by MARIA RACARDIO '16
Have you heard? The incoming freshmen are getting new tablets! They will still be Windows Tablet PC laptops; however, they will now be running on Windows 8 as opposed to Windows 7, which is our current software. For those of you who are not familiar with Windows 8, it looks like this:
Instead of the traditional desktop with icons and shortcuts, Windows 8 is set up with tiles that access different programs, such as Word and Internet Explorer. Additionally, Windows 8 tablets are like a blend between a computer and an Ipad, as the tiles can be set as apps, which can be downloaded from the Windows store. There is a large selection, ranging from Netflix to Angry Birds. Some apps come preinstalled, such as music, games, camera, and calendar.
While Windows 8 is the software, the actual tablet that the freshman will be using is called a Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga, and it looks like this:
According to Mr. Wilking from technology, the new tablet “provides the same basic functionality of all the current devices. It is just a newer model.” The switch had to occur, because the tablets that we are currently using are being discontinued due to hardware manufacturers transitioning to tablets that run on Windows 8. The technology department has spent the last two years researching the different options that are currently available, including Apple iPads and Android Tablets. However, they concluded that the Lenovo Thinkpad is by far the best choice because the core functionality will remain the same.
It includes many features such as a stylus, 8 hour battery life, stereo speakers, a built in microphone, and durable materials (perfect for Ursula girls). It can also be used in a variety of ways; depending on how it is folded, it can be a laptop, a tent, a stand, or a tablet.
Switching tablets will cause some unavoidable complications. For example, it may be somewhat difficult to have 75% of the school working with Windows 7 and 25% working with Windows 8. The technology department is currently certified as HP self maintainers, meaning that they can repair the tablets here at school. Because we are getting new tablets, they will have to learn how to become Lenovo self maintainers. Additionally, it will be difficult to teach the incoming freshman and the faculty how to use Windows 8, because the majority of people are not familiar with it. Another downside is that because these new tablets will not have the option of an external battery, the battery life is reduced. Lenovo claims that the battery will last for 8 hours, but in reality this probably means about 6 hours.
Overall, the switch to new tablets was caused by the manufacturers no longer making our tablets. The goal is to keep the tablets as similar to the current ones as possible. The most significant change is that they will run on Windows 8, but the overall functionality will be the same.