Laptops for schools should have been iPads


opinion In November 2007, when then-Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd promised every Australian student between years 9 to 12 would receive a laptop if he took power, courtesy of a new billion-dollar Federal Government grant, the iPad was little more than a twinkle in Steve Job’s eagle eye.

Although the existence of the mythical Apple tablet had long been rumoured, debated and agonised over by millions of Cupertino-watchers located around the world, it would take several more years before Jobs would eventually take to the stage and reveal his “magical” tablet to the world.

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, it should have been impossible to miss the signs that Apple was once again planning to revolutionise the consumer electronics market. The increasingly commoditisation of components used to create the iPad had already been made clear by the explosion in netbooks, which had seen manufacturers take existing pricey laptops and downsize them into a cheaper and more portable form factor for lighter use.

And the release of the iPhone some twelve months previously (although not in Australia) had already starkly demonstrated that mobile phones could be so much more than devices for placing calls. The iPhone, in fact, was never principally a telephone. It has always primarily been used as a mini data tablet, of a similar type to the tricorders so loved by Star Trek enthusiasts. And we’ve even had them before. HP’s appropriately named iPaq is a notable example, but many will remember Apple’s previous tablet, the Newton, which was loved by many but died a slow death in the late 1990’s. The iPhone was merely the new Newton, with a mobile phone chip attached.

When you take all of these factors into consideration, the birth of the iPad was inevitable.

However, in late 2007, it was, of course, impossible to know all this. Netbook fervour was in full swing following the release of the ASUS Eee PC, and everyone — just everyone — had to have a netbook for more relaxed days when they didn’t need to carry around a full-featured laptop and were away from their desk.

And Kevin Rudd’s Labor election team bought into the incredible levels of marketing hype in as big a way as it could.

For the first time, policy advisors reasoned, it would be possible to fully unleash the potential of technology in education through universal access to critical tools — at a price which goverments could afford. A meagre billion dollars — pocket change for a big-spending Labor Federal Government — would put this new class of laptops in the hands of every senior student in Australia.
What a glorious dream!

As an election policy, Labor’s Digital Education Revolution was a gift from the gods. Coupled with the National Broadband Network initiative, it allowed the party to appear forward-thinking, visionary. Terms like “investing in the future” were being thrown around with aplomb and you could almost feel a better, more connected future arriving on our doorstep.

However, as it turns out, the netbook revolution was a furphy, a false alarm; the consumer electronics equivalent of a boy frantically crying “wolf” and creating mass panic. The real revolution, when it came several years later with the iPad, crept up on us. Tablets, not netbooks, are now the order of the day for a second or third computing screen for Australians — and they may soon become the primary computer that many of us every day.

The problem with netbooks, as the Sydney Morning Herald chronicles in a landmark article by seasoned technology journalist David Braue (a regular Delimiter contributor) yesterday, is that they are just too damn slow.

“Like thousands of other year 10 students, Luca Vignando has had his NSW government-supplied netbook, provided under Labor’s Digital Education Revolution (DER) funding … Microsoft Word and OneNote work OK, but Vignando says bundled multimedia applications like Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and video-editing tool Premier Elements run at a crawl. Students needing to do more than basic text editing often give up and seek out faster computers elsewhere.”

The difficulty with netbooks, as the entire IT industry is now aware, was precisely their chief selling point. By compromising on power and speed, the price can come down. But when you need that power and speed … you had better have a more powerful laptop on hand, or a desktop PC.

The Sydney Morning Herald article mentions the incredible fact that the NSW Department of Education and Training is installing the latest version 5 of Adobe’s weighty Creative Suite set of tools on its Lenovo machines. To any IT professional this will seem incredible. Those who’ve been around the tracks for a while know that every time Adobe releases a new version of CS, the software gets fatter, heavier, and will often require a new PC to run — just like new versions of Windows (well, except for Windows 7, which is a dream).

To think that you would even bother to try running CS5 on a netbook with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom CPU, a mere 2GB of RAM and a 10″ screen is nothing more than a bad joke. Even my 2010-era MacBook Pro — with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4GB of RAM — has problems with Adobe’s latest suite. And this machine is a far cry from being a netbook.

The iPad paradigm, of course, changes all of this. Apple’s tablet never attempted to be a desktop PC. Steve Jobs and his crack team of stylists and engineers clothed in black skivvies created a much more limited device which changed the way we think about interacting with technology – rather than attempting to port the ageing desktop metaphor into a new form factor.

What really killed the netbook, however, was the fact that that form factor is now extending itself from its limited basis into almost every area of use which PCs have called home for decades. As we learn more about tablet computing, we are using it more. And education is right at the forefront of that revolution.

Early trials of the iPad in educational institutions such as Melbourne residential college Trinity over the past year in Australia have starkly demonstrated the value of tablets in learning. A natural fit — as is taking place at the University of Adelaide — is to port textbooks to the device — but content creation tools such as Photoshop are also available, and the ability to discover, share and annotate information, so critical in the educational context, is also incredible.

The flock of Android tablets is a little behind the eight-ball at the moment, but I’m sure Mountain View’s brood will eventually catch up.

Now you can’t really blame the Rudd camp for picking the wrong horse, in a race where the iPad hadn’t even yet entered the paddock. And you have to give Labor a great deal of credit for being willing to invest so heavily in technology for students in the first place. We’re sure the implementation of netbooks for Australian senior students has had a hugely positive effect in many ways on their education.

However, let’s not kid ourselves that this was the right decision. Had the politicians waited several years and spent its money on tablets instead, Australia’s education system would have been the envy of the entire world. The dream of universal access to the total sum of human knowledge through one handheld device; the ability to communicate that knowledge to others in a natural way, and the ability to interact with it and learn its power — that is what the iPad offers students and teachers.

What netbooks offer them, primarily, is a cage; a solid operating platform bastardised into a form factor which is somewhere between a tablet and a full-fledged desktop PC. Netbooks are not intuitive, they’re not powerful enough for the uses which they have been set, and they’re ultimately doomed. If you really want a netbook, add a Bluetooth keyboard to an iPad, as I did over the weekend. You probably will find you start using your laptop less and less.

Of course, the caveat to all of this is pretty obvious.

There is simply no way that we can anticipate whether we will be looking back at articles such as this one in 2-3 years and noting how naive they were, for believing that iPads and other tablets would represent much of the future of computing. If Steve Jobs’ team could destroy the netbook with one single product launch in only a year of sales, there is no reason to suggest that something even bigger isn’t just around the corner. That has always been the quandary for technologists — at which stage in an unfolding revolution do you jump on the hype train?

But we’re betting the iPad will stay around longer than most people would think.

Image credit: cjc0327, Creative Commons


  1. More to the point, the government should not have thought a centrally planned purchase of what is essentially a consumer product would ever be successful. Much better off to give out cash (or a voucher, if a PC was deemed necessary) and let parents suppliment as required.

    • Personally I think funding should be allocated on a per school basis. If you get too much diversity in the devices which people have access to, things become unwieldy. However, if you don’t have some dispersed decision-making power, you suffer all the pangs of massive government purchasing bureaucracy.

  2. This is utter rot. iPads aren’t some magical limitless CPU power device. They are quite similar in processing grunt to most netbooks. If you want to do advanced non-linear video editing, then yes, go and find a suitably specced out desktop. You’re not going to be able to do everything on an iPad either.

    • I have used netbooks, iPads, Android tablets, all types of phones, laptops and desktop PCs, and I have to say, right now the iPad is king for consuming content and producing light content, which is basically what students do at school. Would you want to store textbooks on a netbook? No. On an iPad? Yes. These are the use cases it comes down to.

        • Just so much harder to consume. No touchscreen, so you can’t annotate or add notes to the content easily. No flicking the page left or right, and you can’t sit the device as easily next to writing paper without the screen sitting up and obscuring everything. Just generally, the iPad is a much better device for displaying book, magazine and newspaper-style content.

          • What about typing? Our have we forgotten that these devices are not simply for consumption? These are not toys for the children. Also we might have forgotten that most of the work force uses windows. So it is beneficial to use and become familiar to the os that they will most likely be using in their careers.

          • For typing, I recommend an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard. It doesn’t add much to the weight of your bag when carrying it around with an iPad. The on-screen keyboard for the iPad is pretty terrible for any sustained work.

  3. How long is the iPad suppose to last? Tablets are hardly devices for creating content, rather the opposite.

    • You mean in terms of how long the form factor will be around, or how long an individual iPad will last a student for before it needs to be replaced?

    • Going by the (admittedly quite short) history of iphones/ipads, we’ll be looking at two years before new software lags the device noticably and three before the OS/main applications start dropping support.

      The lack of central administration will improve the effective speed, since they wont be slowed down by ‘security policy’ or ‘enforced software updates’. I’m fairly sure that in two years, a fair chunk of the ipad trials will be in a similar state to the laptop program.

  4. so how exactly are ipads joined to the school’s network?
    how are they managed by the school’s IT department to block access to the sort of content that is normally blocked in schools?
    how is support provided? if it breaks do they have to stand in line at their nearest apple store?

    i feel that this article is just a simple case of Renai basking in the glow of his newly purchased ipad.

    • I would encourage you to read this article on the subject:

      In it, the IT manager concerned discusses the fact that yes, the administration paradigm has not yet been completely worked out for iPads, but that also, they can be largely self-administered in practice.

      And yes, I did recently buy an iPad, but I’ve been testing and using Android tablets and other smartphones for far longer. Disclosure: I mainly use a Windows 7 desktop PC for my work, although I also own an Apple MacBook Pro, a Windows media centre, quite a few legacy phones, an iPhone, etc, and have reviewed many more devices. I don’t think I really have any appreciable bias at this point — and I’m even an ex-Linux systems administrator with a few dozen virtual machines still sitting around on my hard disk ;)

      Throughout university I used Debian, Slackware, and then Ubuntu!

      (oh yes, and I also own an Eee PC :))

      • Renai, you have obviously never seen what high school students do to computers and the like if you think students are going to “self administer” an iPad. Having been a systems administrator in a high school for four years of my life I can tell you that it is not going to be pretty. Not because students are not capable of using computers, but because some of them are too capable and will sabotage anything that gives them some time to mess around. Teenagers amazing ability to information share (they really are good a learning) guarantees the less capable but equal prone to mischief will follow and use sabotage methods discovered by the more capable. It’s unfortunate for the other students that don’t behave this way, but to get anything resembling an environment where some sort of structured learning takes place some control over the system the students are using is needed. There may be schools where this general rule does not apply, but for the most part students self administering there own device is not a workable option.
        Clinton also has very good points about restricting access and providing support. Schools do legally have an obligation to provide reasonable measures to restrict students from accessing inappropriate materials (there is a whole different argument about what is and is not appropriate and what sort of measures are reasonable.) How is support for broken iPads going to be provided for schools if they use them? High school students break things a LOT, accidentally or otherwise. Taking them to an apple store is not going to be possible, especialy for more remote schools that may be more than 100km or more from an apple store.
        In contrast, notebooks/netbooks/anything-else-that-can-run-windows do have a host of software that enable central administrative control. The laptops schools have been purchasing (in Victoria at least) since 2002 have been serviced on site inside 24 hours at all regional schools (service agents come on site under warranty.)
        I’ve seen windows based tablets considered for use in high schools as far back as 2003 (they were very expensive at the time and not something that was widely adopted by anyone,) so it’s not a new idea to educators to use a tablet style computer, it’s just so far been impractical where laptops and notebook have been practical. For the reasons above I don’t think the iPad has changed this.

        • “Not because students are not capable of using computers, but because some of them are too capable and will sabotage anything that gives them some time to mess around.”

          That was me when I was in high school. Come to think of it, primary school too. We used to hack into the school computers to play WarCraft II during class and so on :)

          I used to agree with a lot of why you’re saying here. However, if the notion of ‘centralised control’ with regard to technology is going out the window in large corporations, with BYO computing becoming a dominant force, it’s going to become even more so in schools, where there is even less incentive for students to follow the rules and use the technology which you are telling them to use; because at least for senior students, they are only there by their own choice.

          Yes, the issue of taking control of things and damaging them is a tricky one, but as the cost of these devices comes down and the ability of administrators to control them remotely goes up, these sorts of issues will gradually go away. I believe that in only 3-4 years, most students will be using an iPad of some kind, although no doubt they won’t be formally sanctioned by the education departments.

          An an adult, I always grasp any technology straight away that is going to make my life easier, and the iPad is pretty much a no-brainer for students.

          One last thing: As a former school admin, are you actually going to tell me that the support for the netbook rollout has been ample? Because I receive regular complaints from school IT admins that the departments have just shipped them the laptops without any supporting infrastructure or helpdesk etc whatsoever. There’s actually been quite a few articles written about it.

          • I have not been in schools for a number of years now, but assuming they are using the same sort of contract with previous notebooks the hardware support for the laptops is certainly going to be adequate. Anything that breaks hardware wise would be fixed very quickly with minimal fuss.
            I could, however, surmise that adding a great number of notebook to a school network could be otherwise catastrophic in terms of the load placed on the existing network and amount of software support required. Supporting network infrastructure and human resources for implementation and support are always going to be needed when adding a large number of end points and there is a history of this being somewhat lacking with education laptop programs.
            I would also think that this problem would be much worse with an iPad as it is significantly different to what schools are already using. This would mean any software they might be able to use would be a new purchase out of an already stretched budget that also needs to pay for the additional required infrastructure. Support requirements for an iPad would be very different to a windows based laptop and put additional strain on support.
            Schools are rather ridiculously understaffed when it comes to support and the only way we used to survive is by having a minimal amount of different hardware to support. Symantec Ghost was our very good friend and any software problem was rarely troubleshooted in any great details, just a re-image with ghost and 20 minutes you have a computer working like new software wise. Not the sort of thing you can do with an iPad, yet. Currently, any form of centralized control, administration and ease of repair is reduced well beyond what a school could cope with considering present staffing if your going to use iPads significantly.

            Maybe what is needed is some money being poured into staffing schools with adequate IT support so that a greater variety of different technology can be used. Previously the Victorian education department has focused on standardizing equipment used in state schools in order to minimize the amount of support required. This was done to the extent that things were being rolled out that were administered centrally at the state level (e.g. radius servers serving wireless network authentication that were administered at all state schools in a central location.)
            Using a bring your own device scenario is going in the complete opposite direction to what the education department has in the past and would require a radical change to the way IT support is provided in schools. There are cheap enough devices out there now that is not such a stretch of the imagination it used to be. There are bound to those that cry poor and start all sorts of equal educational opportunity outcries for this, but they may not be anywhere near as well founded as they could have been in the past.

  5. Sorry Renai but I don’t buy it. If the major disadvantage of a netbook is that it can’t run heavy applications, then a tablet will not fix that. Also iPads are more expensive (even allowing for the educational discount), and not as hard wearing. The netbooks aren’t just there to allow students to take notes, they are to immerse students in a computer driven workforce that they will someday graduate into. That workforce is keyboard/mouse orientated. iPads are fantastic devices but I wouldn’t want to make a complicated spreadsheet on one. Any portable device has sacrifices it’s true, and the bottom has fallen out of the netbook market but for kids I think they are a great option, affordable, lightweight and with enough power to get the job done.

    • “they are to immerse students in a computer driven workforce that they will someday graduate into”

      But will they? Most CIOs I speak to these days are speedily working out how to untether their employees from their computers, via SaaS, tablets, smartphones etc. And why would you assume that any child growing up these days doesn’t know how to use a computer? Surely to them it’s as natural as breathing? ;)

      • In reality I think there are only a small portion of workers that will be “untethered” from their desks. This of course includes upper management that a CIO would need to make suitably impressed. (that may sound somewhat clinical, but I think it’s entirely true.) Most workers are probably going to need to use a desktop for a long time to come.
        Also, using a computer for leisure activities can be slightly different to using it for work. It’s surprising the number of people working in IT who can not use a spreadsheet to save themselves simply because their job does not absolutely require it.

  6. Personally I think the problem is actually that giving a child technology, be it a netbook, MacBook Pro or iPad, is actually considered to somehow improve their education experience just by virtue of them owning and using it.

    We are at the cusp of a revolution of how we produce and consume information. Educators should be thinking about what they can do to keep up, rather than having this vague notion of just being told to provide the tools.

    You don’t give a child a pen and don’t teach them how to write, why are we giving them laptops when for a lot of things the child may never need it?

    I love technology, but that is not just exclusive to consumer electronics, a pen and paper is one of the most elegant pieces of technology we have in this society.

    So Renai, an iPad might be a better tool than a netbook, but the truth is, in 3 years time I think we will be looking back at this article and how nieve we were, but not because the iPad has faded from the populace, instead that we could assume that only one device was needed to help children embrace the digital revolution.

    The problem should be instead not giving every child a laptop or tablet, but, as it has always been, teaching them. If this means a tablet per child for Textbooks or a MacPro per arts class for Photography, or a netbook for IT students, we can’t really know.

    • “You don’t give a child a pen and don’t teach them how to write, why are we giving them laptops when for a lot of things the child may never need it?”

      I agree, we need context and insightful teaching which integrates the new category of devices. You can’t just give kids tools without teaching them how to use them. However, I must say that in my experience seeing kids using iPads, they are intuitive enough, and the kids pass on learnings between each other quickly enough, that less teaching is required compared with, say, learning to write or do mathematics. The iPads are so interactive that the kids learn many things themselves through trial and error.

      As we did when our parents bought computers in the 1990’s and let us use them :)

  7. An ipad owner I spoke with recently told me he was stunned that he needed to activate it with an itunes on another PC to get it to work.. i.e. you cant get started on an ipad without another PC! so kinda useless if you dont have another PC.. which makes it useless for providing as a PC for those who dont have one. And we wont even get started on the big-brother like mind control limiting the applications available on the IPAD.. hardly a useful educational device

    • Clearly tablets are starting off as extensions of our current computing paradigm, but there is no doubt that they will eventually start to separate out into self-sufficient devices in their own right. Content streaming (as opposed to content synching) and software as a service is already facilitating this.

      • I don’t know about anyone else, but my laptop (Lenovo W510) can run programs such as Dassault Solidworks, AutoCAD Map 3D 2010, 3DS Max 2010, & ArcGIS 10. (iOS/Android) tablets are unable to run ANY of these professional grade CAD-CAM/Engineering/GIS/Animation software, something which students who hope for a career in Engineering/GIS/Urban&Transportation Planning will likely need to learn. (And, judging by the companies standpoints, it’s highly unlikely they’ll make anything for apple’s products)…

  8. Let’s not get carried away too much about the digital education revolution here. School chaplains may be ubiquitous sooner than laptops/netbooks: I am aware of Queensland public-school kids who will get theirs next year, in year 11.

    • *sigh* school chaplains. I’ll allow myself to be burnt in hell before any child of mine sets foot in a classroom ruled by a chaplain.

  9. The “laptop per child” as the Education Revolution was always folly, and here we see it. A true “education revolution” would focus on the content and content management, to make this available to, and interactive with, a range of access platforms. It would also focus on that which is scarcest — -great, inspirational teaching skills — and make these available across a network of connected classrooms.

      • Each subject area has an associated curriculum — a curriculum, which indeed the Cth Govt has been seeking to standardise across Australia. This curriculum comprises a range of resources — textbooks, reading lists, exercises, previous exams — that might comprise what I’d call ol’ skool content that could be set up through a CMS. But more than this might be new education channels within each curriculum– discussion forums, RSS feeds….you name it…!

        The point is that there was an opportunity to invest in a major redevelopment of core systems supporting teaching by focussing on content.

        But, as the t-shirt says “all I got was this slow old netbook”

  10. A netbook’s specs typically exceed that of a tablet. And let’s not forget that a physical keyboard is a necessity for taking notes – touch based interfaces are just too slow.

    The most important point though is openness. The iPad is a closed platform – what you can and can’t do is limited by Apple. You can’t write (and deploy) custom apps without going through them, you can’t perform repairs without going through them, you can’t even use Flash.
    If we are looking at providing computers to students, they should be open. There should be nothing to stop schools from using customized programs, or students from experimenting. I would suggest a Linux based platform (not Android, something like Ubuntu), since has a superb security model and typically uses significantly less resources than Windows.

    Let’s not kid around – the problem with the current netbooks is the software. Software like Adobe CS5 is too bulky – the Linux equivalents are tiny and way more efficient in comparison. Only a few hundred MB, instead of GB. The netbooks that are already out there could easily run this software. I personally have a dual core 1 GHz netbook with 768 MB RAM that runs Kubuntu beautifully.

    The standard argument against Linux is usability, but if you look at modern distro like Kubuntu or Linux Mint they are extremely easy to use for someone coming from Windows. No matter what platform is deployed, training will be needed, so it’s a misnomer to say that the cost of doing so will be higher for Linux. In fact, it’s well known that Linux is much more reliable than Windows, so the cost of maintenance will actually be lower. And of course, it’s completely free, as is pretty much all the software available for it – LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.

  11. The ipad is fun,kids get involved,surely that’s part of the educational battle won.It’s up to teachers etc to take it from there.

  12. This iPad worship is just ridiculous. What about all of the FREE SOFTWARE that works under Windows but not on ARM processors? Why hasn’t a 100 gigabyte data pack been defined? It could be loaded on a netbook and kids could educate themselves without the Internet.

    Not that I like Windows. We need ReactOS to work and have a free XP. Macro$cam would love that.

    The kids are just pawns that people are trying to make money off of and governments may not want well educated anyway. What government has said accounting should be mandatory in the schools. Doubl-entry accounting is 700 years old and invented in Italy. So why hasn’t it been mandatory in Western countries for a long time? Wouldn’t the politicians be able to talk so much BS about finances then?

  13. I thought the ‘cloud’ was meant to handle all the heavy lifting a netbook could not do.

    Not suggesting that the laptop for schools was designed around the cloud… just, yeah, I mean, NBN, plenty of bandwidth for kiddies when working at school. I think you see where im going with this.

    oh, and I do like the thought of more kids learning to type, with a keyboard.

    and fn yay for disqus showing up on delimiter.

  14. Yeh, I’ll bite on the troll

    First of all, let’s ignore the fact that taxpayer-funded expensive computer hardware going to kids is a dumb idea.

    Suggesting that they get given one specific hardware item from one specific manufacturer – a manufacturer whose entire ecosystem is based around vendor lock-in – is complete insanity.

    If you wanted to make sure there could be no competition and that you were investing into a closed platform – one with a high premium on the entry price as well – you couldn’t think of a better way to do it than suggest iPads.

    • “Suggesting that they get given one specific hardware item from one specific manufacturer – a manufacturer whose entire ecosystem is based around vendor lock-in – is complete insanity.”

      Normally I agree with you. But this platform *works*. It is functional. Right now, rival platforms are not yet up to scratch. In a year or so, yes, Android tablets will be getting there. But right now I think they are lagging behind the iPad in a number of areas — operating system development, application support and so on.

      • Ever seen an Asus Transformer?

        Its not even 3G and I’ve actually stopped dragging my (Telstra 3G) iPad around.

        It solves every problem you bring up about netbooks, and then defecates on the iPad in the same breath by having an integrated keyboard, mouse, removable media, USB bluetooth (that supports both BT keyboard and mouse).

        3G transformer is out in the EU, and as soon as I can buy one I’m gonna ebay this wifi one and have my cake and eat it too.

        You can even do software dev for it (imagine a highschool programming class where you write programs for your ** shock horror ** school provided device, AND your school doesn’t have to buy a class room full of Macs, and pay 99 dollar development license for each kid to do it!!).

        I imagine you could even write/install some custom built management software to administer the thing centrally thanks to Android.

        It also has automatic syncing with google accounts – photos, videos etc, unlimited cloud storage for documents, Polaris Office which can do simple word processing, spreadsheets and presentations).

        Only failing? It doesn’t have as many games as iOS, and the market has generally less stuff. But it has everything a school needs, AND a web browser with flash to boot.

        (I’m pretty sure you could get a pretty hefty education discount if you bought in bulk also)

        • PPS. Remote desktop app with a mouse (bluetooth or otherwise), 100% netbook remotedesktop replacement on my transformer. (main reason I stopped using my iPad)

          I actually managed to touch type properly on my iPad so it wasn’t a typing issue – its the mouse with 2 mouse buttons that kicked the transformer into the winner.

        • Interesting; but I do wonder what the support is like at the moment for getting textbooks and learning apps onto Android ATM. I agree the Transformer is an interesting device; but I don’t personally believe the Android tablet scene has reached a substantial enough level of maturity for this use just yet.

    • “Suggesting that they get given one specific hardware item from one specific manufacturer – a manufacturer whose entire ecosystem is based around vendor lock-in – is complete insanity.”

      Normally I agree with you. But this platform *works*. It is functional. Right now, rival platforms are not yet up to scratch. In a year or so, yes, Android tablets will be getting there. But right now I think they are lagging behind the iPad in a number of areas — operating system development, application support and so on.

  15. Ridiculous. This iPad is useless for school, cn’t even out a usb drive in it or use Flash sites. I’m getting rid of it

  16. I am in Grade 8 in QLD and would love to have a latop or and ipad. Why can’t i have one?

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