Collegiate Times: Tablet PC requirement ‘borderline imprudent’

It seems that Virginia Tech is requiring all incoming Freshman to the Engineering School to purchase Tablet PCs. Apparently, this is upsetting Ryan Harne, a junior, mechanical engineering student at Virginia Tech, who wrote an opinion piece for the Collegiate Times. He writes:


Tablet PCs, even future projected models, cost more than laptops, but, ironically enough, the Tablet is the lightweight when it comes to performance. A further burden has officially been laid on the backs of apprehensive freshmen, who are already concerned with these entities called ““student loans.” Not only will their initial computer purchase be more expensive but it is highly unlikely their Tablet will be an amply functional machine in four years.

Unless there are determined reasons to engage Tablet PC technology throughout an engineering student’s course work, this requirement is borderline imprudent. The incoming applicant pool for the College of Engineering is on the decline and such an unjustified requirement will only deter potential students from considering what this school offers. I have been thoroughly impressed with the abilities of the College of Engineering, but it is difficult to encourage high school seniors toward this school when they ask why they need to spend more for a Tablet PC that will be obsolete even before they graduate. The College of Engineering should reconsider this mandate before they are left with a new class of aggrieved students and ornamental hardware.

His statements make me wonder how much research he actually did in comparing performance in tablets to other laptops, as well as longevity between the two.