I'm pleased to announce that we've selected a mobile device for our 1:1 technology initiative in grades 3-8.
The device is the 2go PC NL3 Convertable tablet. It's essentially a netbook that converts into a tablet for stylus input.
We reached this decision after looking at various solutions including iPads, Chrome Books, the HP Mini netbook, Intel Classmate netbooks and the winning product, the 2go PC.
What we looked for:
- Affordability - initial cost, replacement & repair
- Mobility - lightweight, small, & portable
- Useability - kid friendly, accessibility software & enough computing power to run our apps
- Longevity & durability - tough enough to throw in a backpack and park a snow machine on
- Does it meet our needs? - Will it run our current programs and will it handle future apps & OSs?
1. Ruggedized Case
a. scratch and water resistant LCD screen
b. spill resistant keyboard and touchpad
c. reinforced corners
d. shock mounted hard drive with Sensor
2. Convertable Tablet
a. Intel Atom Dual Core N2600 1.66 GHz Processor
b. 4 GB DDR3 RAM
c. 10" Antiglare Resistive touch screen 1366x768 resolution
(This is the minimum resolution for Windows 8 and some netbooks only have 1280x600)
d. Built in speakers & microphone
f. up to 10 hours battery life
What the teachers liked:
- It's durable
- Full nice feel keyboard
- It has a handle and is lightweight
- It has a shock sensor meaning it will be kid-friendly when it is inevitably dropped
- The stylus works well
- The handwriting recognition is good
- The math input calculator is awesome
What the teachers didn't like:
- The touch screen does not recognize human touch without a great deal of pressure. Teachers are used to the type of touch screen on the iPad which this unit does not have. This is a pressure sensitive touch screen and not an electroresistive touch screen like the iPad. This is essential for good stylus input.
- The size of the computer itself may be a concern for the older kids. This may not be the device for grades 9-12. I'm not sure they would benefit from a stylus like the younger kids that are just learning to type but suprisingly the High School students we showed the device to only complained about the slugish mouse response while playing YouTube videos full screen. The size was never a complaint.
- Battery life. To be fair this product has a great balance between battery life and productivity power. Intel claims up to 10 hours, however high demanding apps will certainly lower that time and students will certainly have the need to plug the devices in at school. This is true of almost any product.
What Tech Likes:
- The ruggedized case and HDD sensor
- The serial numbers are under the battery
- Option to depot warranty or self repair
- Anti-glare monitor
- Should run Windows 8
- Good balance between power and battery life
What Tech doesn't like:
- No option for a larger battery
All teachers grade 3-8 will receive one of these devices in April to have and get used to before the student rollout at the begining of the 2012-13 school year.