[Athen] Recommendations for tablet computers

Sean Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Fri Jun 27 15:05:42 PDT 2014

Hi Teresa,

Wow - tough question. Unfortunately, the technology moves so fast that it's hard to know what will be relevant in the medium-term. That said, here are a few thoughts:

Nexus 7
If you want to explore the Android platform, then get a Nexus device. These devices are from Google and do not seem to get the software/hardware lockout that other devices receive. I know several people who purchased a new Android device and then were not able to upgrade the device's operating system because of the vendor's lockout. So, if you want to try out Android, I would go with a Nexus 7. It is about a year old, so there may be a newer version coming out this summer.

MS Surface Pro 3
The new Surface Pro appears to have the same functionality as a laptop computer, but in a tablet format. If you want to compare iOS vs. Microsoft, then this would be the tablet to get. Also, Dan Comden posted a message about his experience with the Surface Pro and it sounds like this is a much bigger contender now to consider for AT solutions (I think he got Dragon running on it).

Amazon Kindle Fire HD
I did get an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX to experiment with as there were students coming in with Kindle devices. Right now, the Kindle Fire HD is the only platform that has any chance of supporting accessibility. The Paperwhite, while amazing, has nothing to support AT applications. We wanted to see how the Amazon platform would function for a student wanting to use e-book materials and, IMO, there is not much to really evaluate at this time. There are some accessibility features on the device itself and those are cool, but you are a bit constrained to the Amazon ecosystem. At most, you could try out some Android apps that support reading, but I have not really seen anything a lot better than what Amazon already provides on the device itself.

If I had money in the budget, I would probably try a Surface Pro 3. I think there is far more opportunity to evaluate different AT solutions on that platform than the others at this time. I suppose my only gripe is that the Surface Pro 3 can get very expensive to the point where you could purchase a really nice laptop that's lightweight for the same price.

Take care,

On Jun 27, 2014, at 2:25 PM, Teresa Haven <Teresa.Haven at nau.edu> wrote:

> Greetings, all. A colleague of mine has gotten funding to purchase both an iPad and another tablet device (Windows or Android based) for accessibility testing purposes. She would like suggestions (with reasons!) for what Android or Windows tablet device to purchase. We know that students are coming to college with a plethora of devices these days; if you had to pick just one (aside from an iPad) to have in your toolkit, to use in order to learn more about its possible usability, what one would you pick and why?


> Thanks in advance,

> Teresa


> Teresa Haven, Ph.D.

> Accessibility Analyst

> Northern Arizona University


> _______________________________________________

> athen-list mailing list

> athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu

> http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/athen-list

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20140627/6389f654/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list