I have to admit, I am sometimes slow to jump on trendy bandwagons.
Netflix, late to that party (but so totally in love now). Skinny jeans..that took me a couple of years. Smart phones…let’s not get started.
What can I say? Sometimes I like to see other people test trends and work out of the kinks, before I commit. I think sometimes the late bird gets the better, improved worm. 😉
And that has been my experience with tablets. True to form, I just barely started to warm up to the idea of getting a tablet. They are getting more affordable and there are more really good options out there now. I had been doing some casual research, when Staples contacted me and offered to let me and my kids try out the Google Nexus 7 tablet.
I had been looking at tablets in the same price range as the Nexus 7 (it’s only $230!), so it seemed like a good fit.
Plus, I was excited to download some cool new educational apps. My kids were STOKED too, of course.
We downloaded Stack the States, Monkey Word School (by Thup, thanks for the recommendation @shanteljones on instagram!), Grammaropolis and Dragonbox Algebra, which is kind of an expensive app but totally worth it! It introduces algebraic thinking in a really fun, easy way that even my 8 year old can grasp.
I am seriously impressed with how well these apps teach my kids in an engaging and effective way. Technology is really changing the face of how we learn about the world and for the most part it is an incredibly awesome thing.
As someone who has never owned a tablet before, I really like how it is part phone, part computer. You get all the phone apps working on there, you have the touch screen, and portability like you do with a smart phone, but you can also view websites in full version and use it almost as if you were using a lap top.
This Nexus 7 is the second generation, with some highly praised improvements over the first version, like longer battery life. The picture quality is amazing too. We have streamed some shows on it, and the clarity is nice and crisp.
The camera leaves a little to be desired, but I’m pretty spoiled by my awesome smart phone camera phone, so that might be why I am disappointed with it.
Because it’s made by Google, when I started it up out the box, it grabbed all my Google info and my apps and loaded them up automatically. Sweet and easy. (stylus pictured did not come with the tablet)
At first, I worried about letting my kids use the tablet with all my Google accounts open on there, but then I uploaded the Kid Mode app by Zoodles, so that it locks my kids out of everything but their list of approved games.
It’s a standing rule in our house, that if it’s a school night then any screen time has to be educational. Thanks to awesome game designers, my kids almost never complain about that rule. So it’s win-win, when my kids rush to finish homework or do chores to earn tablet time that I totally approve of.
Oh…and one last thing. I also have to give Google props for making the design of the Nexus 7 intuitively natural to use. I found there was almost no learning curve for me and very little learning curve for my kids.
I found myself saying…
That was easy. 😉
Thanks Staples for allowing us to review this really awesome tablet.
Disclaimer: The tablet was provided to me by Staples, but the opinions I share are 100% honest and my own.
Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says
I'm late to jump on bandwagons too. 🙂 I'm not a skinny jean wearer, or smart phone owner, but I do love tablets. Super handy gadgets. I love your rule for educational games on school nights too. I will have to save that idea for when we have school goers. 🙂
Shantel Jones says
We are usually late too but like you said it has its benifits ;o)
Oh and I'm glad your kids like monkey word school, my kids adore all of thups games!
I still don't have a smartphone. =) We did finally get a tablet this year, but it's more for my husband than for me.
Sarah K. says
My husband and I got Nexus 4 smartphones this summer and we LOVE them. Except that I dropped mine on our basement floor and destroyed the screen…doh! The repair is more expensive and takes longer than the iPhone screen repair (the part is still on back order one month later!), but it's still cheaper than an iPhone (even after repair, whenever that finally happens), and I love it. Lesson
Yay, another Android fan!
Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane says
We don't have tablets either but I'm looking into the Nabi for my kids for Christmas. Thanks for your review.
PS: LOVE your site- 🙂