You keep seeing tablets everywhere: on TV, at meetings and all around town. You think a tablet might be a good tool, but you have questions. We are here to help you. Click on a link to view these common questions.
There are many things that a good quality tablet can be used for. A few common tasks include:
- Browsing the Internet
Tablets have a built in web browser. If the default web browser doesn't meet your needs, most tablets allow other browsers to be purchased or installed.
- Checking Email
Tablets typically have a default email program; you can also use a web browser or possibly another email application. OSU, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo all offer web based access to your email
Tablets are a great solution for quick, easy, and portable presentations. Just connect the projector and go. Unfortunately due to size constraints, this may require 3rd party app and/or accessories.
- Taking Notes
Due to the portability of tablets, they are ideal for taking notes during meetings. Many apps and accessories can be purchased to enhance note taking.
Through the use of certain apps, you can access a wide range of ebooks and upload your own pdfs and docs. With their long battery life and light weight, tablets are often a good solution for carrying a library along with you.
- Leisure Activities
Tablets allow for leisure activities like watching movies and playing games. However, university policy states that any tablets purchased by OSU should be used for official OSU work only.
If you have more specific questions about what you can do with a tablet, please contact us for assistance.
Picking a tablet can be a tough choice. Every tablet is different and the rate that new tablets are hitting the market makes recommending a specific tablet tough. Before recommending tablets, we research the following criteria:
- Available Software and Operating System (including the following)
- Which OS is it running. (iOS, Android, Windows, WebOS, RIM)
- What applications or apps are available for the device
- Native email application
- Native web browser
- Default applications
- Battery Life and Durability
Average battery life of a tablet is between seven to ten hours of use.
Most current tablets run $500 and up; cheaper ones are often outdated versions that may not have much functionality.
- User Reviews
Consumer reviews are important in the technology world. What the developers tell us the tablet SHOULD do, is not always the what the tablet can do.
- Usefulness in OSU Extension
Some devices are just not well suited to our work. In the rush to capitalize on a growing industry some manufacturers make trade-offs that might well cripple a specific device and render it a waste. We try to determine if a vendor is serious about the market or will quickly make an exit when the tablet craze begins to fade.
If you are thinking of getting a tablet for use in Extension, please contact us for assistance.
Once you have purchased your tablet you will want to customize it. However, before you go on a app buying spree please consult the FAQ about purchasing apps. While there are new apps being released everyday for use, we do have a few that we recommend.
Dropbox is an app that allows you to sync files between multiple locations. By storing files in your Dropbox, you can easily access them from almost anywhere, including your smartphone, your laptop or desktop and your tablet. If there isn't a Dropbox application for your device, chances are you can still get to the file via a web browser.
Have you ever come across something that you wanted to remember later? Evernote is a program that syncs between your computers, smartphone, and tablets that allows you to quickly capture a webpage, an article, an image, etc and view it at a later time on any device with Evernote installed.
- QuickOffice / Docs to Go / iWorks
These apps are office suites that will allow you to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations. All three work with files created with Microsoft Office.
- Kindle / Nook / iBooks
These apps allow you to buy e-books and import your own, including PDFs.
- Useful Apps
These Apps are great for anyone who has just purchased a tablet or is looking for apps to improve their productivity.
These apps are all extension related apps compiled by Larry Jackson at Kansas State University. It has apps related to every area of extension created by a variety of universities.
We realize that this isn't a complete list of useful apps. If you come across an app that you find useful for Extension fill out our "What Apps would you recommend?" form and we will take a look at it, evaluate it and post it to this page.
If you have any questions please contact us for assistance. We can help you setup and configure your device.