Today we’re continuing from our first Tablet for Kids Buying Guide article, and thus we’re discussing further the things you need to consider before buying a slate for your little tykes.
How old are your kids?
You don’t really have to look around that hard to learn that there are several “tablet for kids” models. Those currently on the market range from those targeting the younger audiences, like the starter tablet PC models from kiddie-oriented companies like LeapFrog and VTech, to those going after the pre-teen and ‘everything else in between’ age group market. You really won’t have a problem looking for something that is perfect for your kids, whatever age group they may be. You can check out the aforementioned LeapFrog models and the brand new OLPC XO Tablet for kids aged 12 below, and there are many tablets that are geared toward the teen market as well.
When choosing a tablet for kids, you’ll need to keep in mind that to find the perfect fit, so to speak, you’ll have to match the tablet with your kids’ age. Just any ‘grown up tablet’ probably won’t do, especially when you factor in things like content and ability to stand up to getting dropped several times.
What is your budget?
Tablets made for kids are typically affordable, depending on the brand and the age appropriateness. Starter tablets for younger kids are usually very basic and you won’t really expect to shell out vast amounts of cash for them. There are slates that can support several profiles, so if you have three kids, it’ll be much easier to set parental controls for each child on one device. If your kids aren’t really that inclined to share though, then you may want to check out the more affordable models if you’re on a tight budget.
Tablets for teens are typically more expensive, with prices comparable to your typical tablet PC.
Choosing among operating systems
For adults, our tablet OS choices basically boil down to the major players: iOS, Android, and Windows 8. This isn’t too much of an issue with a tablet for kids, as a lot of them have proprietary software so there isn’t much in the way of options in that department. There are some that feature customized versions of Android, with parental controls baked in.
Actually, there’s very little stopping you from giving your kids a Google Nexus 7 or an Apple iPad mini, except maybe budget constraints, since both Android and iOS have parental control apps that you can download. Personally, I live in fear of kids making purchases (lives in Candy Crush Saga or anything of the sort) on app stores, so be sure to lock down and secure your devices if you’re letting your kids use them. Some tablets for kids already have this feature built-in, like turning off Wi-Fi or app store access, you don’t have to worry.