How Will Tablets Affect My Kids?

I wondered if I was making the right decision. I didn’t know. Amazon was having a Prime Day. There were going to be sales. My wife said she wanted tablets for the kids. I bought 3.

What effect would it have on the family? Would they ever talk to me again? How would we keep them from breaking them? How would we keep them safe online? I didn’t know.

I’m an IT guy, but I wasn’t looking forward to setting up 3 tablets at once (one Mini iPad and 2 Kindle Fire HDs for Kids). I didn’t setup any of them. My wife did it. That was nice.

What’s changed? My oldest daughter now texts me throughout the day. She asks me weird questions like, “How we will survive when the inventors starve us?” and “How was your day?”

My second oldest daughter Skypes with her friend in Chicago and sets the tablet next to the computer while she’s playing Minecraft. She already has a webcam. I’m not sure why she does this.

Kindle Fire HD Kids ReviewMy oldest son likes downloading books and games to read. Books, movies, and TV shows are included in Amazon Prime on the Kindle Fire HD for Kids and parental controls are great.

Longer movies can be downloaded to view offline while in the car, but we limit their time on the tablets and have them locked via a pin code. We can also set it to turn off at a certain time of night.

When I came home from work today, the kids were sitting around the dinner table eating pizza and my oldest son showed me his favorite game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nice.

I have no delusions about them somehow becoming smarter or more tech savvy from having the devices, but I have noticed it’s dramatically changed how they interact with the world.

My son takes pictures with his Fire and shows me a slideshow. I get to see the world from his point of view and see the pride he has in presenting me his work. “That’s the best one!” he says.

They still greet me when I come home and hug me before they go to bed, but they also come over just to ask me to unlock their tablet (versus asking me for my phone when I get home).

When I was growing up we had Nintendo and VHS tapes. This is the same thing, replaced instead by apps and instant video streamed over the Internet. Ok, it’s actually quite different.

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Best Android Tablet PCs for Any Budget

If you’re in the market for a new Android tablet PC, Tablet Comparison has compiled a list of the the best tablet PCs under $300 and the best tablet PCs over $300. You may be surprised how far your dollar can go this Christmas season. Most are Android tablet PCs with the exceptions being Apple’s iPad 2, which runs Apple’s iOS. In the tablet market, Android is like Microsoft Windows and iOS is like Apple’s Snow Leopard or Lion OSX.

While there are many Android tablets under $300, there were only 5 tablets listed over $300 and of the five, the top two models, Apple’s iPad 2 and Motorola’s Xoom battle it out. While at first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab may have seemed like an iPad-killer (especially due to the pending patent litigation in multiple countries between Apple and Saumsung) and more recently, the Kindle Fire, the people actually buying these tablets are the one doing the most comparing between the iPad 2 and the Xoom. The one reviewer who compared the iPad and the Xoom to checkers and chess said it well. If you want easy and repeatable over time, get the iPad, but if you want a more in-depth experience over time, you’ll want the Xoom. The Xoom is an Android tablet. You could just as easily compare any Apple device to any Android device with the same chess/checkers analogy and be right. This is how Apple wanted it to be (and vice versa).

Of the Android tablets under $300, the three that stick out to me are the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Coby Kyros, and the Nook Tablet. Of those three, although the Kindle Fire is only $199, the Coby Kyros Tablet may just be the best value as it’s models range from $205 for the 10.1 inch tablet to $157 for the 7 inch tablet. For comparison, the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet are both 7 in Android tablets. Not that size or price is the most important factor in choosing a tablet PC, but out of 352 reviews, the tablet is averaging 3.5 out of 5 stars, 107 of those being 5 stars.

One other factor to consider is the availability of covers, cases, and accessories for your tablets. The Apple iPad 2 and Nook Tablet both have the same form factors as their iPad and Nook Color predecessors, but the Kindle Fire, Motorola Xoom, and Coby Kyros tablets are new form factors that accessories makers may be behind in creating new after-market products for. A new website, MID Tablets plans on covering the different Coby Kyros tablet models (each prefaced with a different ‘MID’ which stands for mobile internet device) and the availability of Coby Kyros cases, chargers, and accessories. The same people who brought you Nook Share, which covers the Nook line and their accessories, are the ones behind this new MID Tablets site and the Tablet Comparison site.

Read Pads Renews Focus on Tablet PC Pads

Read Pads, our reading pads web site, has changed its focus to covering tablet pc pads. There are many different types of tablet PCs as covered on our tablet comparison web site, but Read Pad PCs focuses on tablet PCs that are specifically called ‘pads’, which include the Android aPad/ePad, Apple iPad, ASUS Eee Pad, Lenovo IdeaPad, and the ViewSonic vPad.  Read Pads covers the pad PCs themselves and their corresponding accessories, cases, and covers which help protect the increasingly popular tablet PC devices.

Cost Publishing Editor and Watershawl, Inc. CEO, Erich Stauffer had good things to say about the site stating, “I believe this site has the potential to be really helpful for those people who are looking to find tablet PC pads and the accessories to go with them.” He continued by saying, “Sites like Amazon.com are not organized as well as they can be and that’s where we come in. We help organize things you can find at Amazon.com in a way that you as a consumer might browse for them – not how Amazon.com organizes them.”