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07/03/11 Slate, Hobart
They must have got their hands on an early release of Honeycombs. The Android processor is powerful enough to deal with CAD applications if not too intense but unfortunately it is still early and as with early iPad the useable serious applications will take time to catch up (if they ever do.)

If students want a tablet useful for other than keeping notes and photos, browsing the web and emailing each other then, the iPad will take them a little closer.

The closest to being able to do everything likely requiried of such a small screen is a Windows 7 based slate. These are few and far between but something like the ExoPC will satisfactorily run the entire Office suite (including OneNote which is invaluable for the type of marking up they discuss) and Adobe MasterCollection (including Acrobat Professional) and windows CAD applications.

A downside of slate or tablet use is small screen size. This can mean that it is wise to spend some time tailoring the screen personality of your applications for simplicity. This normally means making those things you use least step off the screen until required. This is especiallly the case with CAD applications. I am not sure why anybody would want to do serious CAD work on a miniscule screen but a few notes, corrections, printing or projecting of the display is reasonable and well set up touch screen versions are useable for site survey work.

A downside with the Win 7 based machines is battery time where 3 to 5 hours has to compare with iPad's 10. They will also benefit from introduction of dual core processors which they are starting to take on board now.

Windows may not be to everybodies favour but if you want to work seriously in a business enviromment it is still the obvious choice.
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Editorial

Architecture students at IE University use Toshiba tablets for Masters Degree course 


Students enrolled in the first ever Masters Degree in Architectural Management and Design (MAMD) at IE University in Madrid have reduced their paper consumption by 75% by working primarily on an interactive tablet. At the beginning of the course, all students were presented with a Toshiba Folio 100 and since January have been using the tablets to communicate with their professors, access practical cases and notes, operate multimedia applications, and send and receive emails.

A study undertaken by the university discovered that each student uses the 760g gadget for an average of 2.5hours per day as part of their course, following video conferences and accessing the institution’s online campus. The tablets will become particularly useful during the remote periods of the programme which will be undertaken online.

Juan Lago, director of the programme, explains: “We believe that we have a particular responsibility to respect the environment, both as individuals and as architects, and this initiative enables us to help reduce the consumption of natural resources as compared to traditional uses and methods.”

In a profession that relies heavily on the use of paper and pencil, it appears that the new generation is starting off on a new footing. This said, students have recommended that applications that enable CAD, DXF and 3DS files be included in future versions of the device, and a function whereby they could underline or add notes to texts they are working on.

 

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