Monday, March 11, 2013

HP elite pad

Had the opportunity to try out the HP elite pad late last week for a day. A heftier tablet than the ipad or the Lenova but the elite pad was encased in the elite expansion jacket which increases the ports to include a HDMI port. Without the jacket, the tablet has usual USB and mini USB. Pricing is at the top end, around NZ$900. The tablets have been purchased for use by our carpentry tutors who use them to record workplace based skill and knowledge acquisition of apprentices learning in the workplace.

Generally positive reviews on the net from the uk, usa and laptopmag. I am now familiar with the Windows 8 tiles format having used a Windows 7.5 phone for a couple of months. The two tutors  who had a play with the tablet also found the interface to be easy to use.

The main advantage, from a corporate point of view, is the alignment of the Windows 8 tablet. Windows office can be assessed and when you go to Windows desktop, the familiar windows screen with documents on the desktop comes up. The lack of the ‘start’ button on the bottom left hand corner is a bit confusing at first though.

Had a very quick play with Word, Excel and Powerpoint and they have all been adapted to have the various drop down menus and icons work with touch. The multiplicity of icons etc. may be confusing to the beginner but reassuring to people moving from a windows desktop environment into the tablet interface. Did not have time to fully work through all the various capabilities I would usually use on so unsure if I would use a tablet to fully replace what I now do on a desktop. Will need more time to try things out. The onscreen keyboard could have keyboard click sounds turned on. A reassuring feedback for people unused to typing on a glass screen.

At last, window 8 tablets are starting to arrive in NZ. We will evaluate a few more tablets before purchasing a few. Then do a comparative exercise between the tablets we now have – ipads, the Toshiba Thrive running on Android and the Windows tablet.  The main objective would be ease of use for the variety of projects we now use tablets with for technology-enhanced learning (TEL).