Tech Tuesday: Tablets for kids

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by SHANNON POWELL HART

WFAA/GMT

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 2:45 PM

If you are shopping for a little one, an educational tech gift may be in order. A recent poll shows at least 72 percent of children have used a mobile device. As part of “Generation C” or the “Connected Generation”, technology companies are making tablets geared toward the younger user.

Leap Frog was one of the first companies to create tablets specifically for children. The educational toy maker geared its tablet towards those ages 3-9. Now, there is a new series of LeapPad 2 products. It is a portable, durable and just the right sized tablet for little hands. Children can use their finger or a stylist to operate the tablet or play a game. This tablet has a camera on the front and back. The tablet ranges in price from $80 to about $150. 

The XO Tablet is another tablet for children. It allows for use by three people with different accounts. Parents can monitor each person or child’s usage. Kids can play games, use age-appropriate apps, e-books and content from companies like Scholastic. This is also a multilingual tablet that is on the Android operating system. It cost about $149.

Samsung has jumped into the kid tablet business. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids comes with a bright protective bumper case. This tablet is designed for kids and use by parents too. It allows for more than one user. There is standard mode and kid mode. In kid mode there are educational, gaming and entertainment apps. Parental controls are built in so parents can manage access and the amount of time a child can spend in the digital world. So, it is a family tablet at $199.

The Camelio Tablet by Vivitar is less expensive at $99 and is also a family tablet with up to five users. A child’s favorite character will make this fun with a change of the back cover to ‘Hot Wheels” to a “Hello Kitty” plate. There are limited parental controls for this tablet. This is a good option at a reasonable cost.

E-mail spowell@wfaa.com

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