Originally Posted by realpaulfreeman
The school fell into a trap laid by Microsoft, the illusion of transferring a laptop's use cases to a tablet. The allure of transferring all the existing software investment is part of the attraction. Schools are full of unnecessary proprietary software when there are plenty of open source alternatives like Libreoffice now.
The dyed in the wool corporate types I know all prophesied that tablets like the Surface would beat the iPad because the were 'proper' PC's in tablet form. Its a mistake, a 'category' error, tablets are not PC's.
The reality is that the modality of the tablet is quite different from a PC or laptop. Students need laptops to do laptop things, at least with the current level of technology. If all they need to do is read an ebook then nearly any tablet will suffice, and there are many cheaper including some from Apple.
The Principal of the school is partly to blame for falling into the trap, but the trap has been laid by the vendors who are more culpable because they ought to know better.
It is not illusion. I have been using ThinkPad Tablet 2 at home for the last 3 months... and it almost completely replaced my laptop. I still carry laptop with me for travels as tablet, while technically can, is too slow for Lightroom... but everything else I use laptop for can be done in acceptable manner.
Please note, I'm talking about tablet vs. laptop only. I still use desktop at home for demanding tasks and games... so at home, laptop is all but pointless for me right now.
As for this school. There are many good reasons to go this path. Office works fine on that hardware (and might be requirement in that school). Elitepads have docks with support for 2 monitors, couple of USB ports for desktop keyboard and mouse. And manageability is good from IT support point of view, since tablets are full x86 machines. They can be covered with same group policies school might be applying to other laptops and desktops.
Problems, as described, seems to be fully on manufacturer side; hardware and drivers' problems. We have selected ThinkPad tablet as our standard Windows tablet option, and haven't experienced none of those. Windows 8.1 update has prolonged wake from sleep time to around 5 seconds, but this problem was sorted with Intel's driver update which was aired within a few weeks since 8.1 release. First tablet we have purchased had problem with one of speakers (crackling sound) which was sorted quickly by Lenovo support. We haven't seen spontaneous sleep, freezing, BSODs or any other problem on these tablets, both our in-house and customers.
I came across info on other schools that implemented/are implementing Windows tablets (such as http://www.wpcentral.com/schools-windows-8-tablets
) and haven't heard of rampart problems such as Irish school is experiencing... so I really wouldn't nail it on platform, but rather on specific OEM. After all, there's a reason HP is not number 1 Windows OEM anymore...