Student views of the iPad2 and tablet revolution. Do we really just need a Dell Inspirion Duo?

March 3, 2011 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Netbooks, Social Computing 

As many of you will know yesterday was the launch of the latest Apple ‘must-have’ device-  iPad2. During a lesson I was teaching a student started a conversation which surprised me a little. Seeing I had an iPhone as I checked the time one student asked if I was planning to but the iPad2. After suggesting that I would probably end up buying one as I have a technology addiction I was surprised by their response. When I asked if they would like to buy one the quickly responded that ‘The iPad is surely the most pointless device I have ever seen’.

Thinking this might be a faiRly isolated response I asked the whole class what their views were on the ipad and tablets in general. To my surprise 18 out of 21 didnt want a tablet device of any form. The main reason for rejecting the tablet revolution? 16 of the students wanted a real keyboard. I then showed them a device which is a tablet/netbook hybrid- The Dell Inspiron Duo which can be seen below.

The response when I showed this video? One student summed it up when they said, ‘The iPad is much cooler but give me the Dell any day for studying and surfing the net.’


9 Responses to “Student views of the iPad2 and tablet revolution. Do we really just need a Dell Inspirion Duo?”
  1. Brian says:

    Not disagreeing with them (though I’ll be in line to pick one up), but how many of them have used an iPad before. I thought I wouldn’t like not having a keyboard either, but the iPad touch keyboard actually doesn’t take that long to get used to.

    It’s certainly not a complete replacement for a computer, but a tablet does have some great benefits.

  2. From my point of view as a student of course a physical keyboard is much preferred for typing over a touch screen keyboard. It just feels better. But if you are getting into an argument over what tablet is better, the iPad will win hands down.

    Bring in a physical keyboard to the iPad. For £56 you can get a nice, sleek iPad Keyboard that connects via the 30 pin charger slot. That means that although you will pay £275 for the 16GB WiFi iPad 2 (assuming the UK prices stay the same), you can also use your iPad tablet as both a convenient study device, yet also an amazing gadget as well.

  3. Andrew Gee says:

    I don’t believe you can ever have a discussion over ‘which tablet is best’, as different devices will suit different uses. For any significant amount of typing, I’m sure it would be preferable to have a physical keyboard, and £56 for a physical iPad keyboard is a bit excessive. But with limited typing tasks, I’m sure an on screen keyboard would be acceptable.

    I can’t even get on with most netbook sized keys too though, so there’s no luck for me.

    But of course my stupid morals and views prevent me from even glancing at anything with that Apple logo on!

  4. Carl Lewis says:

    I would agree that a laptop/computer with a full-size keyboard is best for study and working.

    iPad is mainly targeted as a media consumption device and not to be a workhorse for document creation and productivity. Although there are examples of apps used to ‘create’ too, but these are tailored to the iPad’s touch interface, and often simplified.

    I rarely use my laptop now at home, the iPad is there for my casual use. However, I couldn’t ever see the iPad replacing my laptop in my work environment… that’s just not what it’s for.

  5. Jonathan Choy says:

    In my view it is not the device itself, but what it offers. In this case, the App store which is packed full of great learning/teaching tools. No other tablet/netbook/hybrid has this. Yes, it may be lacking a physical keyboard, but the App store more than makes up for the missing physical qwerty.

  6. Carl Lewis says:

    Oh and one more thing… who wants to use Windows 7 with a touch? Yuck! :-)

  7. Does anyone teach touch-typing anymore? :)

    I’m curious about the WPM capabilities of most teenagers – not counting SMS shortcuts. It seems faster than hunt-and-peck but not as fast as ASDF JKL;

  8. David Burgess says:

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire, I say. We have computers from a variety of manufacturers and OEMs here on campus, and Dell wins by a landslide for most problems in every category, from sales people to tech support to build quality, manufacturing defects and driver issues.

    If you have a Dell and you like it, then power to you, but I’ve seen firsthand more than enough problems with Dell to steer me clear for a good long while, and this is to say nothing of the many apparently well-deserved black eyes they’ve taken in the media recently.

  9. Chris Beckett says:

    Since I got my iPad2 I have not touched my Acer Tablet – it has become the single most influential personal technology I have ever used. My tablet is now for sale.

    I got a ZaggMate cover/stand/keyboard accessory and now I have best of both worlds. For browsing content or content creation that benefits from touch (like Mind Mapping), I just use the native iPad. When I want to blog or take long notes, I use the Bluetooth keyboard.

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