The other day my three year old pointed to a landline phone that had a cord attached and wanted to know what was wrong with it. In his little preschooler world, he had never seen a phone with a cord, and he’s never used a desktop computer either. However you hand my little guy a tablet or iPhone and he can go to town like no body’s business.
Phones and computers have changed radically in the last few years and how we stay connected has changed by leaps and bounds. Laptops even are considered big and clunky and most of us carry iPhones, Androids or tablets to make staying connected always on the go possible with just the touch of a screen. Not only have these devices helped us connect better via e-mail, Skype and social media, but they’ve brought learning for our kids to a whole new level. The easy integrated formats have captured kid’s imaginations making it possible for kids and even babies to play on them, interact on them and even learn on them on a daily basis.
There’s no question that tablets are a great way for families and kids to connect, play and learn. So if you’re thinking about buying a tablet for your family, where do you begin? There’s lots of options, and it’s not an inexpensive investment. We’ve been considering purchasing another tablet for our children, and I had been checking out some of the options on my own. So it was great timing that Staples.com recently offered us the opportunity to check out the Google Nexus 7 Tablet as part of our holiday gift guide. Here’s what we thought and how this device compares in our own experience to the iPad and the Kindle Fire.
The world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions, I’ve relied on Staples for my personal and business office and school supply needs. However they also carry more than just printer ink and copier paper. Staples.com also carries a huge selection of some of the hottest holiday gadgets around. While I do normally do most of my Staples shopping in stores, I’ve spent some time on their site the last few weeks and have been really impressed on the variety of products the amount of information, reviews and more the site has to allow you to research right from home.
About the Product
We had to the opportunity to review the Nexus 7 16GB Tablet from Google. Here’s the specs courtesy of Staples.com
- Built to bring you the best of Google™ in a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand.
- 7″ display brings your entertainment to life in stunning clarity on a vibrant 1280-by-800 high-resolution display protected by scratch resistant Corning® glass
- Over 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing, 10 hours of reading and up to 300 hours of stand-by time so you spend less time charging
- Designed with gaming in mind
- Comes with a NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor, meaning everything is faster
- Powered by Android™ 4.1, Jelly Bean, the latest version of the world’s most popular mobile platform
- Nexus 7 was made for Google Play, so all the entertainment you love right is in your hand: the world’s largest collection of eBooks, millions of songs, thousands of movies and TV shows, and a growing selection of magazines – plus over 600,000 apps and games
- Nexus 7 comes with all your favorite Google Apps – like Gmail™, Chrome™, Google+™ and YouTube™
- 1.2MP Front-facing camera
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth™
- Android, Google, Google Now, Google Play, Google+, Gmail, YouTube and other marks are trademarks of Google Inc.
If you use Google, the Nexus was made for you.
The biggest thing that impressed me about this tablet was how easy it was to set up. I was really impressed on how easy it was to up. In less than 2 or 3 minutes I went from turning it on, to being able to log on to my most used programs like Gmail, Google +, Google apps and more. In just a few more clicks I was able to log onto my blog and do updates, shop and more.
An Affordable Tablet for the Whole Family
Our kids (ages 3 and 8) took to it instantly and love playing with the learning apps I downloaded and reading the ebooks. This is a great entry level tablet if you’re considering buying one for your family this holiday season. Navigation is simple, the picture and sound are crisp and clear and there’s an enormous selection of books, apps, movies and more to choose from on Google Play.
Compared to the Kindle Fire
I admit, while I have a Kindle Fire, I’m not the biggest Kindle fan lately. I had to go through 3 different Kindle Fires to get one that works, received far less than impressive or even quality customer care from their tech support, and I still don’t have a Kindle Fire that works properly. While my Kindle Fire is working now (for the time being) when I tested it side by side with the Nexus 7 Tablet, the Nexus won hands down. The Nexus was not only quicker to find a wi-fi signal and get online, but it was also able to detect a signal where the Kindle could not. I downloaded similar apps for both, and the Nexus also had a faster processing speed in loading and running the apps. While app selection is different for the 2 due to the different systems, both of them have a great variety and you’ll be able to find lots of goodies for either one you choose.
Compared to the iPad
Our family also has an iPad and while it’s a wonderful device, it’s also somewhat big and bulky. I get tired of holding it after a while and it’s also a bit heavy and bulky to lug around in my purse or briefcase. Because it’s such an expensive item, I also get a little nervous letting the kids use it, since I don’t want to have to replace it if it gets broken. While the selection of apps is different since the Nexus is an Android product and your iTunes apps won’t work on the Nexus, we still found an amazing selection of apps, songs, movies and more for the Nexus Tablet. I’ve also found the Nexus tablet a bit easier to use from a practicality standpoint since it incorporates all the Google programs I use constantly and it’s much easier to open and edit word documents, send e-mails and more. The smaller size is more kid friendly, especially for toddlers and preschoolers.
An Affordable, Easy to Use Tablet at a Great Price
Overall the Google Nexus 7 tablet is an affordable tablet and a great price (Under $250 normally and on sale for $199 this week on Staples.com!). It’s got a smaller size and slim design that makes transport easy, and it’s also an easy size to slide into a bag or briefcase to take on the go. Set up was really easy even for those of us who are technology challenged, and I love that it integrated instantly with the Google programs I use constantly for the blog. The battery life is great, it found wi-fi easily everywhere we took it and operation was simple and easy to navigate.
Shopping on Staples.com
Want to compare and contrast the pros and cons of this tablet — or any other gadget for the holidays before you buy? Staples.com makes it really easy to narrow down the choices and pick what you’re looking for. I was able to use their detailed information to pick which tablet was right for our family, and with quick and efficient, they’ll definitely be able to get your gifts to you safe and sound for the holidays.