The Google Nexus 7 will give your students and faculty everything they need to make the classroom a digital learning environment. With a somewhat smaller 7-inch screen, 9 hours of battery life, and 16 GB of storage, the Google Nexus 7 should give the classroom an excellent boost while integrating all of your existing Google classroom infrastructure. Although the Nexus 7 lacks some of the computing power its big brother, the Nexus 9 has, you'll be pleased with the Google for Education integration as well as seamless student assessment capabilities.
A relative newcomer over the past several years to the computing world, ASUS has quickly risen to the top of affordability and quality. The Transformer Pad runs Android 4.4 and has up to 32 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot to expand storage. 1 GB of RAM and an Intel dual-core processor will give any student the necessary computing power to interact in the classroom or at home. Users can couple the Transformer Pad with the detachable keyboard dock to turn this tablet into a full-on laptop computer.
One of the leaders in classroom technology solutions, HP enters the contest with the Pro Slate 10 EE. This education edition HP Pro Slate is designed specifically for schools and learning. HP gives you the option of selecting which software tools are necessary for your classroom including HP School Pack with HP Classroom Manager which gives your faculty full control of their classroom and what their students are able to access on classroom desktop computers and Google Play for Education. As far as seamless integration for an entire classroom, the HP Pro Slate may be a winning option.
Dell has seen its share of ups and downs as an organization but seems to be back in the computing world's good graces. The Dell Venue 10 is another Android 5.0 Lollipop hybrid which allows students to use the device as a tablet or plug into an optional detachable keyboard for word processing or assessment. One of the thinnest tablets on the market, the 10.1-inch HD display, 16 GB of storage, 2 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics card, and 5 megapixel camera makes this tablet one of the most multi-purpose user-friendly tablets on our list.
Perhaps one of the most versatile tablets on our list, the Galaxy Tab 4 Education is a perfect day-to-day tablet that students can use for in-classroom assessment and at-home learning. It's not the flashiest tablet, but with an extremely vivid, 10.1" display, 16 GB of internal storage, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Android Lollipop 5.0, the Tab 4 Education offers all of the computing power necessary for the average classroom. Once Google activated, the Galaxy Tab 4 Education can access the Google Play for Education store where students can download education-specific apps in a safe online interface.
Another contender in the budget category is the ASUS MeMo (pronounced mee-mo). The MeMo has seen its fair share of shimmies and shakes since its original inception, but some quality upgrades have this tablet in a competitive position. The MeMo offers an Intel quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and up to 16 GB of built-in storage. A simple, yet fast tablet, the MeMo should offer your classroom a boost without the price tag of some of the more advanced tablet models on the market. The simplistic MeMo Pad 7 can be fully integrated with your Google classroom, and will offer the necessary ability to perform student testing and assessment.
The Bottom Line: Best Tablets for Schools
Leveraging technology in the classroom is an excellent way to integrate "chalkboard" education with more modern ways of learning and thinking. In essence, the decision to purchase tablets for your school will come down to a few factors:
1. How much computing power do your students and faculty need?
2. What degree of control should your faculty have and what devices do your students have access to?
3. How will the tablets integrate with your existing technology infrastructure?
Once you have hammered down those questions, start looking for tablets that match the needs of your classroom, and you'll quickly be able to whittle the list of prospective devices down to something manageable while making the best, most informed decision for your school.