North Carolina School District to Return 15 Thousand Amplify Tablets

Remember theamplify-tablet-540[1] news from last month about the school district reporting a huge number of broken tablets?

Well, the story has come to a conclusion this week. Guilford County Schools announced on Tuesday that they were sending back all 15,000 Amplify tablets purchased at the beginning of the school year.

The tablets had initially been acquired for use by middle school students as part of a 1:1 program but were pulled from use in early October after thousands of students reported broken screens, misfitting cases, or malfunctioning power supplies.

News reports from last month included mentions of 175 broken power supplies, a failure rate of over 1%. Also, over 1,500 students reported breaking the screen on their Amplify tablet, which according to the school district was probably the result of the tablets not meeting spec (they lacked the Gorilla Glass layer that was supposed to protect the screen). And some 2 thousand cases were reported as being defective.


According to the product page, the Amplify tablet has a 10″ screen and runs a modified version of Android 4.2 on a Tegra 3 CPU with a 5MP rear-facing camera, wifi, and a microSD card slot. It is leased to schools at a princely $200 per year for 3 years, but curiously enough only comes with a 1 year warranty. The tablets are reportedly based on the Asus MeMO 10″ tablet, which costs only $300 on the consumer market.

GCS bought the tablets as part of a $30 million PACE pilot program which many hoped would accelerate GCS’ middle school students learning abilities and educational opportunities. This was the single largest deployment of Amplify tablets to date, and accounted for the majority of the 20,000 Amplify tablets now in use.

A little over a week ago Amplify had offered to replace all of the tablets, but as of yet there is no info on what exactly the replacements will be. I for one hope that Amplify will offer another company’s tablets due to the fact that Amplify’s workmanship is demonstrably shoddy.

Amplify went public in March of this year, and at this rate will probably go out of business by March of next year. Good riddance.



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Name2 November, 2013

    Pretty expensive for 3 years. They could have bought them for the same price or less. And that does not even consider volume discounts.

  2. The Rodent2 November, 2013

    Wow, with quality assurance failure like that… Another 15000 pieces of junk to be “recycled” when the manufacturer gets them back…

  3. BD3 November, 2013

    Why wouldn’t they buy kindle fires for example, for 139$ and replace it every year if they need to? It comes with 1 year warranty anyways.

    1. Nate Hoffelder3 November, 2013

      The thing about the educational market is that publishers and ed-tech companies usually spend a larger share of their budget on marketing than on developing the content. This leads to school districts making poor decisions because they were wowed by a spiel.

  4. […] Guilford County Schools are sending back the 15,000 Amplify tablets they recently purchased: “North Carolina School District to Return 15 Thousand Amplify Tablets” (2 Nov […]

  5. […] million worth of its tablets. But just a few months into the school year, the district has already recalled and returned the devices after widespread reports of broken screens and faulty […]

  6. […] This differs from the other 2 struggling tablet programs I have reported on where if nothing else the parents weren’t financially responsible for the school’s mistake. The LAUSD used construction bonds to buy iPads while Guilford County schools used a federal grant to buy Amplify tablets (which were later returned as defective). […]

  7. […] 3 year license. You might recall that the Amplify’s first major deployment was fiasco due to serious hardware issues, but one equally important detail is that the school district in question rented the curriculum at […]

  8. […] (website). You might recall that the Amplify’s first major deployment was fiasco due to serious hardware issues, but one equally important detail is that the school district in question were paying an annual fee […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top