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What tablet/net book is best for school

(15 Posts)
flowwithit Sun 28-Jul-13 12:12:49

My Ds has ASD dx and problems writing but types well so school suggested he get something but I'm not tech minded and not sure what is best for him. He's in secondary school so it needs to be good for GCSE work. Any ideas please

PolterGoose Sun 28-Jul-13 12:19:56

If it's for typing a net book with a decent keyboard would be best, tablets are not ideal for typing anything more than an MN post or an email IMO.

SallyBear Sun 28-Jul-13 13:08:51

iPad. You can get a wireless keyboard for them. Apple Pages is a word package that is MS Word compatible alongside their number and keynote which is excel and PowerPoint equivalent. They're about £7 each to purchase. You can also dictate into it if he finds typing hard work or spelling difficult. DS1 has a google chrome book at school which his Sec Sch have supplied, but we use the IPad for home use and its fine and personally much more transportable. If you have a lot of Tesco Clubcard vouchers you can purchase one in full just using CC vouchers. Tesco ipad
I would look at getting a 32gb personally.

SallyBear Sun 28-Jul-13 13:12:27

We got rid of the NetBook as the screens are small and making Internet browsing difficult as you can't always see the whole page.

Summerhasloaded Sun 28-Jul-13 14:42:42

Ds was given a laptop and an iPad by school, and he mostly chooses to use the iPad as it wakes up and sleeps instantly. This is esp important for him as he has little stamina for long pieces of writing and prefers writing in small chunks.

Most laptops, esp Windows ones, take an age to power up and load!

flowwithit Sun 28-Jul-13 20:34:29

Thanks. That's what I thought about net books as a friend gave us their old one and he said its rubbish and too slow. I think its got to be fast to start up because he gets so stressed waiting for things. It sounds like a tablet would be best but I was worried about them being so desirable for school thieves!

armani Sun 28-Jul-13 20:46:38

if you decided to go with the ipad apple offer an engraving service for freesmile you could have your ds name and dob engraved on the back.

flowwithit Sun 28-Jul-13 22:34:27

Great idea Armani thanks

flowwithit Mon 29-Jul-13 15:11:19

I've done some more research and i think exams will be done on a normal PC so I think he needs to be typing on a keyboard for practice. The speed and size of an ipad is good but maybe in the long run a lightweight laptop might be better practice for exams.

SallyBear Mon 29-Jul-13 15:27:23

Flow you can get a wireless keyboard for the iPad. It's the same wireless keyboard that Apple use for the macs. It types beautifully as it can be angled.

I have the same with DS1 and we have just bought him a laptop for his birthday. It is a lot more than we would normally spend but it is for school so it is sort of justified. And, as you say, if he uses a keyboard at school it will be a proper one so didn't want to buy a tablet.

I have an iPad and I find tablets hard to type and I can touch type properly - DS would really struggle to do more than a few lines at any speed on an iPad. He really wanted one but I just don't think they suit his purpose - for school work it has to be a laptop. Laptops have the advantage of having bigger and well defined keys which make typing easier.

The other thing for us is that we don't have the right printer for an iPad so that would be even more expense to replace an relatively new printer just to print off an iPad.

We bought an Acer if it helps.

I don't know much about this as I don't have an iPad word processing package but the other consideration is whether or not you can get Wi-Fi access for the iPad. You don't need it for the word processing packages on a laptop but I imagine you do on an iPad even if it is only to connect to the app in the first place. That isn't always going to be possible.

SallyBear Mon 29-Jul-13 16:33:45

The Apple Pages is a word processing App that is loaded on the iPad from the App Store. You can use the Pages App for all sorts of tasks - tables, importing pictures, diagrams etc. you save the work onto the IPad and then back it up to the iCloud or iTunes later. You don't need the wifi running all the time on an iPad to use it. Also you said earlier about printing. Most modern printers are now wifi enabled so it will be easy to send work remotely to a printer, also the iPad uses Bluetooth to connect to a wireless keyboard for typing.

I think that the issue is that the kids have a lot of stuff to carry around school, huge PE bags, plus books and equipment. An iPad is lightweight and takes up very little room, also the separate keyboard is also very small.

If typing is an issue, which it is for my DS, there is a dictating feature on the iPad that he uses quite often while doing his homework.

No, I realise that you don't need wifi running all the time but I can't think of many apps that open without it which could be an issue.

I wish it were true about the printers but mine is less than a year old and not a cheap, bottom of the range one either but it isn't compatible with the iPad -there are quite a lot that aren't when I realised and looked into it. I got my iPad a couple of months after the new printer. It was a shame it wasn't the other way round but there you go. I don't tend to print off it anyway. If I need to I email something to myself and print it off via the desktop.

The other issue is that iPads are a lot more expensive than laptops. If you add on the Bluetooth keyboard as well it is even more expensive and then you just end up with something that is about the same size as a Netbook and probably not what they would be using at school. The other thing is that Bluetooth is temperamental. You can't always get it when you need it - I have been let down several times by not being able to connect my phone and the iPad via Bluetooth. I wouldn't want to rely on it to be able to use a decent keyboard.

If starting up is an issue, start it up at home and leave it in sleep mode. I wouldn't be turning it off all the time. You may have to find a plug part of the way through the day to charge it up but you would with an iPad anyway. They don't have a very long battery life.

flowwithit Tue 30-Jul-13 20:18:59

I'm still not sure what to go for but thanks for all your info smile I've now got a good list of important things
Wifi or Bluetooth
Keyboard easy for typing
Voice typing sounds good for homework
Printer compatable (ours is so old!)
Battery life or charging at school
Easy to carry around hopefully engraved or something to stop it being taken

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