Tablets for Tweens

Which Tablet for Your Tween?

Savings on larger tablets for tweens…

Posted on | December 10, 2012 | No Comments

Amazon has really done a nice job of making it possible to snag savings this year on the Kindle Fire tablet family.  At various times, you will find deals through the season.  Cyber Monday saw $30 discounts on the Kindle Fire 8GB model while the pre Black Friday week of deals included a similar offer.  Today only, December 10 2012, there is another deal.  This time, you can obtain savings on the 8.9″ Kindle tablets for tweens, teens and others on your list.  There is a limit of one per customer while supplies last, but if you’ve been thinking about a larger tablet size, the 16GB version with special offers is only $249 with the discount.


I like the idea of a larger tablet for a tween just for the sake of preserving eyesight.  While the 7″ tablet is much bigger than an iPod Touch or even a Nintendo or PSP handheld screen, why not splurge on the 8.9″ if the price is right?  I definitely recommend a protection plan for a tween or teen tablet, and the Kindle plans are pretty reasonable.  There are so many things that can go wrong with a kid handling a tech device, and hindsight is always 20/20.  I’ve experienced enough broken tech gadgets at the hands of kids that I don’t recommend skipping this step.

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Kindle Tablet Sale: Cyber Monday Deal

Posted on | November 26, 2012 | No Comments

The Kindle tablet, Kindle Fire, is a great choice for tweens and teens because of low pricing and great user experience.  While there are many cheap tablets out this year, the Kindle is a hugely popular choice because its quality is good and its price is low.  The deal is even sweeter this Cyber Monday, thanks to a discount from Amazon.  You will find that this tablet provides great options for free content along with a lot of quality content for sale.

use code FIREDEAL

Use code FIREDEAL to get your Kindle Tablet for a tween at $129.  Enter the code at checkout.  There is a limit of one per customer and the deal is today only.  It’s definitely a great opportunity to check off that item on yourlist!

You’ll want to continue to watch Amazon through the holiday season as this isn’t the first instance of their discounting the device. It may not be the last. Lightning deals and gold box special can be helpful sales options on the site.

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iPad Mini or Kindle Fire HD: Hot Tween Tablet Choices

Posted on | October 25, 2012 | No Comments

Which Hot Tween Tablet is Best?

I have to say that I have a definite preference when it comes to the iPad Mini vs Kindle Fire HD. My factors that will influence my purchasing decision will be primarily financial. From a parent perspective, budget and quality must intersect for me to consider a tween tablet, and the hottest choices in real tablets for tweens this holiday season are definitely far apart in pricing. Many parents looking for value will consider an under 100 tablet as an option. My feeling is that these won’t really provide the experience that I want for a kid’s tech device. However, my budget doesn’t support spending half a grand on a tech device that will be used primarily for entertainment purposes. Check out the following table for a basic overview of my priority points:


iPad Mini Kindle Fire HD
Screen Size 7.9″ 7″
Storage 16 GB and Up 16 GB and Up
Connectivity Basic Model: Wi-Fi
Additional Models with Cellular
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 1280 x 800
Cost $329 and Up $199 and Up


Tablet Prices for Preteens

If the iPad mini were in the $250 range, it might be worth my consideration. I love the iTunes platform, and my tweens get their start in managing an iTunes account when they have a simple iPod Shuffle to work with. I use an iPhone, and I love the ease of use for the app store. However, when you compare the new iPad version, the Mini, with the Kindle HD, the price just doesn’t fit our budget. Kindle Fire HD has similar storage, slightly better resolution, slightly less screen size. The cost, my key factor, is the huge defining factor.

If I’m looking at iPad Mini and the iPad 2, I also recognize that cost makes a big difference. Honestly, if I’m going to invest more than $300 in a tablet, I might as well up my expenditure for a full-sized device. Of course, there are significant differences between the mini and the iPad 2 in terms of cameras. However, my point is that if I’m looking at spending that much, I’m going to opt for that larger display and touchscreen space. It’s only a $70 difference between the two.

Comparing Kindle Fire models, you’ll also appreciate that the 8.9″ display models include a 4G device that provides a $49/year data plan. That’s huge value and savings compared to the data costs associated with iPad models. Not that I’m going to invest that in a kids’ device. Tweens are accident prone and forgetful. I’ve seen too many accidents with tween tech gear to justify an expensive tablet. The $200 price range is pretty much an upper limit. Amazon’s protection plans in this range are a bit more affordable, too.

You may have a different perspective and a different budget. However, my overviews tend to consider accessibility of tech gifts for those who are trying to find good products with restricted means. iPad mini doesn’t quite meet that test for me.

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iPad Mini and Tween Suitability: What are your priorities in your purchase?

Posted on | October 23, 2012 | 1 Comment

The new iPad mini is revealed, and while it’s an exciting time in the world of smaller tablets, there are definitely some important considerations if you are the parent of a tween and considering this as a hot holiday gift.  For adult users of iPad, the size may be a fantastic consideration, allowing for a more portable and versatile iPad.  The new version weighs just over half a pound and has a 7.9″ display.  For a tween, though, I have mixed feelings about the new device.


If budget is your biggest concern, then the new iPad mini for a tween is much more affordable than the full-sized iPad.  Basic versions are $329 for 16GB and wi-fi connectivity only.  While this is much cheaper than a $499 iPad (a difference of $170), the difference between the mini and the iPad 2 basic model is only $70.  If I’m able to afford the mini, my perspective is that I might as well buy the iPad 2 in order to have the larger device.  Why?  Several reasons.

  • The smaller a tween gadget, the more prone to mishaps
  • The larger device is going to provide a larger surface for viewing, moving objects…I see this as better for my kids’ eyes…and mine, for that matter
  • I just tend to think that if it’s not that much more, why not invest in the big iPad

Of course, the iPad Mini isn’t being promoted as a downsized iPad but rather as a complete ground up design.  There’s plenty to explore.  These are just the first mom factors that come to mind.


Now, if budget is a more serious concern and your need for a cheap tablet isn’t compatible with the pricing of the mini, the Kindle Fire basic model looks like a great option from an affordability perspective.  Priced at $159, you can pick up two Kindle Fire tablets for your tweens and save a few dollars compared to the iPad mini cost.  ($159 x 2 = $318, $11 less than the cost of a mini iPad.)  It’s a smaller iPad size, though as advertising indicates it’s by no means small in what it does.  Pricewise, though, it’s still pretty high for those parents dealing with slow economic conditions and kids with tablet computers on their wishlists.  Everything boils down to your budget and your goals.  iPad is a great alternative to iTouch, much bigger and easier on the tween eyes.  However, Kindle Fire is a great affordable tablet.  Even looking at a slightly higher price range, the HD Kindle Fire tablet at $199 is easier on a parent’s budget.  If the rumored pricing had been true, looking at a mid-$200 range, my opinion might be quite a bit different.  However, my own gift list just became a little easier to narrow.


If the mini fits your budget and your goals, it’s preorders begin on the 26th of October.  Shipments and in-store sales begin Nov. 2.   Keep in mind the popularity of the iPhone 5 and recognize that quick action may be necessary if you are to score the hot little iPad successfully for the holidays.  If the mini isn’t in your range, however, you can definitely continue to explore the Kindle Family of tablets for your tweens and teenagers.

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Tween and Teen Tech Gift Deals: Timing is Important as New Products Release

Posted on | October 20, 2012 | No Comments

Tween and Teen Tech Gift Options in the Face of New Releases and Lack of Supply

If you are set on certain tech gifts for teens and tweens this holiday season, then it’s really time to have a game plan forming and in place.  I’ve already run into supply and demand issues for some fall birthdays, and my teenage daughter ended up with a different Kindle than I planned for.  This was partly due to the release of a new touchscreen Kindle, leaving the previous model unavailable.  It was also due to the extensive preorders for the device.  We opted for the more basic version, and it’s not a disappointment, just different.  It has some great features.  My point is that if you run into supply issues for in demand devices, you may have to go with a plan B.


Reset and Teen and Tween Computers and Tech Devices

Another case of tech gifts for teens, tweens, and their moms, is in the situation where my desktop fried.  It was on its last legs, and it quit last week.  Checking our local Walmart for a replacement, the pickings were slim.  The reset coming in a couple of weeks means bare bones, and none of my priority features in a desktop were available.  Poor kids had to allow Mom to use their desktop for a few days.  I found a decent deal on a Best Buy bundle, ordered it for in store pickup, and thought my concern was handled.  Until I arrived at Best Buy, it was.  The tower was out of stock due to a coming change of operating systems.  Add to that the pending holiday sales season.  The manager offered to upgrade to a better tower free of charge.  Nice!

If you are hunting for a system, October may not provide you with ample supplies of the latest releases, but it may allow you to discover some pleasant surprises in the middle of a reset.  Generally, you won’t find much liberty at a Walmart in wheeling and dealing for any upgrades.  Dealing with a retailer like BB has proven a better deal for each of our major desktop systems, though.  I like the convenience of buying online and picking up in the store.  I love that they are pretty good about keeping their customers happy if something isn’t available.  I also love how well they’ve honored protection plans on tech gear for our household.  Tween and teen tech gift deals are great, but with carelessness more the rule than the exception with kids, the protection plan is especially important.

Coming Tech Devices on Tween and Teen Wishlists

Keeping all of this in mind, the rumor mill suggests a pre-order date of October 26 for the newer and smaller iPad, with shipping beginning November 2.  If this is the device you’ve been waiting for, keep in mind my experience with the high demand Kindle.  Couple that with the recent demand and supply issues with the iPhone 5.  Have your A game ready and order quickly if you don’t want to be shut out for the 2012 holiday season!

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Challenges in Deciding on a Tween Tablet for 2012

Posted on | September 30, 2012 | No Comments

Supply and demand may be more significant than pricing issues if you are looking for the right tween tablet for 2012.  I ran into my own instance of this in ordering my daughter’s Kindle for her birthday.  Timing can be a huge deal when supplies are limited, and if you are looking at ordering a Kindle, the model and timing matter a great deal.  Similarly, tablet pricing and models must be weighed against popularity and availability.  The new Kindle ereader was backordered.  Three weeks after the birthday wasn’t going to work, and so I had to figure out plan B.  Plan ahead on your tablet for your tween or teen and have a plan B, and maybe C or D ready just in case.


Kindle Fire seems to be abundantly available.  You can find it in stores, and I contemplated this in lieu of the Kindle ereader, but don’t want my daughter faced with too many distractions.  Reading is my main focus with her gift.  Nevertheless, there seem to be plenty of Kindle Fire tablets available in the basic and HD 7″ models.  Ordering from Amazon, you will see information on the page about the status ( in stock or backordered) and estimated ship dates.  Finding in brick and mortar stores is possible, but there isn’t an exact certainty at many about when these items will arrive…I tried a few on my Kindle search and nobody had definite information.


Translate these issues into the iPad setting, because the rumors have been flying for months about an iPad mini.  This would be my ideal tween tablet purchase, but if the company’s tendency to have demand quickly exceed its supply holds true, you will need to be ready to pre-order quickly when they officially announce the device.  Similarly, other devices are rumored for release, though there isn’t any certainty about times, dates or specs.  If a $99 tablet from a reputable supplier manages to make its way into the holiday lineup, your wait may really prove worthwhile.  That’s a big if right now.  Pre-orders on kid tablet Tabeo are already said to have exhausted initial supplies too.  Hence, the need for some alternative approaches to tween and teen tablets during this holiday season.

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Deciding Among the Best Tablets for Teens?

Posted on | September 13, 2012 | No Comments

Best Tablets for Teens

Best Tablets for Teens


Are You Trying to Decide Which are the Best Tablets for Teens in Your Family?

My teenagers are very different in their interests, but there are some fundamental changes as they’ve exited the trying preteen years. Maturity in behavior improves along with more mature interests. Crazy colors and wildly wasteful gifts aren’t so much of an interest as they are at the tween stage. Deciding among the best tablets for teens is going to focus on your child’s interests and use of tech items, your personal spending limits for teen tech gadgets, and your perspective of what your teen likes or wants. Your teenager may already have a request placed for a specific tablet, and it wouldn’t surprise me if iPad was the choice. However, if like me, you are faced with a less than iPad budget, you need some alternatives.

iPad is definitely an amazing choice. If your teenager already owns an iPod, there is probably a significant investment in their iTunes library of music. My teens together have several hundred dollars invested in their music. They take that collection seriously, and they coordinate with each other to complete albums. What teen wouldn’t want an iPad? This may become a more affordable prospect in coming months if rumors of a mini iPad prove true. The opportunity to get a slightly smaller tablet at a better price makes this a potentially hot item on teen wishlists, and a teen iPad mini would be a better choice in terms of avoiding eye strain.

Alternately, however, the Kindle Fire family provides some excellent tablet alternatives for teenagers. The original Kindle Fire has gone through slight updates and is now affordable at $159. If you need a cheap teen tablet, this is probably the best one. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars more, the Kindle Fire HD is $199, has HD visuals and Dolby sound, making it a great choice for audio and visual content. If you are concerned about that iTunes Music collection not being useful on the Fire, you’ll be happy to know that with the Amazon Cloud Player, it’s possible to import and store iTunes music for use on Kindle tablets.  250 songs not purchased on Amazon can be stored free, or your teen can have up to 250,000 songs from non-Amazon sources stored in the cloud for $24.99 per year (read about Amazon Cloud Services).


With enhanced audio on the HD family of tablets, teenagers and tweens may find the platform really exciting.  As a parent, if I compare the pricing on Kindle tablets for teens with the pricing of the iPod touch, I’d rather opt for a larger 7″ screen and a lot of great content.  However, there is something to be said for the convenience and portability of an iTouch.  If you aren’t sure about tablets for your teens, the iTouch is still a popular tech device.


If you are looking for cheap teen tablets in the below $100 category, you should recognize that the likelihood of quality being equivalent to that of the Kindle or iPad is unexpected.  It’s sort of like buying a non-iPod MP3 player.  It may work, but it’s just not the same.  My older girls started with such MP3 players, and once they had iPods, there was no looking back.  If budget constraints seriously restrict your options, though, there are some tablet choices below $100.  It’s important to examine user reviews of their personal experiences so that you have a good idea of what you are getting.  You can also consider a Kindle as an alternative to teen tablet computers.  While it’s not equivalent, the Kindle is a sleek tech device that is wonderful for your teenager who loves to read.  My oldest daughter loves the idea of having a Kindle Fire, but she was equally thrilled to have a Kindle for her birthday.

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New Kids Tablets: Tabeo

Posted on | September 11, 2012 | No Comments

New Kids Tablets:  Tabeo

New Kids Tablets: Tabeo


If you are thinking seriously about kids tablets for the coming holiday season, you’ll appreciate the variety that is becoming more defined in new kids tablets every week.  Early in September, the Meep rolled out, followed not long after by the new family of Kindle Fire tablets (read about Kindle Fire vs Meep tablets for kids).  Additionally, tablet toys for kids, the LeapPad 2 and Innotab 2, serve as iPad like toys for kids.  Now, Toys R Us is introducing the Tabeo tablet for kids, an Android 4.0 tablet priced equal to the Meep at $149.99 and exclusive to Toys R Us.  The Tabeo is said to come pre-loaded with 50 apps, and both Meep and Tabeo are preloaded with the popular Angry Birds, other games and ebook options.  Preordering of the Tabeo is already underway, with an estimated ship date of October 1, 2012.


In terms of design, both Meep and Tabeo appear to be fun and kid friendly.  Until the actual release, ease of use remains to be seen.  With so many real tablets available for kids this year, there is a definite opportunity  to find a great deal during the holiday shopping season.  I wouldn’t expect big discounts on these devices during their first season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see store incentives like free shipping or gift cards when you purchase these items.


If your child is older and a bit more responsible, you really can’t dismiss the value of the new Kindle Fire, priced at $159.  The Tabeo tablet for kids and the Meep have a kid-like appeal in their designs, but as  you move into the tween and preteen age group, tween tablets that have long range usability are those that are already finding wide acclaim with both kids and adults.  Given the choice between Meep, Tabeo and Kindle Fire, I know that my tweens would enjoy the Tabeo and Meep, but that they would be thrilled with the Kindle.  My 7 year old daughter, meanwhile, would probably have a blast with either Meep or Tabeo.  Likewise, I expect that my 8 year old son would enjoy these.   Much as the popular Nintendo handheld systems are fun with some of the features already included, so preloaded games can be a blast for mid-elementary aged kids.  Parental controls are available in both new kids tablets and in the Kindle Fire Family.  However, if you want to assemble ebook reader materials that will stay with your youngster as he or she gets older, or if you want the benefit of multiple profiles and use of your content on your child’s tablet, you may choose the more formal tablet.


If you are deciding on Tabeo kids tablet or Meep, keep timing in mind.  The most popular options in last year’s toy tablet race were sold out in stores well in advance of Christmas.  The best kids tablet is still debatable as reviews will be more abundant with the releases of each device.

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Compare Ereaders and Tablets from the Kindle Family for Kids

Posted on | September 10, 2012 | No Comments

Compare Ereaders and Tablets from the Kindle Family

Compare Ereaders and Tablets from the Kindle Family

Trying to Compare Ereaders and Tablets for Kids?

Parents are becoming excited about the changing landscape in touchscreen devices for kids, and whether you are shopping for a pre teen, tween or teenager, prices are becoming more attractive and features more extensive. If you are trying to compare ereaders and tablets in order to make a purchase decision, the Kindle family of tablets and ebook readers is very kid friendly in terms of use. Mindful of parental concerns, the company has also integrated parental controls to allow time and content management, an important need for parents who hate the idea of their kids being incessantly tied to electronic devices.

Kindle ebook readers are excellent for kids at various stages. These devices permit reading of digital material without excessive costs for the devices. The basic Kindle serves strictly as a reading device, providing ultra-affordable pricing at $69. Access to the extensive selection of free reading material in the childrens ebook store makes this a really attractive starter device. Navigation is button operation, meaning that this isn’t consistent with the popular touchscreen platform of most tablets and ereaders on the market. However, it’s a great step into the realm of tech gear, providing kids with the chance to prove that they can be responsible with real tech devices.


For a touchscreen ereader for kids, the Paperwhite Kindle is priced at $119.  The device incorporates lighting technology that makes it easy to read anytime and in any place.  There are audio features that allow auditory learners to augment their reading experiences.  The web browsing and game options for Kindle are limited because they are in experimental stages, but the device is a great tool that provides a child with access to extensive reading material.  This tool can last well into the teen years as a means of enhancing the reading level and experience.


The Kindle Fire is a great choice in affordable tablets, priced at $159.  Ereading is one of the applications for this device, but along with ebook reading for kids, there is access to audio and video content and apps ranging from games to learning.  The basic version is 40% faster than the original, making it an excellent investment as a starter tablet for kids or tweens.  Plenty of adults are thrilled with the device, and with it being a real tablet, its content options are much more affordable than the games and software needed for so many handheld video game systems for kids.


As you compare Kindle ereaders and tablets, you’ll find the Kindle Fire HD selection to be especially exciting for older kids.  Your tweens and teens will love the Dolby audio and dual speakers along with HD graphics.  Pricing begins at $199 for the 7″ tablet and $299 for the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD.  Onboard storage begins at 16 GB and ranges upward.  There are 32 and 64 GB devices with 4G wireless plans priced at $50/year, if you are looking for an especially versatile tablet.


Parental decisions will hinge of function and pricing priorities.  Your child’s maturity level will also dictate how you want to proceed in selecting a tech device.  Accident plans are offered at extra costs with all of the Kindle ereaders and tablets, great for ensuring that an unexpected drop or spill doesn’t end your child’s tech experience.  Protective equipment is also strongly recommended for any tablet or ereader.  There are many Kindle accessories available, ranging from stylus and stand options to keyboards for the tablets.

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Meep or Kindle Fire for a Pre Teen? Which Tablet is Reliable?

Posted on | September 10, 2012 | 1 Comment

Kindle Fire Tablet for a Pre Teen

Kindle Fire Tablet for a Pre Teen

Meep or Kindle Fire for a Pre Teen: When You Want to Make a Smart Purchase, Tablet Comparisons Matter

The battle for the tablet dollars this holiday season is well under way, and there are some exciting new options at exciting prices. If you love touchscreen toys for your kids, or for yourself, then the tablet market can be really fun to explore. When it comes to investing your hard earned money, though, you want to know which tween tablet is reliable and ready to use out of the box. As reviews trickle in on newcomers to the market, there are some definite opinions about function and friendliness as you decide between Meep or Kindle Fire for a Pre Teen.

Kindle Fire has a year of rave reviews under its belt. The new version to be shipped beginning Sept. 14 is significantly less expensive, $159. With 1GB RAM and 8GB memory, the device is 40% faster. Additionally, your Kindle content is stored in the cloud, eliminating the need to try to balance the onboard memory. This is a great feature for tweens and kids who may have a tendency to select a lot of cheap content without understanding that space is limited. I’ve been frustrated when I’ve locked up tech devices because of storing too much content, and it’s not an intentional occurrence for anyone. Cloud storage is excellent for allowing you to have more content. Your pre teen still has to learn to make decisions about what will be kept on the device, of course.

The Kindle is ready to go out of the box, and with Wi-Fi connectivity, you don’t have to connect to a computer to use it. In fact, the company is proud of the fact that the device greets you by name as you get started. However, if you are ordering the device as a gift, you need to note that during the ordering process so that your child or grandchild isn’t wondering why your name is on the device.

Meep Tablet for Kids

Meep Tablet for Kids

The Meep tablet is new to the field, and early reviews are varied. Some love the kid-friendly interface. Others are challenged by glitches and store issues. These will most certainly get worked out over time. The sturdiness of the device is mentioned as one of the most kid-friendly features, with the screen slightly recessed so that it doesn’t directly contact a hard or damaging surface in the event of a fall. If your preteen is a bit clumsy or accident prone, you know that a fragile tablet may be a bad idea as a gift. Even my kids who aren’t often clumsy have had plenty of close encounters with gadget gifts. It’s important to consider an accident protection plan for any tablet PC for a child.  You will want to explore user reviews as you make your decision to purchase.


Both devices include parental control features, making it possible to monitor or manage your child’s interactive time with games and other activities.  For some parents, the priority in deciding between these two tablet comparisons and devices will hinge on cost.  For others, it will hinge on the character of the child to receive the device.  Still others will make their choices based on whether the device content is important.

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