College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY BY DAVID W. DODD The Search for Productivity Tools A SAMSUNG NOTE 10.1 CASE STUDY. A s most of you know from this column, I am constantly evaluating new and emerging technologies and the last effort was intended specifi cally to evaluate the Samsung Note 10.1 both as a pro- ductivity platform and for potential in teaching and learning. Desktops and laptops remain much better work product development tools than tablets, but while it's certainly possible to disconnect your laptop from offi ce peripherals and drag it off to meetings, it's considerably inconvenient. And laptops are just not well suited to doing work as you walk between meetings. Android phones have taken the market by storm, growing far faster than any other platform. The Android OS and the Android apps market have matured quickly. One of the most celebrated devices launched recently was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, a stylus-based tablet running Android 4 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich). The fi rst Galaxy Note sold 5M units and developed a strong following. A unique feature of the Note 10.1 is its "S Pen" true stylus, a partnership with Wacom. The S Pen is far superior to the stylus capabilities of other tablets or smartphones, including the iPad. Three virtual keyboards are included, and I also tested a very good padfolio case from iLuv with a physical keyboard. Ultimately I settled on an excellent padfolio from rooCase. I wanted to rigorously test whether the Note 10.1 could be a true mobile productivity tool and fi ll the gap between laptops and smart- phones. With both stylus and keyboard input, coupled with a host of excellent available apps, the Note 10.1 represented a great test case. The Note 10.1 has a 1290 x 800 LCD screen that measures 10 in. and is bright and attractive. It weighs in at 1.3 lbs. and has either 16GB or 32GB onboard, with a microSDHC slot that accepts up to another 64GB. The 7000mAh Lithium Ion cell battery proved beefy enough to run the device for three days on average under typical work conditions without recharging. The device also sup- ports split-screen mode, with two applications open at once. For networking, I used WiFi primarily as well as a Verizon MyFi for 4G when needed. Both worked great. Finally, the Note 10.1 is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core proces- sor, and proved fast and responsive. Front and back cameras are respectable, including a 5MP camera with LED fl ash. The criteria I set for this test included the following capabili- ties: Working paperlessly, accessing PC-based work product on the tablet; work product markup and annotation; conducting Internet research, with concomitant cloud storage and synchronization; ad hoc, freeform note taking and sketching; cloud-based task management; and real-time email and calendaring (admittedly a no-brainer in principle). I found Samsung's S-Planner app a great calendar tool, and Business Calendar from the Google Play Store also works well. K-9 email is the de facto standard on Android and worked very well; the native email app also works pretty well. Effective real-time email and calendaring confi rmed. Various available Android apps support research via the Internet. Microsoft OneNote, a great tool on the PC, is very weak on Android (refl ecting Microsoft's refusal or failure to adequately embrace Android). Of all tested apps for research, Evernote unsurprisingly surfaced as the best and allows cloud syncing with other devices. The S Pen and S Note app are excellent tools for note taking. Of all other tested apps, none came close. The virtual keyboards also work well with S Note and Polaris Offi ce. The ezPDF Reader app works very well for PDF annotation and markup. Cloud syncing via Kies, DropBox, and even GoogleDocs worked well. Result — no paper required in meetings or for travel! Numerous apps are available for task management, and a number are really good. Producteev and Remember-the-Milk are surprisingly good. But MyLife Organized with its Android app and cloud sync feature surfaced as the best. If you want to relax while working, music (via Songbird) and video (via RockPlayer Lite) were both very good. Kindle reader is excellent, and Samsung included a prototypical Kno e-textbook app. Skype also works well. Conclusion The Note 10.1 is an excellent tablet, with a range of features and apps that together make it a capable and excellent mobile produc- tivity tool. Stronger syncing with personal computers and private clouds would greatly improve the device and make it a potential enterprise solution. If you want to know more about this test, the apps evaluated, or other aspects of the Note 10.1 and this case study, contact me! CPM David W. Dodd is vice president of Information Technology and CIO at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He can be reached at 201/216-5491 or OCTOBER 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 71

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