One of the aims of this blog is to give a platform to you, our readers, to share your experiences across the world of education. Today's post is from Russell Dyas, Educational Technologist, who wanted to tell us about his experience with the new RM Slate PC.

A real alternative to the iPad

'When I mentioned the Slate to someone I was asked "is it just a cheap iPad knock off?" and it certainly isn't. The iPad might be good but when it comes to the education sector it has limitations, the main one being a lack of support for the majority of education software.  This means that there is a whole host of Slate-based units appearing on the market. RM has produced a unit that is functional and at a price bracket that will appeal to schools that are looking to save money.

What do you get for your money?

  1. You get Windows 7 Home Premium (there is rumoured to be a Window 7 Professional version coming soon) with 2GB memory and 32GB solid state drive, plus a 1.3M pixel web camera.
  2. A very positive addition is the multi touch screen, a TFT LCD 11.6" HD GLARE. The quality of this screen is very good and in my layman's test of Youtube HD the content displays with great clarity.
  3. The unit includes a good array of connections for its size including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Mini-HDMI and 2 USB ports.
Once minor point, I found it to be slow to adapt when I rotated the screen. But there is a TEC article on RM Support that has plenty of suggestions on configuring the unit, such as making the rotation slightly more responsive.  I am sure a lot of these changes will be incorporated into the default image on the unit in time.

In Summary

The unit provides a low cost slate that could be used in a wide range of ways without the limitations of the iPad OS. The Slate provides a real alternative to the iPad.

Thanks to Russell for sharing his experiences with the wider world. If you'd like to find out what other folk are saying, visit the official RM Slate PC site. If you'd like to hear more from Russell, please visit Russell's blog.

Post Comment

Blog Comments

Hi Neil

Thanks very much for your feedback. I'll ask Russell to respond as well, but in the mean time, there's an extensive review of the RM Slate on Merlin John's web site as well as the RM Slate product page. I'll also ask our Product Manager to give you their insight too.

Thanks again for posting your comment
Comment by James Townsend on 20110131 164319

Hi Neil,

I head up the product management team responsible for the RM Slate so will post a few comments on what we have seen from early adopters. I’ll stress that this is very early days as the first slates arrived in schools in December, so actual term-time use has only been a few weeks.

With the schools we have talked to, they are very much trying out the RM Slate in the classroom setting. This may be as a shared student device – where the ability to have several students grouped around a flat screen seems to work well – or as an individual learning tool – where a student can go into a quiet corner to read or study independently.

We are running a trials programme with a handful of schools that are actively using the slate and who have agreed to feed back their detailed comments. We will use these to create case studies and will publish these on in the near future. I’ll make sure these are mentioned on the blog and also in our ICT Break newsletter. Hopefully they will give us all a better idea of how the RM Slate can be best used in the classroom.

I’ll post a separate reply on applications we have seen used to date.

Hope this gives some insights for now and thanks for your comment. I’d obviously welcome any feedback that others have as they experience the RM Slate.
Comment by Mike Beech on 20110201 163809

In terms of applications, we are seeing schools experiment with a variety of differnet software. These include:
• Microsoft Office (specifically Word and PowerPoint);
• Drawing packages such as RM ColourMagic ( seen as an excellent way to get younger children with little or no ICT skills engaged with computers;
• A variety of SEN focused titles that already support touch (e.g. titles from Inclusive Technology - );
• And a variety of literacy applications (e.g. one that has been recently highlighted is Shakespeare in Bits –

We are also testing a variety of packages and plan to take this along with schools input to put recommended software on our web pages.

I'd obviously be interested to hear what others are trialling and how they find them.

Comment by Mike Beech on 20110201 164208

Hi Neelam,

I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you in some more detail. We already have a variety of trial schemes running but not in the early years/nursery age range.

Email me direct with your contact details ( and we can agree next steps.

Thanks for your interest,

Comment by Mike Beech on 20110714 074702

Hi Mike,

I have many nurseries here in Dorset that are interested in the Slate technology.

At present, I am conducting many research based studies in pre-schoolers and their current uses with ICT.
Many are considering the use of Slates but would like to see some demos in real life scenarios.

Is this something you would consider as a trial process? Perhaps to add to your case study list?

Please feel free to contact me for more information if this is of any interest.

Thanks, Neelam.
Comment by Neelam Parmar on 20110712 221812

It is disappointing that this post says very little about the tablet in use, especially with children. In particular it would be interesting to know what software they are using and the degree to which the Windows 7 interface (which wasn't really designed for tablets) is a hindrance (or not).
Comment by Neil Adam on 20110131 161454


Sorry took me a while to come and post a comment. Interesting your comment after submitted I found out that was going to be posted here on blog and not direct in the ICT Break newsletter I did think could have put something about use by children but i removed it mainly due to space.

While time was limited to get it out in classroom (unit was on loan from RM) when it got used by children we found they handle the screen and touch response with no major issues. It was only me and my over sized fingers that caused an issue and even then I got use to it.

Applications mainly tested main office suite and various web based software (which to me where I can see this device being very useful). Also if you have terminal server product like RM Anywhere then again this could be really useful device to access it from.

Comment by Russell Dyas on 20110207 120408

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