Hardware is dead


In the US, when we talk about tablets we usually mean the iPad and increasingly the Kindle devices, but beyond that there is not much else in the market. I had heard that tablets in China had already reached low price points. You can buy a reasonable Android phone for $100 retail, and I wanted to see if I could find a $150 tablet. This consultant pointed me to a mall filled with hundreds of stalls selling nothing but tablets. I walked into the middle of the scrum to a random stall. I pointed to one of the devices on display and asked, “How much for this one?” 300 kuai. My Mandarin is a bit rusty, so I had to ask again. Slowly, the stall owner repeated renminbi 300 yuan.

If this were a movie, the lights would have dimmed and all the activity in the room frozen. 300 renminbi is US $ 45. And that was the initial offer price given to a bewildered foreigner in China, no haggling. I felt a literal shock.




If dual-core Android tablets are under $100 it just becomes a matter of what is loaded on them.  What a kid learns depends on what is loaded on the technology, not the technology.



Last edited by Xumbrarchist

This shows how we are being played with technology.


32GB Nexus 7 Tablet Appears Online



Plenty of phones had SD card slots for 32 gig before the Nexus 7 came out.  Now we are supposed to get all excited because they offer 32 gig.  I am not complaining about buying my Nexus 7 with 8 gig since I was buying it to learn about Android and how powerful a quad-core was.  But I didn't buy the 16 gig since I regarded it as a scam.  $50 for 8 more gig.  RIDICULOUS!


But a 1.5 GHz dual-core with a gig of RAM, 8 gig of storage and a TF slot would be better.  I might even accept and 800 by 600 screen, but 1200 by 800 is better.






But the real issue is what to load on them.





Deal-and-a-Review: Samsung Slashes Galaxy Tab 2 Pricing to $199, Taking Heat from Nexus 7 & Fire HD




On paper, Samsung had plenty of reasons to justify the extra $50 price tag. Unlike the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, the Galaxy Tab 2 has a built-in rear-facing camera, which can actually take quality photos. Both ASUS and Amazon faced pricing impossibilities when adding a camera at the $200 price-point; prototype Nexus 7 units actually had rear-facing cameras built-in. Amazon breaks even on its tablets, and refused to sell Fire HD at a loss by adding in a rear camera.

Geeks will also appreciate the Galaxy Tab 2′s microSD slot, a feature Google has tended to shun in how it designed Android 4.0. Second-generation seven-inch tablets have started to trend toward deleting the microSD slot altogether.


The microSD makes the Galaxy Tab worth it.



Google’s Nexus 7 becomes highest selling Android tablet in Carphone Warehouse history


Carphone Warehouse says it has sold more Nexus 7 tablets than any other Android tablet in its history. It is no surprise that the device has been selling in such numbers due to its very attractive price point.


Google’s flagship tablet has yet to touch the sales numbers of Apple’s iPad. This is of course due to the fact that Google has launched the tablet only a few months ago. The company is aiming the device at a completely different market. In fact, part of the reason the tablet is selling so well is because it is attracting the crowd that finds the iPad to be way too much in terms of size and price.





Even in the 80's when I went to work for Intel people 'in the know' thought it was insane that Intel could capture 33% of the value of a PC with just the CPU + chipset. They worked really hard to make that the case, using every gimmick at their disposal, from patents to copyrights to support contracts to outright strong-arm tactics. Even today that survives in the $300 you pay for the CPU on the motherboard. Mostly it was about the software base though, you really couldn't do anyhing about it unless you were willing to bite off on the problem of the software and tools. Apple did that, but nobody else did.


ARM is different, the ARM folks take their tax, but you can buy out their tax if you know you are going to sell enough chips, and the cost to make chips has gone down. Even though the cost to build chip factories has gone up (remarkably so). I'm not nearly as engaged with this problem as I once was but around the turn of the century the 'sunk' costs of doing a chip was on the order of 5 - 7 million dollars.



Long live hardware.


India's tablet market sales grow 673% year-on-year in June quarter



The hardware is so cheap that getting cheaper hardly matters.  The issue is how to use it for education and what will that do to the economic class structure.  Are we supposed to listen to politicians too dumb to listen to?



Ubuntu Linux coming to tablets… starting with the Google Nexus 7


The Nexus 7 tablet may be Google’s flagship Android tablet. But it has a bootloader that can be unlocked, a powerful 1.2 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and 1GB of RAM. In other words, it should be perfectly capable of running other operating systems.

So it’s not surprising that the folks at Canonical seem to be using Google’s $199 tablet as a reference platform for Ubuntu for tablets.




This helps to show the irrelevance of hardware.  It is what you run on it that matters.  A lot of the software variation is just companies making useless variations in the name of competition and then we have to put up with all of the marketing BS.



I just saw an advertisement that Google has just come out with a "Chromebook" notebook for $250 ... that's not supposed to need updates and is supposed to load within seconds!! 


Have you heard/saw/read anything about this??  And is it 'too cheap to be true'?? 

Originally Posted by EbonyRose:

I just saw an advertisement that Google has just come out with a "Chromebook" notebook for $250 ... that's not supposed to need updates and is supposed to load within seconds!! 


Have you heard/saw/read anything about this??  And is it 'too cheap to be true'?? 

What I have heard about is from Samsung.


Samsung Chromebook: Hands-On Review




Oh, okay!! Thanks!!


Unfortunately, I'm not really all that crazy about the whole "cloud" thing.  But .. it does seem to have a lot of good features .. and at a reasonable price!


I've always been a "Compaq" person.  But now that they don't make those anymore ... I'm not sure where to turn next.

I don't know about the Google Chromebook by Samsung.  It appears that it does not have any of the usual standards that come with all other computers and that everything is predicated on being connected to the internet, and then on being connected to Google/Cloud/Google's apps, etc.

So what are the non-name brand tablets are available at what prices.


 $122.65   $129.99
ONDA V711 7 Inch IPS 1034*600 Tablet PC Dual core AML8726-MX 1.5GHz 16GB

ONDA V712 7 Inch Tablet PC 1280*800 16GB AML8726-MX IPS Screen Dual Camera

PIPO U1 7 Inch IPS Screen Android 4.1 Bluetooth 1280*800 16GB Black


So for less than half the price of the miniPad better Android tablets are available.  Of course I have no data on reliability and servicability.



5 Tech Tools Tablets Can Replace


In the same way, the tablet can function as many different tech tools within the classroom. Instead of purchasing a variety of different gadgets at high price points, Johnson encourages teachers to look for a one-stop shop as far as tech is concerned: in his article, he lists different tech tools that a tablet (priced as low as $199) can  replace:

  • Interactive white boards:
  • Student response systems:
  • Document cameras:
  • Graphing calculators:
  • Computer Labs:





How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform computing as we know it


Still, the potential improvement of living conditions in today’s poor countries would represent a huge step in the fight against poverty, and progress toward a more equal world. Which sounds amazing, and is why the OECD uses this report and its somewhat outlandish fifty-year forecast to harass policymakers about doing their jobs. This rosy future entails good behavior on the part of all involved, with countries carefully tending their fiscal gardens and investing in education to take advantage of productivity gains. If countries fail to prepare for the future, especially by letting debt get out of control, all this good growth could just be a line on a chart.





State of Linux


94 Percent of the World's Top 500 Supercomputers Run Linux


A full 469, or 94 percent, of the top 500 supercomputers now run Linux, according to the Top500 November report, compared with 462 in the June editionof the twice-yearly evaluation. Just 457, or 91.4 percent, of the top machines ran Linux a year ago.

Meanwhile, only three of the world's top supercomputers in this latest report -- ranking at No. 132, 165 and 183, respectively -- run Windows, compared with just two in June and one a year ago.





 Key Findings
* Children’s fractions test scores improved an average of over 15% after playing Motion Math for 20 minutes daily over a five-day period, representing a significant increase compared to a control group.
* Children’s self-efficacy for fractions, as well as their liking of fractions, each improved an average of 10%, representing a statistically significant increase compared to a control group.
* All participants rated Motion Math as fun and reported wanting to play it again; nearly all (95%) children in the study reported that their friends would like the game, and that the game helped them learn fractions.
* Taken together, the data from this experimental study offer solid evidence that Motion Math successfully integrates entertainment value with educational value.

Mobile Learning Game Improves 5th Graders’ Fractions Knowledge and Attitudes





Mobile Devices, Especially Tablets, Have Huge Christmas

Tablets were the story of Christmas 2012. Flurry says tablets were 51% of device activations on Christmas Day compared to 20% during the December baseline period. Apple's iPad and iPad Mini were big hits but so was Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet. Amazon grew "by several thousand percent" over its December baseline, according to Flurry.

Although Amazon did not disclose how many units were sold, the company saidThursday the Kindle Fire HD has been the company's best-selling, most-gifted and most wished for product since its release 15 weeks ago. The day before Christmas, also known as "Cyber Monday," was the biggest day for Kindle sales worldwide.

Growing Up With Nell: A Narrative Interface for Literacy


Nell is a tablet-oriented education platform for children in the developing world. A novel modular narrative system guides learning, even for children far from educational infrastructure, and provides personalized instruction which grows with the child. Nell’s design builds on experience with the Sugar Learning Platform [17], used by over two million children around the world.





OLPC announces XO Tablet coming to select Walmart stores later in 2013


OLPC said it has struck a deal with Sakar International, which gives the latter exclusives rights "to sell the XO Tablet to leading US retailers for both in-store and online sales." Only time will tell how many retailers will join Wally on offering the learning device, but one of the world's largest retailers certainly isn't a bad place to start.







Last edited by Xumbrarchist

Educational Tablets: Has the Future of Teaching Already Arrived?


In general, tablet PCs can eliminate many educational materials traditionally printed on paper. Teachers can produce digital worksheets and access student homework right from the computer, as well as download textbooks. And with networking applications specifically designed for academic institutions, students and teachers can connect and launch discussions from anywhere, similarly to the way Facebook works. Such apps also consider the audience, incorporating much-needed safeguards to protect students from external threats.





iPads not good enough!


School that spent £500,000 giving its pupils iPads admits that HALF are now broken

But after just one year, more than four in ten of the iPads had been sent off for repair, after being knocked, dropped or scratched. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal 489 had to be replaced after being found to be beyond repair.
Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Well if you get a good, well built netbook...

The problem with netbooks is Macro$cam's operating system.


Someone made an interesting comment here:


Has the ‘Death of the PC’ Been Greatly Exaggerated?


Paul Bassett

It's Microsoft, not the PC that's in jeopardy. For too many decades, Microsoft and Intel have gotten away with a defacto conspiracy to soak up most of the ever increasing memory and speed with ever more bloated operating systems, requiring us to buy new hardware and software just to be able to keep doing what users have always needed to do. It's unsurprising that endless rounds of unnecessarily flawed, so-called "good enough software" has finally come back to bite Microsoft.


PC's have unlimited potential to empower users. All we need is software that leaves us in control of our PCs' immense power.





Cheap And Durable Tablets Are Children's Next Trend


At the core, most are Android slates, often with 7-inch, non-HD resolution LCD displays. Instead of sleek, minimalist silhouettes, they’re chunky and plastic, usually ringed by a bumper of rubber — the better for peanut butter-slicked fingers to hold, and for surviving the inevitable drop when tiny fingers lose their grip. They also differentiate themselves from their “adult” brethren by providing a safer virtual environment for kids and sporting a lower price point.
Those were among the key desires parents had for their kids’ tablet experience when the subject came up about a year ago at a Toys “R” Us  focus group. The kids also said they want to play music, surf the internet, play games and watch movies all on one device. “We really spotted a trend with kids tablets a while back,” said Troy Peterson, the company’s vice president divisional merchandise manager of electronics and entertainment.





The World's Virtual Middle Class Rises


The massive diffusion of powerful, cheap computing power via cellphones and tablets over the last decade has dramatically lowered the costs of connectivity and education — so much so that many more people in India, China and Egypt, even though they’re still just earning a few dollars a day, now have access to the kind of technologies and learning previously associated solely with the middle class.


That’s why India today has a 300-million-person middle class and another 300-million-person virtual middle class, who, though still very poor, are increasingly demanding the rights, roads, electricity, uncorrupted police and good governance normally associated with rising middle classes. This is putting more pressure than ever on India’s elected politicians to get their governance act together.





Now this is interesting:


Surface Pro Teardown Reveals It’s Virtually Unrepairable


The Surface Pro is not a repair-friendly machine. In fact, it’s one of the least repairable devices iFixit has seen: In a teardown of Microsoft’s tablet-laptop hybrid, the company gave it a rock-bottom score of just one — one! — out of 10 for repairability, lower even than Apple’s iPad and the Windows Surface RT.


Let’s begin with its screen. It’s held in place with what iFixit calls “a metric duckload of adhesive,” meaning it’s pretty much superglued in place. You’ll need a heat gun and some guitar picks to even pry it off the device. There’s more super-sticky adhesive inside. The battery is so strongly glued in place that you’ll need a new back cover if you ever have to replace the battery.


Not that you’d want to. The majority of people who decide to take apart a Surface Pro will most likely break it.





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