Top tablets for students

Top tablets for students

While the jury is still out on whether a tablet can replace a laptop, it is clear that tablets can be very useful for students. Whether it’s for reading text books, using specially-designed educational apps or just consuming web and social media contact, a tablet can be a valuable part of a student’s arsenal. Let’s take a look at some of the best tablets on the market.

Apple iPad 2

Top tablets for studentsThe undisputed king of them all, y’all. The Apple iPad 2 has been the most popular tablet on the market and the dual-core processor inside gives it enough horsepower to handle many resource-intense tasks like photo editing or music editing. The tablet’s thin and light design make it an eye-catching computing device and the multiple cameras make it easy to share photos or make video calls with FaceTime. The app ecosystem is the best in the business, as many developers are creating apps that specifically take advantage of the tablet form factor.

Some of you may not like the limitations of the iPad 2 and its operating system, as you won’t get any widgets on the homescreen and it’s tough to tinker with it without voiding your warranty. There are some cheaper alternatives but in general, you get what you pay for. Unless you have a very specific need with your tablet, the iPad 2 is likely the tablet of choice for you or your student.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Top tablets for studentsIf you want a tablet that has the same design appeal as the iPad but don’t want an Apple product, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 may be the device for you. Powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 chip, this 10.1-inch tablet can handle nearly anything you want to throw at it including Flash web video, multiple apps and two cameras for capturing and sharing your photos and pictures. The Android Honeycomb operating system does offer a bit more flexibility than iOS and it is a version of the platform that is optimized for a tablet’s screen size.

Unfortunately, the Android tablet app ecosystem isn’t as robust as the iOS App Store and the cameras aren’t anything special. Still, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is probably the best tablet out there if you don’t want an iPad 2 and it could be just as good as the device if the app ecosystem got better.

Asus Transformer

Top tablets for studentsThe Asus Transformer is another Android Honeycomb tablet which can give the iPad 2 a run for its money in terms of looks and power but the Transformer is also far more flexible than nearly any other tablet out there. If you want, you can buy a full keyboard connecting dock for the Transformer which will turn it into a quasi-laptop. What’s great is that the laptop dock also doubles as an extra battery with a touch mouse and multiple USB ports.

As I mentioned with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Android app ecosystem is still kind of weak right now. Still, will a Tegra 2 chipset, nice design, a 10-inch screen, a low entry-level price and a host of flexible accessories, the Asus Transformer is a quality option for any tablet seeker.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Top tablets for studentsWhile the larger tablets are great, there is something to be said for a 7-inch tablet because these can be far more portable and the best of the 7-inch bunch is the BlackBerry PlayBook. This dual-core tablet is powerful enough to handle nearly whatever you want, the screen is great to look at and the QNX OS is a refreshing take on mobile computing – if combines the best of webOS, iOS and Android.

Unfortunately, the BlackBerry PlayBook still doesn’t have a native e-mail or calendar app, which means you’ll need a BlackBerry to fully take advantage of this tablet. The PlayBook will soon be able to run Android apps, which will really make up for the dearth of tablet apps on QNX. The 7-inch form factor also isn’t for everyone, so make sure you or your student really needs the portability.

  • Anonymous

    II guess to you, nothing compares to apple… IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE FLASH! But of course, just like any apple fanboy you must have “forgot” to mention it!

    As for the “app ecosystem”, most of the apps you need or use on Android are free, vs. Apple where you have to pay for most of them. But, I’m sure you “

    • hippiemom1321

      Actually, You have to pay for android apps now too. They are no longer a free market. This is coming from someone who HATES apple products.

  • ronnie05

    Not sure what you based this comparison on. I would asssume “economy” is the a very important criteria for studying choice of tablets amongst students. You seem to have randomly listed tablets according to your awareness and interest on devices.

    This article really lacks substance.

    • Anonymous

      Good point, I was looking at it as an iPad like pricing is the baseline but I’ll throw another one together for budget tablets. Even for broke students, it may be worth it to pay another $200 and get a good device 

  • ronnie05

    Not sure what you based this comparison on. I would asssume “economy” is the a very important criteria for studying choice of tablets amongst students. You seem to have randomly listed tablets according to your awareness and interest on devices.

    This article really lacks substance.

  • Anonymous

    The transformer is a great choice, with its accessory it guaranties hours of constant fun err i mean constant work the battery life is nice and its the best of both worlds its definitively a great choice with a price that’s easy to consider 

  • nmedley

    I think the Transformer would be the best option for students, simply because of the keyboard (and the extra battery life it provides).

  • Anonymous

    Although it seems odd to call the Transformer a pure tablet since the best thing about it seems to be it’s keyboard, it does seem to be the best. Also that in-between aspect of the Transformer may suggest tablets may not be able to replace laptops without that laptop like keyboard.

  • Anonymous

    i think the ipad 2 would be the best option because of the huge app market you can use to help with school work and also the ipad 2 can have a keyboard connected to it.

  • Anonymous

    i think the ipad 2 would be the best option because of the huge app market you can use to help with school work and also the ipad 2 can have a keyboard connected to it.

  • Legoturte92

    These are all amazing tablets. I personally think that over the last week the HP Touchpad took a lot of the flame from all of them due to the gigantic price cut. $100 for a decent tablet sells like hot cakes especially for those who go for the cheap netbook route. If I had the money I’d purchase any of them (maybe not the blackberry playbook).

  • Tashanna

    I def feel the PlayBook is more suitable and convenient for students. It may be lacking apps, but its supports flash so all you need to do is go straight to the source, the web. Best option. Also the size is just right, can fit easily in a backpack/even ones coat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gmelfissg Giuseppe Melfi

    i have notice here at intomobile, engadget, bgr, they always have biased for ipad 2. they always talk about the apps which the best ones are not free comparede t adtroid. they forget to say that ios is a poor execuse for an os. like i said before, simple mind=simple people

  • Michael Spencer

    Asus Transformer pwns!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A4V7BBE2N5OSHOGCNBAMGPALCE Jodi

    I have noticed on my iPad..the need for flash makes me want a different tablet.

  • Ktoler77

    im a firm believer in android so ii would have to go with either the tab 10.1 or the transformer, i also think the thrive should be on this list as well because of its functionality of full-size ports 

  • http://twitter.com/Snowx2k5 Neil T

    As far as a tablets for students go I think the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Laptop dock has a real advantage over other tablets.  I mean with the laptop dock the Transformer turns into a netbook with AMAZING battery life.  Which other tablet can match that?

  • Andy C

    Tablets seem to be a convenient alternative to a laptop for college student use.  Very informative article.

  • Cyndi

    With 3 kids in school it’s nice to see the Ipad getting some better priced competition, the tablets are a much better alternative to being tethered to a desktop or dealing with a clunky notebook with poor battery life!

  • Occhino

    We need to do something to cut down the cost of textbooks — tablets really seem to be the way to go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Nusser/1135660980 Drew Nusser

    I really want the ASUS Transformer – it would be SO useful for a college student.  Think about taking notes and doing assignments in the Google Docs app and then automatically having access to them wherever you have a computer and internet access.  Yay, no more writer’s cramp!

  • Anonymous

    The Asus Transformer I think is my choice after reading your article! I think that would work absolutely perfect for me! Looks very versatile and useful, thanks for the great article!

  • mediumb055

    The overall functionality of the transformer makes it a much better deal, and way more practical for taking notes.

  • Sam

    The full key board dock that goes with the Asus Transformer makes it the best deal. Being able to turn it into a laptop with an extra battery makes it a top quality tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/msmary1962 Mary Worley

    I wish the Ipad would have the student discount like the other things in the student store, that would make it much more affordable to most others. 

  • Matthew Litton

    Having used a company Asus Transformer for the past several weeks I can honestly say its right there on par with the other heavy hitter 10.1 cap touch tablets. The transformer has an nvidia tegra dual core. The addition of the unique KB doc adds usb, sd card and 8+ hours of battery life, as well as an easy to use keyboard into the mix.

  • Anonymous

    Great article. I have my eye on the Asus and the iPad2, love the features of each and usability.

  • http://twitter.com/iStones ? iStone ?

    I find no stability, continuity, or security in Android. The iPad 2, in my opinion, is the best tablet on the market, by far. 

    No tablet is yet ready to replace the notebook computer, however, especially for school purposes. Until all schools are set up with wireless networks for the students & faculty, and no longer dependent on USB drives, or other media, for data transfer & storage, notebook computers,and/or at least sufficient USB drives will be necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacky-Li/793370586 Jacky Li

    The ASUS Transformer is by far the best in terms of its use in school. I find the iPad 2 too limiting when it comes to what it can do and can’t do. With the new Google Remote Admin APIs, you can wipe your tablet/phone remotely in case it is lost (with a internet connection of course). The Transformer supports native Ad-hoc tethering as of Android Honeycomb 3.2, the updates so far have come the swiftest compared to the other Android tablets. The full size keys on the keyboard makes typing a breeze when combined with the right app. No tablet can replace laptops due to the nature of most apps that run on Tablets and the fact that most productivity apps exist on Windows only.

  • http://twitter.com/VishalSheth83 Vishal Sheth

    I’m getting the playbook and I know i’m going to love it. the size is something that makes the biggest difference for me. I’m ok with not having email on it, i’d much rather knock out an email on my phone or my laptop, I don’t absolutely need my tablet to have it. Would it be nice if it had it? sure…but is it necessary? no. just my opinion though. 

  • http://goatella.com Kevin Enax

    Do want. Didn’t know about the Transformer. Looks awesome though.

  • Jesus

    “Unfortunately, the Android tablet app ecosystem isn’t as robust as the iOS App Store” Unfortunately, people like you that are still living in 2007. Android Market has all the apps you may need, including many that are not available in the social club of Apple’s App Store. Remember that is not always about the quantity but rather about the quality. 

  • Suka09

    HTC Flyer. Best for students.

  • Mike

    just some loss ends to tie up the transformer’s newer version runs on a Tegra 3 chipset know is made an desined better so it picks up wifi easier an the apple market is no better then the andriod market thier both about equal with thier own pros an cons

  • Heartladyyuna

     What tablet is more good?
    ipad mini or samsung galaxy tab?

Back to top ▴