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The ultimate guide to...

Kids' tablet PCs

Tablet PCs are fast becoming a must-have item for the home. And more are being made exclusively for children. But do you know your slate from your convertible or your HDMI from your Wi-Fi? Let us guide you through what you need to know before letting your little ones wild online.

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Kurio tablets

Android device with a high resolution screen, HD video playback and supports Flash 11. WiFi-enabled for internet on the move. Pre-loaded profiles so children are protected while online to play and learn on their own, in safety.

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Ideal for 4-9 years old. Excellent entry-level tablet including e-book reader. Includes rotating self-portrait camera and microphone for enhanced game play.

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LeapPad2 Explorer inspires kids to imagine and explore with front-and-back cameras and video recorders, 4GB of memory and a library of 325+ cartridges and downloadable apps, including eBooks, videos, music, creativity apps and more for limitless learning and fun.

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Parental controls: Content filters

Your child only has access to age appropriate content.

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Usage controls

You can constrain the usage of the devices such as placing time-limits on usage or blocking certain types of usage eg. after 7pm.

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Computer usage tools

This allows you, as parents, to enforce learning time into your child's computing time. You can also do it together.

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You can track the location of the device and the activity being undertaken.

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Tablet PCs compared to desktop PCs:


  • They can be used in environments not conducive to a keyboard and mouse such as lying in bed or standing
  • Tablets are light weight, lower power models and can function similarly to dedicated E-book readers like the Amazon Kindle
  • The touch environment makes navigation easier than a conventional keyboard and mouse or touch pad. It can make it easier to draw pictures, create music, or for mouse-oriented games and for people with certain disabilities
  • Digital painting and image editing are more precise and intuitive for your budding Picasso than painting or sketching with a mouse
  • The ability for easier or faster entry of diagrams, mathematical notations, and symbols
  • Some users find it more direct and pleasant to use a stylus, pen or finger to point and tap on objects, rather than use a mouse or touchpad
  • Tablets typically have longer battery life than laptops or netbooks. So you're not tied to a plug socket
  • The virtual keyboard is lit, thus more suitable to dark a bedroom after lights out.
  • Disadvantages:

  • Slower input speed: handwriting or typing on a virtual keyboard can be significantly slower than typing speed on a conventional keyboard
  • Some devices also support external keyboards (eg. most tablets accept Bluetooth keyboards, and USB keyboards through dock connector-to-USB adapter.)
  • Less user-friendly ergonomics: a tablet computer, or a folded slate PC, does not provide room for a wrist rest, and the user's arm must move constantly while writing
  • Weaker video capabilities: graphics might not be as riveting and glorious
  • Higher screen risk: Tablet computers are handled more than conventional laptops so they run a higher risk of screen damage from being dropped or thrown during a tantrum
  • Higher risk of smaller hands dropping the device.
  • Glossary

    The world of tablet PCs is full of jargon and terms you've never heard of before. We've tried to cut through the techno-babble and explain the terms you need to know.

    • Operating system: An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs require an operating system to function. Examples of popular modern operating systems include Android, BSD, iOS, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, and IBM z/OS
    • Accelerometer: A device that detects the physical movements of the tablet. This allows greater flexibility of use since tablets do not necessarily have a fixed direction of use. The accelerometer can detect the orientation of the tablet relative, and movement of the tablet, both of which can be used as an alternative control interface for a tablet's software.
    • Ambient light and proximity sensors: Are additional "senses", that can provide controlling input for the tablet.
    • Storage drive: Large tablets use storage drives similar to laptops, while smaller ones tend to use drives similar to MP3 players or have on-board flash memory. They also often have ports for removable storage such as secure digital (SD) cards. Due to the nature of the use of tablets, solid-state memory is often preferable due to its better resistance to damage during movement.

    ...Glossary cont'd

    • Wireless: Because tablets by design are mobile computers, wireless connections are less restrictive to motion than wired connections. WiFi connectivity has become ubiquitous among tablets. Bluetooth is commonly used for connecting peripherals and communicating with local devices in place of a wired USB connection.
    • 3D: Following mobile phone, there are also 3D slate tablet with dual lens at the back of the tablet and also provided with blue/red glasses.
    • Docking station: Some newer tablets are offering an optional docking station that has a full-size qwerty keyboard and USB port, providing both portability and flexibility.
    • WiFi: A popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves) over a computer network, including high-speed internet connections.
    • HDMI: (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a compact audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed digital audio/video data from an HDMI-compliant device to a compatible digital audio device, computer monitor, video projector, and digital television.
    • E-Book reader: also called an e-book device or e-reader, is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and periodicals.
    • USB (Universal Serial Bus) The industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices.