Friday, October 14, 2011

Many tablets (tablets and education for the poor)

We don't hear about so many of them, but it seems that quite a few tablets have made it to market despite the bleak outlook. Amazon US has 831 results when one search simply on "tablets" (though surely many are variations), and this screenshot is from Amazon UK:

Two I'm interested in, Samsung Galaxy 7.7 and "Note", do not seem to be on the market yet. Especially the latter 5.2 inch device with super-high-rez screen seems promising as portable ereader. The iPhone 4(S) with similar screen is a surprisingly good ereader, but a bit on the wee side at 3.5 inches.

... BTW, I was recently shocked to see a 7-inch tablet for under 100 Pounds Sterling (150 dollars US), but now there is a 9-inch one for the same price. That's very early in the game. Of course it's Chinese discount quality, but still, pretty amazing, it does run Android apps.

I think it shows us that very soon tablets of decent quality will be cheap enough that the Digital Divide will be all but erased on this planet, and global education and communication will belong to the Third World also. Experience and experiments have shown that pretty uneducated children in poor countries speed up their education to a frankly uncanny degree when they get their hands on things like these. Even without instruction, they take to it like ducks to water.

And it's my personal belief that education barriers are much more important than food and health issues in holding back poor areas on the planet, since we've seen many times that people really start changing things themselves when they get the chance, and the changes are much more lasting than if they come from outside. (I have donated to


Stephen A said...

This is what I've been screaming 'till I'm blue in the face. A dirt cheap "good enough" tablet with free access to to Project Gutenberg, Khan Academy and Open Coursework from top universities, that every citizen, particularly schoolchildren has will change the world.

Infinitely more than any and all iProducts,

All the action is at the bottom.

Stephen A said...

A little off topic, but two things dear to the heart of this blog

Panasonic Business tablets an example of a tablet built for mission critical purposes: covered with high grip rubber, shock-, dust-, and water-proof, and capable of surviving drops from 80cm.
This is a tablet built to be used constantly as opposed to being a status symbol. Rather than thin and fragile, this is very robust. Tack on inductive charging (like the HP tablet) and a sunlight readable (PixelQi or Mirasol) screen and you have a near perfect working tablet.

On the other front a 9.7" eInk reader not big enough but getting there.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Interesting, thank you.

I think heavy-duty devices are kewl.