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Hardware Thread, Tablets: ? Android/Apple/Windows in Technical; We are starting to looking at tablets in our school and I have been asked to draft a proposal on ...
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    Tablets: ? Android/Apple/Windows

    We are starting to looking at tablets in our school and I have been asked to draft a proposal on how we are going to manage each type of device.

    I know this has been discussed widely throughout the forum but I was hoping that I could draw on other peoples experiences and knowledge.

    Thanks in advance.

    Eben

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eben View Post
    We are starting to looking at tablets in our school and I have been asked to draft a proposal on how we are going to manage each type of device.

    I know this has been discussed widely throughout the forum but I was hoping that I could draw on other peoples experiences and knowledge.
    Right now I'd say we're close enough to the launch of the MS Surface Pro tablets to wait and see what they're like, unless you're already 100% sure they'll be out of your price range.

    My simplified opinion is:

    iPads
    Pros: The best 'experience' for single users, staff and students like them and want to use them, there's a good app store and they have some enterprise-level support
    Cons: They're single-user devices and there's no nice way to get around this (if you properly configure the device for one person then you can't give it to someone else without wiping it), and they don't integrate with anything on a Windows network

    Android Tablets
    Pros: Very well designed, great for personal use if you already like Android
    Cons: Don't really offer the best of any worlds in a school environment

    MS Surface RT
    Disappointed me to be honest. RT won't run any 'real' Windows apps, the app store isn't taking off very quickly, and there's no enterprise support

    MS Surface Pro
    In theory this is the answer to our (Windows domain users) problems - a well-designed tablet that has full enterprise support, can run Windows apps, can join a domain, and has multi-user support. In reality I think the price is going to be too high and the Windows 8 learning curve too difficult for some.

    Check out a bit of software called DisplayNote; it might solve some tablet/device issues for you.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    flyinghaggis (4th January 2013)

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    Google apps has some built-in management tools for Android,IOS for free



    Google Apps Mobile Management: Overview - Google Apps Help

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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    I've also been asked the same thing.

    What's to stop students from reconfiguring and deleting apps, assuming there's anything to stop them at all?

    Are there such things as tablet docking stations, for on mass storage/charging?

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    What's to stop students from reconfiguring and deleting apps, assuming there's anything to stop them at all?
    I think you can lock down iPads to some degree, there's certainly policies that you can push out I think. I assume you'll be able to lock down an MS Surface Pro tablet the same way you could any other Windows 8 machine on a domain. Not much out there for Android as far as I know.

    I can't believe we're still at the point where no one's making an enterprise-ready tablet. Schools are literally trying to thrown their money at the manufacturers and no one's making a good solution.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    AJWhite1970's Avatar
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    Or to throw a curve ball into the discussion, forget tablets completely and go for a 10" notebook running Windows 7/8 instead and you get full portability with a secure multi-user domain environment running your corporate suite of software for 160 each.

    Lowers head in anticipation of flack flying my way
    Andrew

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    It looks like Android enterprise management isn't good. Is that the general gist of things?

    Also amazed that no-one has released an enterprise suitable tablet.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJWhite1970 View Post
    Or to throw a curve ball into the discussion, forget tablets completely and go for a 10" notebook running Windows 7/8 instead and you get full portability with a secure multi-user domain environment running your corporate suite of software for 160 each.
    I'd say that's fairly sensible really - that's all MS Surface Pro is after all. I'd be interested to see where you're finding a nice 10" notebook (as opposed to netbook) for 160 though!

    I don't think this is really what most teachers want though. They like the idea that a tablet is more engaging and has 'apps' (even if they don't know what apps they would actually use in their lessons), rather than just getting the same Windows experience they're getting on a laptop. I think the notebook would need to be touchscreen (particularly for Win8) before it came close to comparing.

    Give me something that has the hardware, form-factor and 'usability' of an iPad (with equal or better battery life), but let it have support for multiple network profiles with nothing other than caches stored on the local device, full integration with AD for logons and authentication, a mail client that supports Exchange (even just Activesync), POP and iMAP, support for SMB shares in a way that allows me to have mapped drives and folders based on home directory settings in AD, and allow me to control all the settings and lock it down through some kind of server-based group policy. Price it at equal to or less than an iPad and you're on to a winner.

    MS Surface Pro ticks half the boxes, but falls down badly on price, battery life and usability.

    EDIT: I don't see why they can't make an enterprise iPad - Macs can do most of what I listed if you have a Mac server running OperDirectory and Workgroup Manager. I assume iOS could be modified to support some of those things.

    Chris
    Last edited by Duke; 14th January 2013 at 02:25 PM.

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    We just need a tablet that can be locked down. I can't imagine distributing any form of tablet in school which can't be locked down or at least easily reset - the latter seems to be Apple's solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    We just need a tablet that can be locked down. I can't imagine distributing any form of tablet in school which can't be locked down or at least easily reset - the latter seems to be Apple's solution.
    Have you looked at Apple MDM? Apple - iPhone in Business - IT Center - Mobile Device Management in iOS

    Not brilliant in my option, but if you download the PDF off that website you can see the list of supported commands/configuration. It does allow you to lock the device down to some degree and wipe it back to your original configuration if needed.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Gongalong (14th January 2013)

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    LOL, yeah sorry, Netbook not Notebook....

    As I said on another thread the other day, we have lots of staff with new personal ipads after Christmas, the first thing we do with them after they come in for the wi-fi key is to install a RDP client on them and they walk out happy as Larry with their usual Windows 7 desktop running on their ipad.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJWhite1970 View Post
    As I said on another thread the other day, we have lots of staff with new personal ipads after Christmas, the first thing we do with them after they come in for the wi-fi key is to install a RDP client on them and they walk out happy as Larry with their usual Windows 7 desktop running on their ipad.
    Agreed, it's completely nonsensical to me. I like the idea of having iTap (or whatever you use) on an iPhone/iPad for emergency RDP use, but using an Apple device as the primary way to access your Windows desktop on the move doesn't make much sense to me.

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    I am waiting on the pricing of the ASUS VivoTab it should be around 700 so a fair amount less than Surface Pro but still alot'a'money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotalGeek View Post
    I am waiting on the pricing of the ASUS VivoTab it should be around 700 so a fair amount less than Surface Pro but still alot'a'money.
    Looks nice - I wonder how the Atom will compare to the i5 in Surface Pro? You can definitely see the battery life improvement though!

    Hard to justify at twice the price of a laptop mind, and if you're got money then why not have a 4K resolution tablet?

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    If it were feasible with Android tablets we might have a chance. iPads are pretty much at laptop prices though, and with laptops being less likely to get abused, and easier to lock down, I think the latter will still win.

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