The future in mobile devices for schools…

Today I witnessed the real future in mobile EDUCATIONAL technologies.Talk about exciting! Now I have heard people call things ipad killers before but this is unquestionably THE ipad killer.

Introducing the ASUS Transformer.

Seeing this amazing piece of technology today almost makes me feel sorry for all those schools who have wasted thousands of dollars on purchasing useless non-educational ipads for their students. (I did warn them though!)

What is it?

It is a tablet PC that looks very similar to an ipad until….wait for it…you sit it on the keyboard dock. Yes you read correctly, this tablet has the option of being attached to a keyboard that enables the tablet to form a decent sized touch screen netbook WITH arrows keys!!  Allow me to explain in 10 simple steps why the ASUS Transformer walks all over the amazingly skinny, amazingly shiny and completely unamazingly educational ipad:

  1. It has the option to dock on a full QWERTY keyboard (that comes standard with the device)
  2. It runs Android and is not controlled by the itunes mothership.
  3. It has a USB port (I wonder if Mac users even know what that is?)
  4. The tablet has a 16hour battery life with a further 16 hours when placed on the dock.
  5. It has an SD slot.
  6. You can edit Google Docs without paying for an app.
  7. Multi tabbed internet browsing.
  8. It’s a tablet that runs Flash so you can visit ANY website!
  9. It has a 5-megapixel camera as well as a 1.3 one.
  10. Did I mention it has a USB port?!

The ASUS transformer is the perfect educational tool as you can switch between purely web-surfing mode (tablet) to ‘I need to sit down and get some real work done’ mode- netbook. As I have stated in past I use an ipad regularly to surf the web however when I need to do ‘real’ work I put it away for my ‘real’ computer- my laptop. This device allows students to have the choice to customise their device to suit their needs. Now there are 2 words that are foreign to the ipad world- choice and customisation.

The price of this device currently sits at around $800 for a 32gb version which is comparable to the 3G enabled ipad2. If schools are really serious about purchasing devices that will enhance student learning (rather than enhancing self esteem ) they will definitely look into investing in these devices.

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