About these posts

For personal reasons, I am suspending this blog. I am still working on my other blog which is currently located at http://dedide.info/xwtest on safe foraging for food.

kwezneutralsmallIntroducing Kwez, my Golden Retriever. She will often popup to convey my overall opinion in reviews, and my mood in rants/musings.

All opinions are my own. I am not beholden to any company and will express myself without fear or favour. I live in Australia which may slightly alter availability, prices or features of some hardware/apps compared to people’s experience in other countries.

Kwez says be sure to hover the mouse over all words with a dotted underline to see the glossary info, or if you want to you can browse the glossary itself.

Does size matter?

I recently had hands on a  4″ iPod Touch, a 5th generation device with 32 GB of storage running iOS8.0.3. A beautiful piece of kit, it is designed for one user at a time. An 7″ is usable by two users at a time, but only just. A 10″ tablet is a better proposition for two people looking at a screen at one time.

On the other end of the scale, tablet maker Nabi has produced a 24″ family tablet – see, for example, https://www.nabitablet.com/nabi-big-tab-hd24

Nabi are promoting their tablet as suitable for whole family use, or for kids in small groups. Presumably this is to combat the viewpoint that the use of tablets hinders/prevents children from developing social skills. It could also be considered a scheme to create a niche market.

I personally think that supersized tablets (especially with a battery life of only 30 minutes) are unnecessary and cumbersome. I favour controlled use of small tablet for kids, in with a mix of socialisation sessions – othrwise known as play dates, kinder and school, plus a healthy dose of outdoorsness.

What do you think?

Hardware 2015 Part 4

If you are an Apple household, you will probably want to kit the kids out with Apple tablets. I have had a look at the line-up of tablets that might suit little hands yet can run a wide range of educational and fun apps. So here are my candidates listed with some basic features and their current RRPs. Continue reading

Hardware 2015 Part 3

I was going to cover the Kindle Fire HD 7 in this post until I realised that it has no expansion card slot. As the model offered officially in Australia has only 8 GB of storage, with only 5 being available to the user, I bailed on this.  This is a real dealbreaker for me, although iPad devotees seem to able to cope with this. This tablet would be great for reading but the Amazon app shop is not as diverse as the Google app shop, so this is another reason I went with something that provides a much greater range of apps to use.

The Teclast X89 is a hybrid tablet that can boot into two  operating systems – Android and Windows

Continue reading

Hardware 2015 Part 2

Tablets reviews

My criteria

  • 7″ or 8″ form factor – suits little hands and lowers cost
  • at least 1 GB RAM and 8 GB built in storage – refer to glossary and previous articles on what this means. Many tablets targeted at kids are lacking in grunt e.g. only 512mb of RAM. This really cripples the device and kids will notice.
  • up to date version of the OS and access to upgrades plus an apps market that offers diversity and quality
  • WiFi only – this lowers cost and how many little kids really need access to a mobile data plan that could blow out of control
  •  quad core processor to make it fast enough – once again, kids will notice
  • at least 1280 x 800 px resolution for reasonable clarity

Comparisons

Over the next few posts, I will review three tablets that believe are value-for-money choices according to the criteria set out above.

The first one up for our 2015 revisit is … Continue reading

Hardware 2015 Part 1

The tablet hardware market in 2015 – overview

The market in 2015 has diversified with the the introduction of hybrid notebooks which are compact and have both touch screens and built-in keyboards. It may be that this category is taking market share from “pure” tablets. There is also a some indication that people are looking for tablets with WiFi and phone/mobile data capacity rather than WiFi only tablets. Continue reading