Digital Device Recommendations

At Kaleidoscope we are often asked which digital device is the best.  This really depends on the user.  We provide a number of devices for students to use in the classroom, but we know that many students like to bring their own device.  Below is a guide that gives the pros and cons to each device.  (Printer friendly copy, click here).

Devices in the Classroom (as of 10/2/2013)

Device Pros Cons
Kindle eReaders does one thing   really well; affordable; allows readers to read at different levels inconspicuously

 

just black and white text; doesn’t do anything else; difficult to   sync at school
iPod Touch Affordable; can   do a lot of the things the iPads can do; good camera; touchscreen small screen; cannot run some of our educational software; no Flash;   limited web-based applications; no keyboard; not a computer
iPad most popular; many   apps available; can mirror with AppleTV; touchscreen; good camera cannot run our educational software; no Flash; limited web-based   applications; expensive; no keyboard; not a computer
Kindle Tablets cheaper than   the iPad; touchscreen locked into an all-Amazon store experience
Chromebook Often cheaper;   simple to use; keyboard, portable; full browser can handle many web-based   services and apps runs completely online with Google Apps; no Windows application; For   example- cannot run Microsoft Word; some are not as durable
Microsoft Surface (with Windows RT) a Microsoft   tablet; looks like a Windows computer; USB port; keyboard; recent price cuts;   touchscreen it is not a full Windows computer; cannot run most Windows programs;   not many apps available; was a failed product that Microsoft is trying to   unload
Microsoft Surface Pro (with Windows 8) familiar   Windows look; it IS a computer that can run Windows programs; can act like a   table; USB port, keyboard expensive; not many touch apps available; short battery life   (reported 4 hrs); already replaced by Surface 2
Microsoft Surface 2 (with Windows RT) a Microsoft   tablet; looks like a Windows computer; USB port; keyboard; touchscreen it is not a full Windows computer; cannot run most Windows programs;   not as many apps available; expensive; too new to give full review
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (with Windows 8.1) familiar   Windows look; it IS a computer that can run Windows programs; can act like a   table; USB port; keyboard expensive; not as many touch apps available; expensive; too new to   give full review
Laptop (running Windows 8.1)
without touchscreen support
most versatile   and familiar; more ports; CD/DVD drive; Can run the widest variety of   educational software; full browser can handle all web-based services and   apps; webcam Less portable; camera only practical for filming person at the   keyboard; no touch
Ultraportable Laptop (running Windows 8.1)

without touchscreen support

lighter; longer   battery life; still quite versatile and familiar; USB ports; can run the   widest variety of educational software; full browser can handle all web-based   services and apps; webcam no CD/DVD drive; sometimes higher price; camera only practical for   filming person at the keyboard; no touch
Ultraportable Laptop (running Windows 8.1)

with touchscreen support

Touch support;   lighter; longer battery life; still quite versatile and familiar; USB ports;   can run the widest variety of educational software; full browser can handle   all web-based services and apps; webcam no CD/DVD drive; sometimes higher cost; camera only practical for filming   person at the keyboard
Ultraportable Laptop (running Windows 8.1)

with touchscreen support and   convertible

Touch support;   lighter; longer battery life; still quite versatile and familiar; USB ports;   Can run the widest variety of educational software; full browser can handle   all web-based services and apps; often has a rear and front facing camera;   can act as a laptop and tablet no CD/DVD drive;  higher cost;   emerging market; no standard; wide variety of options; some are not as   durable
Other Android Tablets

such as Samsung, Acer, Asus,   etc.

sometimes   cheaper than the iPad with a lot of the same functionality; might work with   our AASD Google Accounts (Google Docs); can do Flash; touchscreen; often has   a rear facing camera wide variety of options, looks, and standards; cannot run all of our   educational software; untested; some limited web-based applications; no   keyboard; not a computer
Google’s New Nexus 7 tablet simple to use;   cheaper than the iPad with a lot of the same functionality; allows multiple   accounts and restrictions; works great with our AASD Google Accounts (Google   Docs); can do Flash; touchscreen cannot run all of our educational software; some limited web-based   applications; no keyboard; not a computer