www.samsung.com/education (opens in new tab) • Suggested Retail Price: $369 (the device is only available to schools through Samsung reseller partners)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education is a lightweight tablet with a 10.1-inch display screen.
Quality and Effectiveness: The Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 is very lightweight, has a high-resolution display, and is completely easy to navigate. Some new functions, including a split screen for two open apps and the ability to return quickly to another app via the “Recent” button, make it a winner for educational settings. For example, a student can easily run two apps simultaneously, research the topic in one app, type up reports, and insert pictures in another app at the same time.
Ease of Use: The Galaxy Tab 4 is easy to handle and operate. It includes intuitive buttons and actions that cover all features and functions under the Settings icon.
Creative Use of Technology: The Samsung tablet has some unique capabilities that enhance its value. Google programs are bundled together and easy to access. Plentiful apps are available through the Play Store via text and spoken requests and (eerily) recommended to me based on reviews by people in my contact list. For example, when I searched for free video editing, 200+ recommendations were listed with a five-star rating system. Some apps required a Facebook account and access to my communications, but I declined.
The default “sleep mode” setting helps keep the battery running longer than most tablets. The “smart stay” function extends the screen time by enabling the camera only when someone is looking at the screen. The cradle, called a Loop, is designed as an oval that can hold the screen in three different comfortable orientations on any flat surface. Near field communication (NFC), similar to Bluetooth, quickly allows one device to connect to other devices to share and collaborate. Another new feature is a “close all” button for apps, which is a great time and battery saver.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 could be smoothly integrated into an existing curriculum to enrich it today and into the future. As traditional teaching methods shift toward more learner-centered approaches, the Galaxy Tab 4 could support the transition with its easy-to-use design and wide variety of free, valuable apps.
• Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 is lightweight, sleekly designed, and easy to use.
• A key differentiating feature of the product is its compatibility with Google Play for Education, which includes the following:
−Access to a Web-based console that allows IT to manage the entire fleet of tablets remotely. This is critical for schools looking to expand 1:1 student computing programs without straining limited IT resources. The Web-based console is an extension of the Chromebook management console that has been one of the key drivers for the rapid adoption of Chromebooks in K-12 classrooms.
−NFC can be used for initial provisioning of devices, allowing an entire classroom to be set up in a few minutes.
−Access to Google Play for Education app store is separate from the consumer Google Play store. It provides access to curated education apps organized by grade level, subject, and even Common Core standards.
−The tablet features Corning Gorilla Glass and is bundled with a protective case for durability.
−A connected keyboard and docking station are available so students can use the tablet productively for written assignments.
OVERALL RATING:The Galaxy Tab 4 has some unique features that make it easy to use. It builds on earlier technologies and leaps ahead with information organization functions, such as: bundling Google programs; the Recent, Smart Stay, and Close All buttons; and a split screen feature, to save users time and energy. Its beautiful design makes it a pleasure to handle and navigate.