questionsspeaking of ces, how about a super-low-cost…

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I sell to schools and tablets are a huge issue in a bad way..

Managment for schools on these devices are very difficult.. No real good Enterprise managment software is availible accept a few quirky ones that "might " work or limited support..

Also text books typically get replaced ever 10 years on average. (this is aprox average) Batteries on most electronic devices last only 2 years. I have not seen a tablet style device that has a removable battery. Thats an additional cost one must consider as well.

Breakage and drops are also a consern put these in kids hands at school and they will break them.

Battery life what happens when you need to charge it? Most classrooms have limited plugs..

These are discussions I have all the time with school districts and when you start to add up all the issues their total cost of ownership is significantly higher then just buying a book.

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@kenerg: Do you sell textbooks, by any chance?

A lot of school districts are already issuing laptops to students. I suspect there will eventually (most likely fairly soon) be a marketer who starts modifying inexpensive tablets specifically for schools, complete with replaceable batteries and improved break-prevention design.

Tablets can be recharged at home, not just at school. Kind of like cell phones, even.

I spent a few minutes researching all this, and found a well-documented article that seems to address all your concerns and more. The evolution of paper textbooks to electronic readers is coming, and it's already in place in a lot of school districts.

http://www.palmcenter.fsu.edu/documents/digitaltextbooks_whitepaper.pdf

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Saw this as well, looks like it could be pretty sweet. Good specs and it has ics.

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@magic cave: I do not sell text books. I work for a large PC manufacture as a technical consultant. I work with area school districts as well as Federal govement in that roll.

I have read that document in fact I believe it affirms my position on the fact that cost is significantly higher then text books at this time.

I have assisted in deployments of Ipads and Ereaders as well as laptops in the classrooms. When used in specific situations it works great but not in a true one to one enviroment.

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@kenerg: Please note that I didn't say the article I cited rebutted your original points. I said it addressed them; I thought you'd find the presentation of possibilities and problems interesting.

You evidently have fine professional credentials; in this field, I have none. However, I still believe the potential for use of small, relatively inexpensive handheld devices for students will grow, prodded both by continually increasing budgetary concerns of local school districts and the constant growth of technology that creates faster, smaller, cheaper, whizzier products.

I doubt it will be long, in the grand scheme of things, before supply shows up to meet demand.

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@katblue: Thank you for the link. I was intrigued with this project when it first began, and I appreciate the opportunity to catch up on their progress.

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Laptops and tablets from school are a great idea, but haven't been very well implemented. My daughters school her freshman year had them. The issues were the kids circumvented security by using portals and mobile websites. The upkeep for thousands of laptops was a nightmare. Trying to have parents pay for repairs on a laptop they did not agree to, but had to accept for their kids grades wasn't going to happen. The school pulled them by her sophmore year. Now she is a senior and a third won't graduate because their parents refused/couldn't afford to pay for repairs of damaged laptops these kids didn't take care of. Luckily there wasn't any issues with my daughters laptop she was assigned.

Laptops have a great potential in a school atmosphere, but the implementation needs a lot of work. First and foremost, Parental consent, not the demand of a school board.

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If you're talking just an e-reader as a replacement for textbooks, a Kindle or Nook would be a far better replacement, not a cheaply made full-featured tablet. I think that a color e-ink tablet with user serviceable battery and a digitizer for handwriting recognition would be a good step in the right direction. It will be quite a while until the idea really takes off or becomes cheap enough to really gain foothold in schools.

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I was really tempted by the Novo 7 tablet until I found out it doesn't run ARM. Without flash, there's no way to watch hulu, netflix etc. I also understand there may be some additional compatibility issues with apps. General consensus among reviews is that it is a decent tablet, but you'd be better off rooting a kindle fire for quality purposes. 160 versus 200. Personally, I think shelling out the extra 40 bucks will be better.