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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Tablet/Slate vs. Convertible Notebook in Technical; We are looking at replacing the laptops/notebook computers in our mobile labs and possibly the teacher/staff units. Due to the ...
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    Tablet/Slate vs. Convertible Notebook

    We are looking at replacing the laptops/notebook computers in our mobile labs and possibly the teacher/staff units. Due to the swiftly changing tides of technology, I wonder if the notebooks shouldn't be replaced with Windows 7 Pro tablets. I have done some research and have found some schools have gone to tablet/slate computing. I am familiar with "convertible" notebooks, but no so much with the tablets.

    The mobile labs have various uses. Sometimes they are rolled down to a classroom that is working on a project needing more than the available workstations on location. Other times the lab is used for testing. We often hold classes for business training or webinars. I would like to "stay with the times" but don't want to trade off next gen tech for functionality.

    Of course the units will be connecting via wifi to our domain, and currently we are running LightSpeed Systems for our content filter and endpoint solution. We are looking at moving away from them, but that is a project for the future.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Update: I probably should have put this in the hardware section of the forum.
    Last edited by SPSTech; 30th November 2011 at 07:46 PM.

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    I'd rather choose tablet and ipad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPSTech View Post
    I am familiar with "convertible" notebooks, but no so much with the tablets.
    In the UK, RM brought out a Windows 7 tablet last year:

    EduGeek.net - RM Slate 100 - Initial Review

    I tried out a demo unit at BETT last year, it seemed like a good peice of hardware. It's now priced at 400, the same as an iPad, but it is a year old - I don't know if anyone's brought out an updated version yet. I know RM din't make the device themselves, it's a re-badged something else, so you should hopefully be able to find a supplier in the states.

    The Asus Eee Pad Transformer has also just come out - a tablet with a detachable keyboard / extra battery unit:

    Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime review | Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 review | Tablets | Reviews | PC Pro

    The original Eee Pad Transformer seemed to do quite well, so this might be worth a look (although it's Android rather than Windows based).

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Dell had a really nice looking 10" Windows 7 slate that did multitouch, stylus etc. and as you are in the US you can actually get a hold of them. It had a dockable keyboard if required too and did not weigh that much. It should also support Windows 8 which will make much better use of the touch abilities in future and would be in my mid-range plans for such devices if I was looking at them.

    Dell launching Latitude ST 10" Windows tablet for business, education, and healthcare

    Have a read through this: How to build your own Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet | ExtremeTech to see other options on current W7 but W8 ready devices.

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    SPSTech (27th December 2011)

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    we've just bought 100 of the dell latitude ST.. Its not bad but I am not a fan of tablets, I just don't see their purpose. But the school seems to see a need for them.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    we've just bought 100 of the dell latitude ST.. Its not bad but I am not a fan of tablets, I just don't see their purpose. But the school seems to see a need for them.
    Whats the actual battery life when in use and about how much if you can say?

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Havent had them in the classroom yet, students are gone for summer now. Will have a play with one tomorrow to test the battery

    Thnk they were $900au including dell pro support and accidental damage, again will check exactly tomorrow.

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    SYNACK (18th December 2011)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    yeh $900 + $50 extra for the pro accidental damage.

    Also ordered a couple of the docks for fifty bucks to aide with the imaging..

    About 5 hours battery today

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    SYNACK (19th December 2011)

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    Thank you for the input everyone. We have ordered a few of the Dells to have the IT techs play with them and see what they think. I look forward to their arrival. If they perform like I want them to, I will order more and deploy to the teachers. Lastly is the students, which is where most of my concern lies. I would have to carry some "spares" to loan out when a unit gets broken and has to be sent in for repair. I worry about the lower grades, ie. k-5. I am eager to run these units through their paces and see the results.


    I will post my findings once I have tested.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPSTech View Post
    Thank you for the input everyone. We have ordered a few of the Dells to have the IT techs play with them and see what they think. I look forward to their arrival. If they perform like I want them to, I will order more and deploy to the teachers. Lastly is the students, which is where most of my concern lies. I would have to carry some "spares" to loan out when a unit gets broken and has to be sent in for repair. I worry about the lower grades, ie. k-5. I am eager to run these units through their paces and see the results.


    I will post my findings once I have tested.
    Have they arrived yet? We have got ours, we have ordered some of the docking stations but Im having a real problem trying to Ghost them, or even use any WinPE to boot.

    The docking stations use the SMSC LAN7500 USB-LAN Chip, The driver on the dell site works fine for installing directly into windows, but I cannot seem to find a driver I can use with WinPE either via PXE or Ghost USB stick that will work.

    Im gonna create a seperate post for this issue as well as Im really struggling so apologies in advance for the cross-post

    http://www.smsc.com/media/Downloads_...heets/7500.pdf

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    RabbieBurns,

    I apologize, the units didn't get ordered as quickly as I would have liked. Tracking shows delivery for today. The docks show delivery for the 21nd. I really want them today so I can play with the unit over the weekend. I will use a USB cd/dvd drive to install the OS and software. From there I will create my image. Hope the docks show up sooner...

    Once I have my master image, ( and the docks arrive), I will clone the rest of the units. I will post more information once I get started. Be sure to share the link to the new post and I will follow up there.

    Thanks again for the input everyone...

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    What clonging software will you use?

    here is the other thread:

    Ghost Woes with Dell Latitude ST Tablet

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    When I arrived at the school they were using Paragon for cloning HDD's. This is done in a lab and physically booting each computer to CD and then accessing the image off of a external HDD via USB. I use CloneZilla and have my images on the server, which is in turn accessed from the pc via a bootable cd. Once I boot, I locate the image, and then pull it across the network. My images average 20-40Gb depending on class, and when I clone 12 @once and it takes about 20-30 minutes. I have cloned 30 @ once, but I usually start those and go home. They tend to take a bit longer.

    I am currently researching the FOG project, and am attending a workshop on FOG here this spring. With FOG one can push images, updates, software installs and more. I don't have enough information on FOG yet to leave an informed post.

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