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Wedding Woes

Who has a tablet?

We were toying with the idea of getting Son a tablet or netbook for xmas.  However, we do not want to spend crazy money on one (or we'd just buy him a laptop).  We just can't afford it right now (a laptop) and he's only 11 so he doesn't need anything super fancy.

We found a few no-name brands that are less than $100 and one in that price range is a 10in screen.  It's got terrible reviews, but most of them are complaining that it's nothing like an ipad.  We know going into it that it's not going to be the greatest and we don't care that it's not an ipad for an 11yo.

We thought he'd like to have one for games, movies, and maybe typing some stuff for school (we'd get him a keyboard attachment we found on amazon), even though he's got full access to the computers at school as well as my laptop if he needs it.

Today, Walmart has a Blackberry tablet for $150, $100 off normal price. And it's a 7in. The reviews of this tablet are waaaaaaay better than the other one we've been thinking about.

So WWYD?  Buy the bigger screen no-namer because it's so cheap ($80) and considering it's for an 11yo?  Or spend almost double to get a name-brand tablet (that's smaller) because it's probably going to work better?

I see it from both sides.  I'm worried that if we go with the cheaper one, it'll be so slow he'll get frustrated and never use it.  But would you spend $150 for a tablet for an 11yo?  We can afford the $150 for his Santa gift, but that doesn't mean we have to spend it, you know?

I guess I'm looking for advice because I know nothing about tablets and apps and speed and what's good for all of it.

Re: Who has a tablet?

  • Also - if we're going to spend $150 on a Blackberry tablet, should we spend $160 on the Kindle Fire?  Where do we draw the line?

  • We have multiple tablets at this point (stares at DH).

    I'll be honest, at least do a Kindle Fire.  It'll have lots and lots of apps that he can use and it'l be easy b/c it's all through Amazon (free daily app).  Or the new Google Tablet, again lots and lots of apps to use that'll be easy (through Google Marketplace Apps).  If you guys have Android smartphones, it'll be even easier.  Blackberry is on it's way out, this is a last dtich effort on their part to remain relevant.  If they go, the support system does as well.

    The no-name ones just aren't worth it at all. We've tried to help friends root those things so that they're at least useable and they're just crap really.  They don't have the support systems that you're going to be used to if you have a smartphone, which means it has to be rooted, then it'll crash, etc, etc.
  • We don't have smartphones.

    We were wondering about the Kindles.  We know they're going to be good, but again, we're hesitant about the money.

    But, if we get the cheapie and he can't use it - we've wasted $80.

  • AuntFloAuntFlo member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    From the research we've done (DH really wanted an iPad and I've tried to talk him into something different) a cheap-o is not worth it.  The Kindle Fire seems like the way to go.

    ETA: maybe you can find a used/refurbished Kindle Fire.
  • Thanks for the warning against Blackberry.  I had no idea they weren't so popular anymore.



  • Agreed. Kindle fire at minimum. 

    And yes, I'd spend that money for an 11yo. Hell, if we only had one kid, we probably would have bought Dex his own thing by now. A friend of mine has bought a kindle fire for his 3yo. It's all hers and keeps her entertained on car rides and in doctor's waiting rooms. 

    I will say to budget a little bit more for apps/games. There are some free ones, of course, but most of the good ones are $1-$3. Start adding it up, and you are slowly edging out of your price range. (Of course, son could also probably buy some of his own but would have to reimburse you, because I think you need a credit card to go through any of those marketplaces.)

    Also consider refurbished items. It can be a big money saver and usually comes with a pretty good warranty.

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  • And, honestly, what's he going to use it for? Would something like an iPod touch (refurbished) be more suitable?

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  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2012
    Okay, you guys won't be so used to having certain things then.

    Google has LOTS of free apps.  Amazon doesn't have quite as many free, but they do a daily free one that is usually a game.  Thinking back, I think an 11 year old would like quite a few, might find a few too babyish and then some he might not be interested in at all, but you guys might (more office, family planning type things).

    I don't think Netflix Instant works with anything but an Android or an IPad app.  I think Amazon has an app for it too, but you might check on the website.  Nook also has an app.  You can get any of the e-reader apps on almost anything of the name branded ones.

    If you buy No Name Brand, you're going to be linked to No Name Brand's apps/marketplace.  No Name Brand doesn't have a lot of apps, b/c no one wants to make apps for No Name Brand, b/c they won't sell enough $2.99 apps to recoup their investment.  They make for Apple and Android (Amazon is Android) b/c they make $ that way.  You can root No Name Brand to make Android systems work on it, but that's a PITA and might be unstable, have to be done multiple times.  I have yet to have any friends who bougth No Name Brands be happy with the tablet straight out of box.

    ETA: This is coming out weird.  Google has an Android Marketplace and Amazon has an Android marketplace too.  There are many same apps, but also different in each.  So, you have multiple ways to get your hands on Android apps, is what I'm saying.
  • I don't have one but I totally agree with V's assessment. Better to spend the little extra for a good model. If you are worried about son abusing and breaking it, then just tell him if he breaks it, he's got to pay for repairs or replacement or he'll have to live lufe without it. If you mean it, that kind of thinking works wonders for years and deades to come.
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  • I have nothing on the tablet thing, but does he still believe in Santa?  If not maybe you could do the "this is a pretty big gift, maybe you'll get some Christmas money and we could go together on this and find a deal after Christmas."  Then surprise him Christmas morning.  That way he'll know that's a really big deal.

  • NoNames also tend to have really poor responsiveness, the touch screens are crap and sometimes aren't even capacitive (that is, they are pressure-sensitive, not touch-sensitive), everything runs slower, there's almost no support, blah blah blah. 

    Definitely go with a brand name. The Kindle Fire is better at "tablet-y" functions (apps, games) than its Nook counterpart, mostly because of that Android backbone. But the Nook is worth a look if he's going to be using it almost exclusively as an e-reader (which I am guessing is not the case). IDK too much about the Google tablets except that it is a brand name, and they get good reviews. 

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_who-has-a-tablet?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:47Discussion:3b9024b2-d148-4933-a8b4-1af43b8fba45Post:42e74796-3a3e-451b-b007-3ade35b0b7b3">Re: Who has a tablet?</a>:
    [QUOTE]And, honestly, what's he going to use it for? Would something like an iPod touch (refurbished) be more suitable?
    Posted by DG1[/QUOTE]

    We thought he'd like it for long car rides and just playing with it in general - games, music, movies, using the internet (he likes youtube).  And if he needs to type something up for school, he could do that, too, though like I said above, he could do that AT school or on my laptop.

  • DG's right about that stuff too.  

    also, honestly, I hate our Nook Color.  I far prefer the old Nook original e-reader for reading and a separate tablet for the other stuff.  Our Nook color is kind of useless for us and DH is suppose to be restoring it back to normal to sell on EBay.
  • You might start feeling annoyed at this point.  :)

    If you want him to be able to access internet anywhere anytime, you're going to need a 3G capacity.  This will be a more expensive tablet.

    Anything else is only where there's WiFi.  Cheaper tablet.

    I'm not sure about Androids, but the IPad has a note taking feature that DH uses in class.  He just writes his notes right on the IPad, no keyboard necessary.  He found a stylus for $20 online.  One last warning I'd give is that this isn't a replacement for a computer, so I wouldn't think of this as a possible school related purchase.  You'll find things like typing in a word processing program might not be mergeable over to another computer (or if it will, it might be more work to reformat than it's worth).  If he uses GMail, they have a word processing internally that might work better, but it will be slow.  Tablets aren't really super fast.
  • As far as apps and such, we'd probably set a limit as to how much money we're going to put into it and then he can buy games with his own money if he wants more.

    We're not worried about him abusing it - he's pretty good with his things.  We were just thinking that he didn't need something so fancy because when it comes to tablets, he doesn't know any better, if that makes sense.  But he definitely knows that if he breaks something (his phone, video games, etc) he doesn't get another one.

    6- he doesn't believe in Santa, but we did let him know he'd continue to get Santa gifts like always.

    I had major reservations about the no-namer being non-functional so this is what I needed to hear, I think.


  • Another thing - a cover. 

    A cover is absolutely essential, no matter what you get. At the very least, you want something to prevent scratches, especially if he's going to sometimes be carrying it around in a backpack. With an 11yo boy, you might also want something a little rugged to give it more protection from abuse. 

    They exist at several price points (and maybe you can suggest it as a gift from grandma or another family member, or a GC for one so he can pick the design or whatever). But the more rugged ones are more expensive. If you do get the Kindle Fire, though, at least it's been out a while, and you can probably find a quality cover at a reasonable price on amazon.



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  • tawillerstawillers member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    No, I'm not annoyed at all, V.  This is all great info.  Keep it coming if you have more.

    We do know that he won't have internet access everywhere, and that's fine with us.  We have wi-fi at home and that's all he really needs.  The car rides comment was more about games and movies that have already been downloaded.

    We assumed that all tablets are also e-readers so we didn't think it was a big deal.  Are we wrong in assuming that?  He would use it for books and we thought the e-reader component was a given.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_who-has-a-tablet?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:47Discussion:3b9024b2-d148-4933-a8b4-1af43b8fba45Post:522cd1ab-70d8-474f-a02c-95971f7c562d">Re: Who has a tablet?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>Another thing - a cover.  A cover is absolutely essential, no matter what you get</strong>. At the very least, you want something to prevent scratches, especially if he's going to sometimes be carrying it around in a backpack. With an 11yo boy, you might also want something a little rugged to give it more protection from abuse.  They exist at several price points (and maybe you can suggest it as a gift from grandma or another family member, or a GC for one so he can pick the design or whatever). But the more rugged ones are more expensive. If you do get the Kindle Fire, though, at least it's been out a while, and you can probably find a quality cover at a reasonable price on amazon.
    Posted by DG1[/QUOTE]

    Definitely on the list.  Along with screen protectors.  There seems to be a large selection - 14 pages - on amazon.


  • You can download the Kindle app for just about every tablet. Plus the iPads have iBooks - IDK if the other tablets have something similar.  I definitely use my iPad as my e-reader, but I don't e-read too much these days, so it's NBD.

    But if you are using it 99% of the time as an e-reader, you're probably better off getting an e-reader, because of weight, size, and the screen (e-ink vs. the emitted light that would hurt your eyes trying to read on it after a while). 

    One comparison between the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire is how much memory it has for "other" stuff. Even though they have models with the same capacity, the Nook doesn't have as much room for that stuff, because it dedicates a good chunk of its storage for B&N downloads only. Kindle, notsomuch. 

    (That probably didn't make much sense... Basically, if you are looking for an e-reader that you can occasionally do other stuff on, the Nook and Kindle are pretty comparable. If you're looking for a tablet for apps that you occasionally read on, the Kindle is a little better than the Nook.)

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  • I know you don't want to spend the money but we got DD an iPad and it's been wonderful for her. She's not even 2. I would agree with the others and say MINIMUM get the Kindle Fire or a Nook Color.
  • You can also download the Nook app for almost anything as well.  I'm not sure on the IBook app.  W

    We use both the Kindle and Nook reader apps, b/c both will have different free books.  Prices tend to usually be the same anymore, even on the reduced ones.  Again though, a No Name Tablet might not have those apps (I would venture to guess they don't, b/c Nook and Amazon would want to keep their proprietary stuff).  They might have a knock off e-reader that is useable for the libraries or transferring bought e-books, but you'll find the format hairy sometimes.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_who-has-a-tablet?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:47Discussion:3b9024b2-d148-4933-a8b4-1af43b8fba45Post:ed5959df-01f9-42c7-95a8-051f550f3cce">Re: Who has a tablet?</a>:
    [QUOTE](That probably didn't make much sense... Basically, if you are looking for an e-reader that you can occasionally do other stuff on, the Nook and Kindle are pretty comparable. If you're looking for a tablet for apps that you occasionally read on, the Kindle is a little better than the Nook.)
    Posted by DG1[/QUOTE]

    This makes complete sense.  I'd say the Kindle would be better for us, then.

  • I bought my Goddaughter a no-name netbook for her bday last year and it never even worked. I had to return it and ended up buying her a IPod touch instead. She's five and takes excellent care of it.

    I have a google tablet and so does H and we love them. Since Android is an Open Source market, anything is possible as far as apps, as long as they aren't harmful to the O/S. I have a free app on my android phone that allows me to use my phone as an internet connection, I can connect using wi-fi anywhere.

    Handhelditems4U.com has lots of accessories that are really inexpensive to use as stocking stuffers. Sometimes you can find a promo code too. I would definitely recommend a protective case though.

  • Oh a note about access on DD's iPad - we ONLY have the wi-fi on it. All of her apps are non-internet so it's not a big deal and it's not a big deal when H and I use it.
  • Also, her older sisters have android tablets that her parents purchased on QVC for Christmas. They were inexpensive and work great. Neither has had any issue and they were returnable if there had been.
  • DH got me an HP Touchpad last year, and I like it. I use it only to surf when we're watching TV at home or to watch movies on planes. For my purposes, it works. It sucks to have to type anything more than a sentence though.

    However, they don't make it anymore, and there's not that much in terms of free apps your son would enjoy.

    H has the iPad, and he uses it constantly, but that's his job, so there's that.

    I say go with the Kindle.
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  • re: stylus - I got a 14-pack on Amazon for $14. They're great.

    Anyway, sounds like we vote Kindle and we've mostly managed to convince you. :)

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  • DG, thanks for the stylus recommendation.  I'm sending that to DH.
  • The new kindle fire HD is very inexpensive, I would not recommend it for an adult as a main tablet, but for a child or preteen it is perfect. Plus if the kid breaks it or if it gets lost or stolen it is not like they lost an Ipad or Galaxy.
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