Your child wants a tablet for games and school work. What's the best deal out there in the marketplace?
Picking the right tablet for a child
There's a full-featured tablet called the Asus MeMO Pad that holds cost down so if your child breaks it or loses it, it won't hurt your wallet as much. MeMOs were selling for $89, but they've been moving so well that the cheapest in the marketplace I've seen recently is $99. Look for any price point somewhere around $100 for this 7-inch tablet.
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At around $100, the MeMO offers more versatility, a big screen and a lot of free games. Among the manufacturer's advertised specs on this budget tablet:
- Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 7 ’’ display with 10-finger mult-touch (1024x600, 169 PPI)
- 7 hours of battery life for all-day computing
- 358g light and 11.2mm thin with colorful design
- Front HD camera to stay connected with online chatting
- Micro-SD slot with support for up to 32GB extra storage
- ASUS WebStorage to view, edit and save Microsoft Office files online
Meanwhile, you'll probably see a slew of marketing this season for kid-oriented tablets that lets parents control use with timers, restrictive browsing and other features. These can be great for parents of younger kids who want to make sure they don't stumble on unsuitable content. Toys R Us has a very large selection, but you'll even find some permissive tablets at Sam's Club.
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But don't spend a lot of money on these things because it's not long before a kid outgrows a kid-only tablet. They're typically geared to those 6 years old and younger. When your child graduates to a real tablet, I'd recommend you buy a used iPad if you're in the Apple orbit, or a tablet like the Asus MeMO if you're an Android person.
One word of warning: Some 75% of kids as young as 4 years old are now using tablets and smartphones, according to a new study. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents that a kid's screen time in total -- across smartphones, tablets, computers and TV -- should not exceed 2 hours a day. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Lay down house rules about technology use for your kids.
- Limit total screen time to 2 hours.
- Establish a strict curfew for when screens have to be turned off.
- Never leave a tablet or smartphone in your child's room.
- Set the rules and be a tough enforcer!
Looking for some money-saving advice? See our Money section.