Six tablets for the kids this Christmas

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Tablets are all the rage these days, and there’s no reason for adults to have all the fun. While your teenagers may be frequently “borrowing” your iPad, for your younger offspring there many more child-friendly options available, many running Android-based software. Here’s a look at some child-friendly tablet offerings you may want to put under the tree this Christmas.

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Six tablets for the kids this Christmas

  1. 1. Six tablets for the kids this ChristmasTablets are all the rage these days, andthere’s no reason for adults to have allthe fun.While your teenagers may be frequently“borrowing” your iPad, for your youngeroffspring there are many more child-friendly options available, many runningAndroid-based software.Here’s a look at some child-friendly tabletofferings you may want to put under thetree this Christmas. Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net By Jeff Jedras
  2. 2. Intel StudyBookIntel Corp.This 7” Android Honeycomb tabletis the tablet answer to Intel’sLearning Series Classmate PCs, andit’s designed with education inmind (just don’t tell the kids).Powered by an Atom Z650 chip, theStudyBook is rugged to stand up tothe rigours of student life (includingwater resistance) and offers accessto a range of educational apps fromIntel’s Learning Series Ecosystem partners.Just don’t let the kids know they’re learning as they’re playing.
  3. 3. OLPC XO-3 One Laptop Per Child Never mind one laptop for every child; how about one tablet instead? The XO-3 boasts a durable plastic screen, a display with both transmissive and reflective options for use both indoors and outdoors, as well as a back-facing camera.run Android or Linux and is powered by a Marvell Armada PXA618 processor can The 8” tablet, priced at $100,with 4GB of storage and 512MB RAM.You can charge it using a solar panel or a hand crank, ensuring your kids willneed to either exercise or spend time outside.
  4. 4. MEEPOregon ScientificUnlike our first two entries, the MEEP ismarketed and aimed directly at childrenand leads with gaming and fun, rather thaneducation.For $150, it’s a 7” Android 4.0 tabletpowered by a 1.0GHz Cortex A8 processorwith 512MB RAM. Built rugged with silicongrips, it’s pre-loaded with kid-friendlyapps, games and e-books with the optionto download more.There’s also a parental management optionto control what the kids can play, and forhow long.
  5. 5. iXL 6-in-1 Learning System Fisher Price For kid-friendly products, it’s hard to go wrong with Fisher Price. Be warned, though: the iXL is definitely aimed more at toddlers than tweens with ages three to five recommended. If you believe it’s never too early to getthem started though, this (pre) kindergarten tablet offers interactive stories,games, a music player and drawing application.For $79.99, you can prepare your young one for a gadget-filled future.
  6. 6. iPad MiniApple Inc.If you’d rather not limit your children to a child-centric tablet, or you want them to indoctrinatethem into the Apple crowd early, the smaller size(and price) of Apple’s new iPad Mini may be theway to go.And with Apple’s apps store, there are hundredsof child-friendly apps to choose from.It doesn’t offer the rugged features of purpose-built devices though, so watch out for jam hands(and invest in a good case).
  7. 7. Microsoft Surface Microsoft Corp. If you’re not on Team Apple, why not try to enlist your child early on the opposite side: Team Microsoft? (You can tell them it’s the grown-up version of Team Edward vs. Team Jacob). The app store is more of a work in progress than Apple’s, but what better way to steer your child intoan IT career (or maybe encourage them to consider another path) than a Microsofttablet?Although, if they have no prior Windows experience, the touch-friendly Windows 8may be a revelation.

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