This page presents some brief observations about tablet computers. If you are familiar with the tablet scene, you can skip straight to the tablet selection tool. Further information plus reviews of hardware and apps will be available on our blog.
Why should I care about tablets?
Tablets are small personal computers which are handheld and usually operated via a touch screen. They are a rapidly growing sector in the Australia IT market, and tablet literacy is a very desirable skill, especially for younger users.
Who is using them?
Tablets are widely used in business especially in any industry where workers routinely need to travel .
Children as young as 2 years old can use tablets. Many children just assume a touch sensitive screen is how computers operate. Tablet use in schools is becoming commonplace. Their pricepoint compared to laptops means that they are more affordable for students. One tablet can contain the entirety of a student’s textbook needs and also offer interactivity and real-time data that is simply not available from print media.
The are usually categorised by the operating system they run –
iPads run Apple’s iOS. This is a propriety system i.e. only Apple hardware can use this software. iPads come in two different sizes at present – a full size iPad is 9.7″ measured diagonally, and a mini is 8″. As of 2013, most devices are running either version5 or version 6 of the operating system. This is important as it determines what type of applications ( apps) the device can run. Apps are only available via the Apple iTunes store. Due to Apple’s tight control of their products, there is not generally much variation in pricing between different vendors. Apple are historically well established in the education field. Tablets can access the internet via wifi networks and via cellular connections
Android tablets run on Google’s Android software. As this software is opensource, many different companies make tablets that use this software with Samsung probably being the most prominent. There is a wide variation in both price and quality in the Android tablet market. Apps can be downloaded from a number of sources with Google’s App store dominating the market. Tablets can access the internet via wifi networks and via cellular connections
Windows tablets use Windows 8. The operating system is licenced to a number of third party manufacturers. Market share is currently small in Australia and Windows tablets are relatively expensive compared to Android devices. Tablets can access the internet via wifi networks and via cellular connections
Tablet selection tool
Click on the image to download the chart as a .pdf file.
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