• Inexpensive Sub $100 Android 4.0 Tablets

    The tablet market has been in existence for barely two years now but is proving to be one of the most dynamic, fast pace markets in the technology realm. Much has changed since Apple's initial introduction of the iPad in April 2010. Google's open Android operating system continues to drive fierce competition among Android hardware manufacturers to the point now that Android 4.0 based tablets will soon be hitting the market at less than $100.

    Before I continue I should mention that I really don't have any bias towards Android or iOS. I use both Android and iOS based devices in both my personal and professional life. I do prefer the interface on the iOS devices, but also recognize that with Android devices starting at about 1/4 the cost of the cheapest iPad 2, the possibility of providing every student with a tablet is much more realistic with Android.

    In this article I'll discuss some of the options available to you to obtain some very inexpensive Android based tablets. From the recent research I've done, here are some of the options you have:

    1) Convert an Ultra Cheap Android 2.x based Color E-Reader

    Many people are finding that they can buy a ~$100 Android based E-Reader and with a firmware change, make the Android desktop the default startup screen on the tablet (i.e. the tablet doesn't start in e-reader mode). There are some limitations to this option, the examples e-readers converted to tablets I saw did not have access to Google Market. Apps had to be loaded manually or via 3rd party app stores. Also, remember many of these devices are Android 2.x based so the operating system is somewhat aged.

    A colleague of mine recently purchased a Pandigital Android 2.x based e-reader at Walmart for $78.00

    Here's a YouTube video showing the process to convert a Pandigital e-reader:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2LQyvRKpwA

    To sum up, if the applications you're interested in are Android 2.x compatible and can be obtained directly from the developer or a 3rd party market this could be a very viable option for you.

    Here's a great article with a list of 3rd party app stores available to your Android tablet:
    http://mobiputing.com/2011/06/17-pla...-android-apps/

    2) Ingenic /MIPS based Android 4.x Tablets

    Just this past December 2011, MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor announced the availability of the first Android 4.0 based tablet hovering the $100 mark using the MIPS XBurst architecture. Traditionally, Android tablets have used CPUs based on the ARM architecture. One caveat with the MIPS based architecture is that there are potential compatibility problems due to the different architecture. While it is stated that 90% of the apps in Android Market are processor independent, it's best to verify the compatibility of the applications you're interested with the MIPS architecture. The first tablet using this chipset is being manufactured by Ainol / Anovo.

    3) RockChip (ARM) based Android 4.x Tablets

    RockChip, an ARM based processor manufacturer was to demo a number of sub $100 Android tablets at the CES show in Las Vegas this month. Since these processors are ARM based, there should not be any of the potential compatibility issues that could arise with the MIPS based processors, but you're going to have to wait for these tablets as they likely won't be available to North America and Europe until later this quarter in 2012.

    If they're aren't already, Apple will soon begin to feel the pressure of the lower cost Android devices which continue to gain market share. Comparing tablet sales from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011, Android gained 10% market share while Apple lost 10%.

    Overall, this means good things to come for education. The Android tablets will continue to offer very affordable solutions to schools and the increased competition and market gains by Android will hopefully mean Apple will need to re-examine it's pricing structures and tablet offerings to try and retain it's market share.

    Ernest A.
  • IT_Recent_Forum_Posts

    Ernest Aleixandre

    Critical KRACK vulnerability in WPA2

    Just this morning, a critical new vulnerability in WPA2 called KRACK has been publicly announced. Contact your WiFi manufacturer support to determine

    Ernest Aleixandre 10-16-2017, 03:20 PM Go to last post
    Dinsmore

    Approved Software Lists.

    Where can we view the approved list?

    Dinsmore 09-10-2017, 11:52 AM Go to last post