Thursday, September 27, 2012

$99 Nexus Tablet? A Great Candidate for Higher Ed's Mobile Initiatives

The 1st release of Google's Nexus 7.  Word of a $99 unit?
There is a rumor goin' round on the interwebs that Google has plans to release a $99.00 version of their Nexus tablet.  I am not a tech prophet by trade, but I figured this would be Google's next move as their flagship Nexus came out at a mere $199 for the lower memory unit (Asus appears to be denying the plans, but that is an expected move from a manufacturer).  I expected the $99 version to come out a year later after release of the flagship tablet.

Could the rumored $99.00 Nexus tablet be the piece of technology that educators have been waiting for?  Many in Higher Ed have tried mobile initiatives with the iPad  and many more have toyed with the idea but opted to wait and see. Those institutions that have implemented a mobile initiative (to an incoming freshmen class for example) appeared to have major support from mobile carriers, that most small institutions just don't have.  However, if a WI-FI device could be issued as a secondary device for college students at the price of $99.00 it may make many college administrators take another look.

A colleague bought the first release of the Nexus 7 tablet and dropped it off for me to check out.  Let me just say that it is a great device for the money and a great unit for those that have never owned a tablet (price point alone is accessible at $199).  I can't wait to see a cheaper version and if it is 5 inches or something in the neighborhood of the iPad mini- I am still going to buy it.  The Nexus 7 inch won't give you arm strain from holding it to read an ebook and makes my Xoom feel like a cumbersome paper-weight.

I still appreciate the old Xoom now loaded with Jelly Bean, but frustrated at the performance from the various Android browsers on offer (Dolphin, Chrome, and even Firefox).  Namely Google's Chrome browser for Android should perform well on their own devices but just can't seem to handle modern and popular websites without wanting to shut down (pressing the "wait" button seems to let the page load and avoid closing everything out, but it is a hassle and ruins the consumption of internet and media).

In the latest issue of Wired I just read an article stating that the Google devices have the purest Android experience compared to other flavors out there residing on phones and tablets.  Yes, the bloatware can ruin any OS on the non Google devices, but Google does seem to keep the bloat-factor down, or it could be that we simply no longer consider Google branded Apps bloatware.

                        *Information contained within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Schreiner University.

No comments:

Post a Comment