Need help buying a tablet for my son

My 11 YO son is wanting a tablet for Christmas and I am pretty clueless on what to get. He wants an iPAD but that is not in the budget. I am looking more at the 7" screen tablets but there are so many I dont know where to begin.

Looking at spending $150 or less if possible and I see some as low as $60. What he would use it for would be playing games, watching movies (Netflix), youtube maybe, some internet access as well. Can the lower priced, off-brand tablets do these things or do I need to look towards the Kindle Fire?

What do I need to look for in a device? Wifi, processor, storage mainly?

Thanks for the help

How about an iPod Touch? It’s not a tablet, but you can buy them refurbished for about $150, and you would not have to worry about software compatibility.

I would think a smaller device like that would be better for a kid than a tablet. He’s not going to be lugging around a 7" tablet with him everywhere, whereas a phone-sized device fits in a pocket (and the iPod Touch is very thin and light).

The OP said the device would be for the kid to watch movies, play games and browse the internet on. He’s not going to want to do that on an iPod touch.

There are a lot of questions wrapped into that seemingly simple question, and a lot of it will come down to personal preference.

I will note that the Android Nexus 7 (a 7inch tablet by Google) is getting rave review in terms of screen quality, battery life, and overall build quality and can be found for around $200. For my money, if you were willing to spend that much, you get a device that is much more versatile and will grow with your son a bit better and (probably) fit his desires a bit better than the Kindle Fire will. If I was personally given the choice between this and an iPad, I would take the Nexus every single time. But I am an android person.

That said, depending on what he needs (what you are willing to give him), you can find a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for a lot less than the Nexus 7 right now. I am seeing them on sale in several places for $150 and they are good products. You can probably find older models for less.

I don’t know, that’s sort of the entire point of the iPod Touch. It’s just like an iPhone, except without the cellular radio. I watch movies, play games and browse the internet on my iPhone just fine.

That said, if you can find a Samsung Galaxy Tab for $150 though that would be a better deal. I would not buy a Kindle Fire. A general-purpose Android tablet is better for a kid.

I would go with the Nexus 7, although it is slightly above your “would like to keep it below” range.

Build quality is good, reviews are great. It should be (immediate) future proof.

the closest you can get to a worthwhile tablet in your price range is the Nexus 7, and that’s $199. The stuff you normally see at $150 and below is garbage and not worth buying. Usually stuff churned out by some unknown Chinese company with rotten touch screens, outdated versions of Android (which will never get updated,) and so on.

the other option is to watch like a hawk and see what price you can get a refurb iPad 2 for.

to be fair, if I’m buying a device for which movie watching is one of its primary functions, I’m not going to buy something as small as an iPod touch. netflix is much more pleasant on my iPad than on my iPhone, though the phone would work in a pinch.

Another vote for the nexus 7, I’m extremely pleased with mine. I hummed and hahed about buying one but i’ve found it totally worth the money.

Thanks for the feedback. I will check out the Nexus. So the $69 cyber deal for a Coby Kryos at a major toy store would be junk, correct?

I think it’s the other way around. If the kid is getting into homebrews and jailbreaking his tablet, then a straight android machine is good. But if the kid isn’t interested in that, or if cncdad is an Amazon prime member, or simply gets all his stuff from Amazon, than the Fire is ideal. It will have the cloud stored books & music, the Prime free videos, and more than enough games and stuff to keep him busy.

The general android tablets can’t match the Kindle (or the iPod) for integration with all the user’s content. It’s the content, not the hardware, that makes it a great little toy.

My dad wanted to save money in the tablet department and got a kryos. About 4 months later he caved and got a refurbished ipad - and he’s super cheap too.

The touch screen on that thing makes it virtually unusuable - even to read.

Kindle Fire if you’re big on the Amazon ecosystem or if the $40 difference is a major issue, Nexus 7 otherwise. Those are the only two defensible choices for new devices in the sub-$200 range, and they’re both really good.

Don’t waste your money on a Coby Kyros! We bought one last Christmas. It was extremely fragile–our daughter broke it just by dropping it a few inches onto the carpet. It is also not a “Google Approved” device, meaning you cannot access the Google Play store. We tried to hack it twice, with no luck.

Laugh if you want, but I bought a Blackberry Playbook. It works very well as an e-reader, I can browse to my heart’s content, watch videos, or even do some work in Word or Excel.

filth. offal. put it this way, the Nexus 7 is $199 and most industry types agree google is basically giving them away at that price. someone trying to sell you a “tablet” for $70 is figuratively taking a dump in your hand.

I haven’t used Word or Excel stuff on mine, but I do use my Playbook as an e-reader, web browser, e-mail system…etc.

I personally would never laugh at someone for buying one. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for the help. I will go with either the Kindle or the Samsung then.

How big a deal is compatibility if you generally use Apple products (PC and phone) but opt for a Nexus tablet?

Hey–Kindle Fire is $129, today only.