyond the iPad.

See Also

To see how Apple’s iPad is being used in schools, read the main story, “Educators Evaluate Learning Benefits of iPad,” June 15, 2011.

Here are a few of the other tablet devices available. With the exception of the XO-3, for which specifications are still pending, all have at least 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity capabilities, and some form of Android operating system. And unlike the iPad, they are compatible with Adobe Flash Player.

DELL STREAK 7 AND STREAK 10

BRIC ARCHIVE

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell has both a 7-inch screen and 10-inch screen tablet. The Streak 7 was launched in early February, with a recommended retail price of $450, according to Dell’s website. The device includes a 1.3 megapixel front camera for video chatting and a rear 5.0 megapixel camera for other photography/videography. The device also has 16 gigabits of internal storage. The Streak 10, with a 10-inch screen and many similar capabilities, was expected to be launched in June, according to industry reports. Both will run off versions of the Android operating system.

HTC FLYER

BRIC ARCHIVE

The 7-inch screen Flyer from Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, based domestically in Bellevue, Wash., was unveiled in February and was expected to hit the market sometime during the Spring of 2011. The device is the first to be unveiled with 4G connectivity, meaning faster service, and has 1.3 and 5.0 megapixel cameras, like the Dell Streak 7, and 32 gigabits of storage, according to HTC’s website. The device, which uses the HTC Sense user interface, was listed at $900 (including all shipping costs) in Popular Electronics in early April.

MOTOROLA XOOM

BRIC ARCHIVE

The XOOM tablet was released in late February by the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company, and while it was initially expected to retail for around $800, it could be found in late March for under $600 on websites like those of technology retailer Best Buy. The XOOM has a 10.1-inch widescreen, two cameras (2.0 megapixels and 5.0 megapixels), and a battery that Motorola’s website says lasts up to nine hours while the user is browsing a 3G Internet network, and up to 10 hours while browsing a Wi-Fi network.

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB

BRIC ARCHIVE

The Galaxy Tab from South Korean manufacturer Samsung, whose North American headquarters are in Ridgefield Park, N.J., was on the market in September of last year, about five months after the iPad’s unveiling. The device has a 7-inch screen, and 1.3 and 3.2 megapixel front and rear cameras, respectively. Its initial list price of $749 had dropped to $499 on sites like Amazon.com as of late March, and it weighs less than a pound. Samsung was also planning to release 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch screen models in the late spring or early summer.

MARVELL XO-3

BRIC ARCHIVE

The XO-3 is not set to be available until 2012, but its backers—the Cambridge, Mass.-based One Laptop Per Child nonprofit group—hope it will have the ability to bring tablet computing to large numbers of underserved children for a fraction of the cost of other tablets. The screen will be all plastic and flexible, and able to adapt to multiple modes of use, from horizontal book reading to touch-screen keyboarding, according to OLPC’s website. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell Technologies is collaborating with OLPC to produce the device. For a cost reference point, XO laptops produced as part of the initiative were purchased for $200 to $250 per device in Uruguay’s 1-to-1 laptop program, according to an official at the nation’s Ministry of Education.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as Beyond the iPad


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
More than two-thirds of educators expect their use of blended learning to increase during the 2021-22 school year.
8 min read
onsr edtech blended
Getty
Classroom Technology Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
11 min read
onsr edtech hybrid
Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Some Teachers Are New to Laptop Integration. Here’s How to Manage It
Let students help set expectations and make sure both you and they know how to use the tools are just a couple suggestions educators offer.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion 20 Suggestions About Teaching in a Class Where All Students Have Laptops
One tip from experienced teachers: Working in a one-to-one classroom is more about a shift in teaching and learning than the use of devices.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty