We have chosen to give our children tablets for Christmas this year, but trying to determine which one has been difficult. With the explosion of the tablet market there are so many options– how do you narrow them down to make the right choice?
Since our oldest has an iPod Touch we thought the decision was simple and we would just get one of those for the other one. However he has vision issues and we just feel that it was too small. So that has opened up a new universe of options.
These are some of the questions that I am using as part of my decision-making process:
· What devices do we already own? Since we have already invested time and money in a particular platform it may make sense to stick with that one. However, there is no point in staying with a platform you know if it isn’t the correct fit.
· What platforms do we want to invest in as our needs grow? Over the next year, I do plan to make some new technology purchases. How do the tablets play into that decision?
· Price? How much is too much for a child’s device? Some are expensive and may not make the most sense for a child who will be harder on it than and adult.
· Child’s age? My preschooler has different needs than a fourth or fifth grader. The apps or tools that he is going to use are different. He will need a simple interface that will make it easy to find his movies, apps and games. My second grader will need more security since he now wants to begin to look up YouTube videos and visit some websites.
· App store? What kind of apps are available for a particular device? Just because they have thousands of apps doesn’t mean they have the correct ones for your child.
· Manufacturer? This is a minor consideration for me, but still one to think about. The larger the manufacturer the better chance a major retailor can service the device. It is also good to look at their reputation of producing good products.
· Custom? Does the device have a custom interface? Can you easily modify it to meet your needs? Some many not let you have any flexibility, while others could be very open.
If you are considering a tablet for your child this holiday season, I hope you find this helpful and you are able to make an educated choice.
This was originally posted on Mom It Forward on November 28, 2012.