When you¨re in the classroom, you want your technology to work as smoothly as possible for you and your students. And while the days of overhead slide projectors are long past, you still want a tablet that¨s easy to set up, durable and has a battery that lasts all day.
There are several tablet models out there, but here are the ones that are best for teachers, whether teaching online or in person. One of the top contenders is the 2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is sleek, light and has an ultra-fast Apple M1 processor chip for maximum performance. It offers plenty of connectivity options for projectors, keyboards, trackpads, a mouse and other accessories.
Most tablets range in screen size from about 7-inches to 12.9-inches. Depending on what you need, you might want a smaller size, especially if you plan to carry it with you during your commute. Smaller screens also are better if you work with younger students and want them to carry it easily. On the other hand, the larger screen size can handle the same duties as a laptop without requiring as much maintenance or desk space.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet or plan to give your students a lot of hands-on activities, you don¨t want to worry about charging your tablet every few hours. In general, you want your tablet to have a battery that lasts at least seven hours between charges.
Depending on what type of operating system your school computers use, you¨ll want to make sure your tablet is compatible with it. Additionally, if you plan on syncing your tablet with your smartphone, they should have the same operating system as well. The most common operating systems for tablets are iPadOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Google.
You¨ll probably want to get any necessary adaptors, hubs and docks to give you all the right connections, especially if you¨re planning to hook your tablet up to a projector. The most common ports on tablets are USB-C, USB-A or mini-USB. Some have HDMI ports or, in the case of older Apple iPads, Lightning ports.
Depending on your operating system, your tablet should come equipped with various built-in apps. Many of them are mobile versions for word processing, cloud storage, music, photos and other multimedia functions. These mobile versions usually allow for a ＾handoff￣ function, where you can start a document on your tablet, sync it to a computer later and then continue working. You can back up your tablet¨s data either to a computer or to cloud storage.
Just like a computer, a tablet has at least one processor chip that determines how fast you can complete tasks, multitask between apps, camera and microphones function and how quickly the battery charges. The faster the processor, the more efficiently your tablet will run programs and manage files. The fastest processor available on tablets today is the Apple M1 chip for iPad, or in the case of other operating systems, various 8-core processors.
If you don¨t want to spend money every month on cloud storage, find a tablet with a decent amount of local storage. This means your data stays on the tablet. Most tablets come with at least 64GB of storage depending on the configuration, with a maximum of up to 2TB in the Apple iPad Pro (via custom order.)
Most tablets cost between $150-$2,199, with the upper range a customized 2021 version of the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro.
A. Most tablets come with a Parental Controls setting, which allows you to create a simplified, kid-friendly mode on your tablet. Generally, it restricts specific websites and content and will only load certain apps when powering on. This is a great option if your school does not have device management software functionality.
A. There are several protective cases available for your tablet, from simple shockproof shell cases to sealing waterproof cases. These cases usually come with at least a one or two-year warranty and some even offer a lifetime warranty. You can also get a simple screen protector made of hard plastic or tempered glass, which will keep the screen from cracking if it’s dropped.
2021 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro: available at Amazon
[More Consumer Reviews] Coronavirus stimulus check scams: How to avoid being cheated ?
Our take: The latest iPad Pro model builds on all your favorite iPad features, from a gorgeous Retina display to a slim, light design. It has a durable battery and a faster processor chip. It connects to various Apple accessories with ease, runs several multimedia apps and seamlessly syncs to iCloud. This is a great choice for teachers, especially if their lessons are online.
What we like: The M1 processor chip makes it feel as powerful as a computer. The battery lasts up to 10 hours between charges. It has a Thunderbolt port to plug in an external display.
What we dislike: Depending on how much storage you want, the price can be steep for some users.
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus 10.3-inch tablet: available at Amazon
[More Consumer Reviews] Don’t commit a holiday fowl – get the right turkey fryer for the job ?
Our take: If you’re on a budget, this Lenovo tablet is a great option for all your basic classroom needs. The screen size is big enough to view media files, yet slim enough so it won’t take up too much room on your desk. It offers a Kids Mode setting with parental controls so you can use it with younger students.
What we like: Has an 8-core processor and an SD card slot for an additional 256GB of storage.
What we dislike: Runs on AAA batteries, which might be inconvenient for some users. The built-in camera is only 5 megapixels.
Microsoft Surface Pro FJR-0001: available at Amazon
[More Consumer Reviews] In the market for a new laptop? Consider what you’ll use it for before your purchasing decision ?
Our take: While technically considered a laptop, the Microsoft Surface Pro is built like a tablet and can be configured with a variety of storage and RAM options. The battery lasts up to 13 hours and it has a lot of the same functionality as the Apple iPad Pro for under $1,000.
What we like: Lightweight at only 1.69 pounds. Comes with Windows 10 Professional. Has an i7 processor.
What we dislike: You must purchase the Surface Pen accessory separately. The price can be a little high depending on your configuration preferences.
Adrian Wengenroth is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
[More Consumer Reviews] Clean when you’re not home? Yes, a robotic vacuum does that. ?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Coronavirus stimulus check scams: How to avoid being cheated Don’t commit a holiday fowl – get the right turkey fryer for the job In the market for a new laptop? Consider what you’ll use it for before your purchasing decision Advertisement
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.