Making an Affordable Smart Tablet

Science and technology are for everyone and there are many wonderful science-related apps out there to wet your palette. But sometimes science + tech can be EXPENSIVE. We're not particularly tech savvy, but we've figure out a few things here and there...Here's a couple of pointers we've uncovered to help you create a more affordable smart tablet.

Here are the equations:

  • Amazon Fire Tablet (~$60) + APK Files ($0) = regular android tablet for ~$60
  • Amazon Fire Tablet (~$60) + APK Files ($0) + microUSB keyboard (~$15-20) = mini "laptop" for ~$75-80
  • Amazon Fire Tablet (~$60) + APK Files ($0) + Childproof case (~$25) = Field-ready android tablet for ~$85

Amazon FireTablet: These run about $60 on Amazon. These tablets are ad-supported, meaning ads will be on the home screen. These can be removed for a fee, but will increase the cost of the tablet. Wait for a sale and you can get a better deal on your Fire tablet.

APK files: This How To Geek article will walk you through the process of correctly installing just 3 APK files (Android files) onto your tablet so that you can access the internet and the Google Play Store. Read and follow the instructions carefully!

MicroUSB Keyboard: These small keyboards will plug right into your Fire tablet with their micro USB cord. Double check that the keyboard fits the specifications of your Fire tablet!

Childproof Case: If you intend to hand these tablets off to kids, use them in the field, etc. where they may take a tumble, pick up a child case to protect your investment.