questionstablet for a child

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Pretty much anything actually useful will have internet access.

If I might ask, what is the problem with an 11 year old having internet access?

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The parental controls on the ipad are solid. They built it into the OS for exactly this situation. The only downside is the ipad's price. The Kindle Fire is nice, and much cheaper, but it's not the same thing. There are tablets, and there's the ipad. I sound like a fanboy, but it's the truth.

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As a parent of 9 (almost 10) and 13 year old boys, I have to say I think your nephew would be disappointed with a child's type tablet. The companies that manufacture these really dumb them down and add a lot of "babyish" type features (sounds, bright colors).

If you want to get him something he can really use, I would go for a regular tablet. There are so many apps out there that will be very useful for him - especially for school. Kids are required to do a lot of internet research for school now. My 13 year old has an ipad and takes it to school for note-taking. My 9 year old has an Ipod Touch that he does a lot of internet research on and we're debating between an Ipad and a Kindle Fire for him for Christmas.

As @rprebel mentioned, the parental controls on the ipad are very good. If you go with another tablet, discuss with nephew's parents and see what they can do as far as limiting his internet access. With Fios, we are able to turn off wireless on a specific time schedule

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There are ipads, and there's the tablets. I am a fanboy, and it's the truth.

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Even if it has Internet access, you can limit that at home by making sure your using an access code on your wireless router and not putting the access code in on the tablet. You can do all the updates and downloading of apps yourself.

As far as going out where there might be free access Wi-Fi, you should be with him and can control that personally.

Just a thought.

And I agree that a 10yr old will be disappointed with a child's tablet. They're in the computer labs at school almost every day and exposed to a lot of technology.

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First of all, I would clear it with his parents if you haven't already. I have an 11 year old that really wants an iPod touch this year, but I'm not ready to get him one. I prefer to keep his internet access on our common family computer at this point. He is also not on Facebook or other social networking sites yet. In my opinion, middle school is a time period where it is really easy for kids to say awful things behind the shield of a computer. I think my son is a great kid and I don't expect him to get in trouble, but I prefer to wait until his decision making is a little more mature before making this leap. Just my opinion.

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I got a touchpad for my 6-year-old niece back when it was on sale. You are better off buying a fully-functional tablet now (with some type of insurance/damage policy) and letting the little guy grow up with it.

I have seen the "kid-friendly" tablets and they will not serve his needs. He's going to need a real one with internet access in a year anyway.

If you really want to thwart internet access, change the wifi password at his home and tell his parents to not let him roam places with public wifi. Although, I am not sure why you think not allowing internet access will somehow protect him from the ills of the world. Mubarak tried shutting down the internet in Egypt and it didn't work out too well for him. People still found a way around it and so will your nephew. The best thing you can do is hope his parents taught him about responsibility and trust.

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A Flintstones Vitamin Tablet. Then send him to play outside.

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I didn't see this mentioned, but what's your price point? That might help in getting some better recommendations.

There's some good technology out there for an 11 year old, both tablet (iPad2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, EeePad Transformer, IdeaPad K1, Thrive, etc) or e-reader based (Nook Tablet/Color, Kindle Fire, etc).

Also form factor is something to consider. Some tablets are 10 inches (thereabouts). Perhaps a 7 inch tablet (like the forthcoming Galaxy Tab 7.7) would be better for smaller hands.

Some of these can be spendy, so knowing your breaking point is a good thing to consider.

Getting something with a little older technology will help keep the price down and it may help teach the youngster something too (like how to get the most of out of older technology by hacking/rooting it)...just an idea.

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Kids are amazingly tech savvy. I believe in nurturing that. I personally would not limit technology/learning how it works. My son built his first gaming computer when he was 11. He is now 13 and has modded out our Touchpads with Cyanogen (Android), SuperNES for Mario Bros., Nintendo 64 etc. and this week will throw Linux on there.

Let the kids explore.

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@baqui63: Hi, I don't mind you asking at all.

Giving an 11 year old a tablet with internet access is basically giving him unsupervised access, and that's not what they want. Obviously, he'll be taking it with him everywhere and his parents aren't always going to be able to supervise his access. Even when they're with him it's not as if they'll be looking over his shoulder checking where he is online.
Children need to be monitored very carefully where the internet is concerned.

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@rprebel: I hear you. But since this is for someone who's only 11, I don't think he'll mind not having the real deal.

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@thunderthighs: Now that's a good idea.
Although he'd have access on it if he were at a friend's house so that would only work at his house. But still a good idea.

I'm wondering if the way to go is to simply remove the browser software. Is that an option?

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@alpayton: His parents are the ones who'll be buying and giving it to him, but since they know less than nothing about computer technology :), Auntie is doing the research for them.

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@jasmine - You are a good auntie! :)

I think whether you can disable the browser will depend on the tablet. I know on the iPod touch there is a setting that will allow you to turn off browser functionality. You should be able to look up this info on the Internet for specific tablets you are considering.

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As a parent myself... my biggest worry is paying a great deal of money for a tablet that my 11 yr old ends up loosing or damaging after only a few weeks. I too think a tablet is a great idea but would like to see a solution that isn't expensive but offers the same functionality of a full tablet.

I have found such a solution with the KIZTEK Socializer at only $135.

The tablet is 7" screen tablet that allows you to read books, play games, play music, view photos, surf the internet, download apps, watch movies, check email, and even has a schedule, clock, and calculator built in.

Its not an IPAD but it also doesn't cost some $500 either. Also they are selling the tablet with a leather case and keyboard.

You can check it out at http://www.kiztek.com/specials

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I got the inexpensive Coby for my 2-year-old and it's worked great with a little work. She watches videos, plays the children's games and some of the timewaster games (angry birds, etc).
The lock keeps her off the internet except when I need to add software.

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Although this thread is old, I'll add this link for those looking for a "new" answer:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57509518-93/toys-r-us-unwraps-$150-tabeo-tablet-for-kids/
or
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13265885

The Tabeo tablet is a Kid-Friendly, Android-based device that will price at around $150 on debut.