Switch to HP Windows 8 ElitePad tablets was ‘an unmitigated disaster,’ says school principal

“A principal has called the move to switch students from books to tablets ‘an unmitigated disaster’ and has ordered new books for the first year classes,” Denise Calnan reports for Independent.ie.

“The ‘book to e-book’ move was deemed a disaster following major technical issues with the majority of the HP Elite Pad [Windows 8] tablet devices,” Calnan reports. “Families of students at the Mountrath Community College in Laois paid €550 for the devices at the beginning of the school-year. They did have the option to pay for the tablets in installments.”

“‘We had a number of issues with the devices,’ principal Martin Gleeson told Independent.ie. ‘In the meantime, we have replaced all the tablets with books for the students. The parents do not have to pay for these,'” Calnan reports. “Students experienced problems such as tablets failing to switch on, tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode, devices looping while performing automatic repairs, system board failures and issues with wi-fi… In a letter sent to parents, Mr Gleeson wrote, ‘The HP Elite Pad has proved to be an unmitigated disaster.'”

Calnan reports, “Principal Gleeson said it was ‘an informed decision’ to choose the HP Elite tablet. ‘A year and a half’s worth of research was put into choosing the right device for us.The memory of the HP device is 64GB, it far exceeds other tablets’ memory capacity.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It was “an informed decision?” We can all guess what informed that decision! Was it measured in pints or shots?

“A year and a half’s worth of research” – on a stool, leanin’ agin the rail.

Next time, Marty, don’t make your “decision” late in the evening on St. Patty’s Day.

By the way, Apple’s been offering 64GB iPads with an OS that doesn’t consume a huge amount of space, unlike Windows 8, since the original iPad was released on April 3, 2010. That’s right, Marty, there has never not been a 64GB iPad.

Let this serve as a sobering lesson to educators worldwide: You want real iPads, not random tablet halfassery.

[Attribution AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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Initial 7 ‘Steve JobsSchools’ open in the Netherlands; feature iPad-centric education – August 21, 2013
Microsoft now dumping non-selling Surface RT tablets into schools – August 21, 2013
Ames High School in Iowa equips students with 1,425 11-inch MacBook Air units – August 21, 2013
The details about the huge 640,000 iPad rollout in Los Angeles schools – July 26, 2013
Eleven new ‘Steve Jobs’ schools will use Apple iPads instead of books and blackboards – July 2, 2013
Apple broke its own education market sales records in 2012 – January 7, 2013
Student math scores jump 20% with Apple iPad; transforms classroom education – January 20, 2012


  1. “A year and a half’s worth of research was put into choosing the right device for us.” — B S .

    More like a year and a half waiting on Microsoft to get something out the door that they could point at and say “Oh honestly, this is the best!”

    Honestly, obviously, it is crap.

    1. LOL…. I bet thats exactly what happened. Some IT/CIO Pawn from MS waited and waited and waited to come up with a reason so that he/she can force that POS to the schools… So sad.

    2. Yeah, I witnessed that commitment to a “Microsoft solution” some 20 years ago. Working for a major Federal department, I was a UNIX guy and was testing AT&T’s new desktop UNIX solution known as “Destiny”. It was actually pretty good. (A graphic interface using a 386 and 10 MB was actually quite amazing.) But colleagues in another division, despite the appalling quality of Windows NT version 3.1 (their first release) decided nonetheless they would built out their new architecture based on NT.

    3. The hardware problems cited don’t seem typical of Windows 8. In fact, the failures should all be laid at the feet of the manufacturer: HP. Why can’t that sorry organisation get anything right? They used to be a better OEM for Microsoft.

      The real outrage is that the school didn’t coin up for the real deal, Microsoft Surface tablets. I’m sure things would have gone more smoothly — or at least the students would be happily click-dancing in the quad.

    1. yeah, and the Win8 installation brings the remaining space down to 32 GB. After reading the article, I wouldn’t say it’s 32 GB of “usuable” or “free” space!

  2. “’A year and a half’s worth of research was put into choosing the right device for us.’

    ‘We wanted a device that was effectively a computer in tablet form for our students, so it would have a word processor, sufficient memory etc,’ he continued.

    ‘The memory of the HP device is 64GB, it far exceeds other tablets’ memory capacity.'”

    Uh, when you did a 1.5 yr of “research” and
    1. still call storage space “memory”
    2. prioritize storage when student files from word processing and e-books do not warrant it
    3. not even be correct about the assessment of the storage options on other tablets
    ..then you deserve what happened.

    1. Spot on.

      I wonder if mixing up memory and storage space was the reason they thought 64GB of storage space far exceeded other tablets. If you erroneously compare that to the 4GB memory that most tablets max out at (including the HP ElitePad), 64GB sounds like a lot.

    2. They fell for the MS marketing that a W8 tablet can be a tablet and a PC in one device. It seems that strategy has been debunked a number of times.

      If they wanted the students to have PCs, they should have specified that. If they wanted students to have tablets, then specify that (Android or iOS as needed).

      They obviously didn’t want to make the hard decision as to what functionality to assign to a student’s device.

      Personally, an iPad with a nice BT keyboard makes a good word processor (with Pages) for the typical student. Perhaps a laptop for higher-end students?

  3. … have been made while the decider was “under the influence”, please do not assume it was made on, or near, St. Patty’s Day. There are more drunks in Boston or NYC on St. Patty’s Day than in ALL of Ireland – North AND South. Though, I’me told that is changing. Dublin has been staging a parade, lately.

  4. “Informed decision”?

    That would be as in “ill-informed decision,” right ? Gosh, I do so admire watching these profeshanal-type eddikators using our language with such deft equivokayshun. Good on ya, prof!

  5. The guy makes it sounds like they evaluated the options based on storage capacity alone. That’s like evaluating the enjoyment of a meal based only on calories consumed. Unbelievably stupid.

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