You may be an AAC SLP if the top three deciding factors on replacing a glitchy aging laptop are “Can it run Boardmaker v6, Grid 3 and TD Snap for Windows?” 🤓
Since I couldn’t get any confirmation that these could work as expected on Windows 11, I ended up getting a Windows 10 tablet and an external CD drive. Once Boardmaker is open, the CD drive can be removed. I have Boardmaker v6, Grid 3, TD Snap, CoughDrop, Cboard, etc. all set up and they are working well.
I did quite a bit of research and comparison of features and costs. I read lots of reviews. I wanted something small and affordable. I rarely use a laptop these days since I can do almost everything on my iPad or iPhone so this will suite my needs. This particular one had really good reviews on Amazon. It has a 10.1” screen, a built-in stand, comes with a keyboard cover that’s similar to an Apple Smart Keyboard and a stylus, and has Windows 10:
- AWOW AiBook 10, 10.1 ” Tablet PC Windows 10 Home Intel Celeron N4120 LPDDR4 6GB eMMC 128GB SSD 2-in-1 Mini Laptop Touchscreen with Removable Keyboard Touch Pen 2.4G + 5G WiFi Bluetooth IPS HDMI, https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B09KMWBB9K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_MNV45S9R3YTJ56ZG5VPD?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
(Be sure to decline upgrading to Windows 11 during setup)
I found the perfect vintage Vera Bradley carrying bag to fit it. A Tablet Hipster in Olivia Pink from 2013. I bought it in excellent condition for a bargain on Poshmark.
- Here’s the external CD drive that I bought. You need one that can be plugged into an outlet since many 2 in 1 devices don’t have enough power through the USB port to run an external CD drive: ROOFULL External CD DVD +/-RW Drive Burner USB 3.0 Type-C Portable CD/DVD Optical Drive Player Reader Writer with Protective Carrying Case for Mac MacBook Pro/ Air, iMac, Windows 11/10 Laptop Desktop, https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B081H3F2J7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_RXATFKRZXZYY4HYD23HH?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
- I already had a Dell Bluetooth travel mouse that doesn’t require a USB receiver. This is the same mouse that I use to model on AAC apps on an iPad. If you search on Amazon for a Bluetooth Mouse that can work on an iPad they should also work for this since those don’t require a USB receiver.
If an iPad is on iOS 13.4 or later, you can use a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad to model. It’s a way to model AAC or demo any apps without having to touch the iPad screen. Here’s a video:
How to set up the Accessibility settings for Pointer Control: https://support.apple.com/en-bh/HT211008. Tip: You need to have your Bluetooth mouse or trackpad paired with that iPad in order for Pointer Control to show up as an option in the Accessibility settings.
I have also used this cool Bluetooth remote control that has a tiny trackpad for modeling and demos of apps: TNP Bluetooth Remote Control for iPad iPhone – Trackpad Media Presenter for iOS Mac Android Tablet PC – Wireless Camera Shutter, Media Button, Presentation Clicker, iPad Air Pro, MacBook Pro Mini M1, https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B098NBYR6P/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_ABY4J6PTJQ52EM8XBF8Q?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
This worked in every AAC app and other apps that I’ve tried so far 😊
This is just one of many tools that I use to create things with symbols. I use LessonPix – Custom Learning Materials (which is fabulous but can’t be used to create or print PODD books), iESLp App, Twinkl Symbols app, Global Symbols website, AbleNet Inc.’s SymbolOverlay app, Tools2Talk + app, Niki Talk’s Search on ARASAAC app, the PictoMaker app, ProxTalker Pro app, etc…
I don’t have any plans to subscribe to Boardmaker 7. Everything that I see indicates that it’s still a hot mess and there’s no reason for me to pay for a subscription since I have a way to use Boardmaker v6 and have lots of other ways to create things with symbols.
Note: I would not recommend this Windows tablet for use as an AAC device since there isn’t a protective case available and the speakers aren’t the greatest. I probably wouldn’t recommend any Windows tablet for that purpose unless it’s one built for rugged use. I’m just using Grid 3, TD Snap, CoughDrop and Cboard on it to try out features compared to what’s available on those on an iPad. I also wouldn’t recommend this Windows tablet for writing reports or completing paperwork. The screen and keyboard are pretty small for those labor intensive types of things.
- I have no way to know how long this particular Windows tablet will ship with Windows 10 installed vs. the Windows 11 operating system. It’s always wise to look closely at specs and reviews when purchasing any tech.
- I also have no way to know if Boardmaker v6 will work on Windows 11 or not but it sounded pretty iffy.
- I am not liable for any purchasing decisions that others make. Just sharing what works for me
Have questions? The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail.
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting
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