One favour Apple did the Android industry when they priced their iPad was to offer an opportunity to come up with a tablet that was a little bit more forgiving to both grubby finger prints and the wallet.
UPDATED for October 2013 – Kids’ Tablet Review: Samsung Galaxy 3 Kids, Kurio 7s, Nabi 2
While the iPad Mini may be a nod towards this, the price is still too high to risk in the hands of an over-enthusiastic 7 year old.
Does your child need a tablet?
The pro’s and con’s of whether your child really needs their own tablet is a popular discussion point on the parent networks and its well worth reading this Parent Dish article if you aren’t sure. For those of you leaning towards getting a family friendly tablet (and there is not denying that touch screens and parental controls make these highly attractive) we have checked out three of the big players aiming to find a niche in the market.
How do they perform?
The Kurio 7 and Nabi2 have been designed specifically with kids aged 8+ in mind. Both claim they give kids independence to discover apps and games whilst ensuring a safe, controlled environment to keep mum and dad happy. Both have been built with wear and tear in mind and will withstand being dropped and bumped (within reason) thanks to their child friendly rubber outers.
Wired’s Geekdad recommends the Kurio 7 summing it up as ‘a durable little tablet with a kid-friendly interface. It comes pre-loaded with some great games (Angry Birds, World of Goo, Doodle Jump and more) and parental controls are easy to set up.’ However they note that the ‘The user interface has a few annoying quirks’ such as having to hit ‘ok’ more than once to save settings on some screens which doesn’t suit speedy navigation.
The Nabi 2 also comes with strong reviews and it’s maker Fuhu claims that it’s ‘faster than the Kindle Fire and more powerful than the iPad 2’ which are big claims. Matched with over £100 of free apps, games and other content this tablet is definitely worth looking at. PC Mag put it through it’s paces and were pleasantly surprised with the results, check out their article here.
What are the costs?
The Kurio 7 comes in at £149.99 and can be bought from John Lewis, Argos, Toys R Us. The Nabi 2 is in stock at Argos, Tesco and Smyths UK for £149.99. The Amazon Kindle Fire has just been released with prices starting at £129 increasing to £159 16GB (£199 32GB) for the HD version and can be bought direct from Amazon or on the high street at Waterstones.
It is remarkable how advanced family tablets have become in such a short time span. The Nabi 2 and Kurio 7 could be good solutions for parents who prioritise a fun and safe tablet experience, probably have their own high-end tablet and aren’t keen to share it with their kids. The Kindle Fire will be more appropriate as a family tablet if you are looking for a solution to cover everyones requirements, give you the latest in tablet technology while still maintaining the controls to keep tabs on your kids (although it might be less keen on being thrown across the room).