Some juniors ask why new tablets are necessary

This year for the junior computer refresh, the university gave 400 Lenovo ThinkPad tablets to science and honors majors in place of an upgraded computer.

Juniors of these majors wondered why they could not opt out of receiving a tablet if they wished to have a computer instead.

Junior and Biology major Ashlie Verano said she would prefer to have a computer.

“I don’t understand why I can’t have a laptop if that’s what I want,” Verano said.

Chief Information Officer Dr. Stephen Landry said, all science and honors majors need to be able to write and draw with a pen and which also is accessible to Windows 8, which only this tablet offers.

“One of the deciding factors was it was Windows 8 ready,” Landry said. “Some laptops that were ready, even though they had pens, didn’t have Windows 8.”

According to Landry, in the past students of these majors would receive convertible slates, however this year he was told by Lenovo that they had dropped their convertible slate.

“The history is here is that for in the sciences and honors, for the last four or five years, we’ve been giving a convertible slate,” Landry said. “But then we were told that Lenovo was dropping the convertible tablet.”

Landry added that there are glitches that come with the tablet, however the university is looking into fixing all problems.

One glitch, according to Landry, is that the tablet must be powered down every time it comes off its stand.

However, Landry said that the slate reboots itself very quickly, which is one aspect that really sold him on the new technology.

Landry said his main concern, and the concern he’s heard from students about, is the tablet’s case.

“Students don’t like it and I can attest to that,” Landry said. “When you’re in the middle of a meeting it flops down.”

Landry also said that the fact that the keyboard is not attached to the tablet itself is a problem because they can get mixed up in a classroom full of students with the same tablets and keyboards Landry said this problem will be fixed with new cases because to solve both problems, the university ordered keyboard folios, which were supposed to come in before junior refresh, but unfortunately did not.

Keyboard folios are improved cases that will have the keyboards wired into them which will be attached to the tablet, according to Landry.

“We know there are a few things that need improvement and we’re working on that,” Landry said

Landry added that these folios are on back order as of late.

Landry said are a lot of benefits that come with the new tablet, though. One being that even though students have this touch screen Windows 8 setting, they can still access the older Windows 7 version that they had on their old laptops.

“Everything is easy to do,” Landry said.

Junior Dillion Smith, who received the tablet, said although he finds certain assignments not as easy to do with the tablet as it is with a computer, he likes it.

“I like it, it’s different and it’s not the best thing for certain assignments, but I don’t mind it at all,” Smith said. “Being the only school with Windows 8 is pretty cool, too.”

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at lindsay.rittenhouse@student.shu.edu.

Author: Lindsay Rittenhouse

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