A review of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet and its implications for education

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It’s no shock that tablets are getting more popular for both recreation and education. Tablets are gaining a considerable number of apps and uses in the workplace, home, and school. I myself recently got a microsoft surface RT tablet (64GB version) for $300 during the boxing week sale, as well as a keyboard/cover for it ($100). Here are my thoughts about it so far.

Operating System: The Surface RT packs Windows RT; an operation system that is a double of Windows 8.1, but with one catch: It cannot download anything that is not from the microsoft store. Ouch. Good bye, Google Chrome and Minecraft (Minecraft is actually a very good educational tool. Want to know why? Read my colleagues blog post about minecraft’s educational value here. The Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 pack more power and a legitimate version of windows 8.1, but at a much higher cost. I do not recommend them unless you’re choosing a tablet over a laptop / desktop.

Battery: The battery life on this thing is ridiculous. I gave this to my girlfriends niece and nephew, they watched it at full brightness with full volume for four hours (Indiana Jones 1 & 2!) and it was at 60% battery life. Wow. I swear this works on an unlimited amount.

Apps: The only apps available for this thing are from the microsoft app store… so it’s very limited. But luckily there is a decent selection on there.

Usability: This thing supports touch screen, touch keyboard, and a regular keyboard + mouse. So it’s usable like a regular computer. Almost anything that isn’t in the app store can be found on a regular website and used there. It comes preloaded with a full microsoft office, which is very nice to have at the start.

Storage: This only stores 32GB or 64GB depending on which version you get. Luckily the tablet comes with 7GB free on skydrive and you can also activate google drive and dropbox, which all together offer an extra 25GB of free storage. If you need more, you can spend an annual rate on one of the above mention online storage options.

Overall this is fantastic for education because of it’s long battery life and simplicity for kids and adults. It only takes a few minutes to learn. It’s a very cheap alternative to a bulky laptop with a small battery life or an expensive Ipad. I’ve used it to attend online class, do homework, read, prepare presentations, and give presentations. For home use you can simply use it to lay in bed watching netflix, reading a book, or browse the web! I highly recommend it to all educators for presentations,personal learning, and fun!

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