iPad vs. Android Tablets: A Kids Perspective

Ever since the original iPad came out people have loved it. There is online web browsing on a big screen, applications of all different categories, music, movies, games and much more. And after the new iPad 2, more and more people think that the iPad is the best tablet on the market.

That is, for adults.

But what about kids like me? After all, the iPad is not the only tablet out there. The Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and Asus Eee Pad are all new tablets on the market. HP is also out now with a new TouchPad, which uses the WebOS operating system. But which device would kids like?

The Options

The iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy 10.1, and HP Touchpad are all great tablets. To be honest I’d be really happy if my parents got me any of these tablets. Any of these tablets will be good for most of the things kids would use a laptop for, except for typing and homework.

Most people use the iPad for browsing the web, doing e-mail, using Facebook and watching movies. Some adults love to play games on the iPad, as well. My mom likes her iPad for web browsing, reading e-mail, and using Facebook because she finds it easy to use, and light.

I currently use an Android phone right now, as well as an Android tablet. Android has more customization features such as home screen widgets and moving backgrounds, and there are a lot of free Android apps, which is great for kids who have limited allowances. Even though the iPad has more apps than Android tablets, it doesn’t make much difference because most good apps such as Angry Birds or Homerun 3D are available on both platforms. Android apps get updated faster than iPad apps, due to Apple’s harder update process. Android devices offer a lot of choices from different companies with wide ranges of features.

ThinkPad Android Tablet with Pen

ThinkPad Android Tablet with Pen

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There are some cheap Android tablets, but be careful because they probably don’t work with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, which is the first version of Android you should use with a tablet. Android devices crash more often than iPhones and iPads, and they can be more complicated to use.

The HP TouchPad is brand new. I haven’t had a chance to use it. When I asked around, none of my friends even knew about it yet. Some kids know about Android tablets, but the iPad is definitely the most well-known of all tablet devices. There aren’t a lot of apps available yet for the TouchPad, which is one reason why kids probably won’t like it. Also, there is no 3G version of the TouchPad so far, which means you can’t use it in the car.

From a kid’s perspective, I would have to go with the iPad 2 out of the three. The iPad has a lot more apps than the Android and HP tablets out there, and 100,000 of them are made especially for the iPad: like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. The iPad 2 just works a lot better than Android tablets.

Tablet Only?

Right now, a tablet is not a good choice for a kid who needs a computer for school. Tablets are not good for typing reports, making presentations, and using apps required by most schools today. I really couldn’t have done this review on an iPad or Xoom, for example. You can use Google Docs on a tablet, which I tried while writing this review, but it is hard to type, make corrections or print from a tablet. If you are thinking about getting your kid one device for school, get a low priced laptop or netbook (like Asus or HP or MacBook) instead of a tablet. Only get a tablet if your kid already has a computer for school.

The Best Tablet for Kids

So, in my opinion, the iPad 2 would be the best tablet for anyone because of its wide range of apps, good performance, ease of use, and beautiful 9.7 inch display.

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So, what would you choose? I hope lots of kids and parents will share your ideas in the comments section below.

Comments

    • Anonymous says

      From the look and words spoken by MS people Windows 8 will be in the same boat for tablet apps that honeycomb is right now.

      • Harley22x_beast says

        Yeah, well at least the Windows 8 tablet will be able to run all existing windows software still lol.

        • Mike says

          No, Windows 8 tablet will run the ARM version, and will not run existing windows software. Sorry.

        • Graemechalmers says

           Win will run ARM Untel and Amd and WILL run all windows programs… Mike get your facts right matey

  1. Anonymous says

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, GrabPenny.com

  2. Gregg says

    i think an ipad would be good for school, simply because the app store has pages, keynote and number. its lighter, thinner and has a longer lasting battery then all other macs on the market. plus its cheaper, and theres and option for 3g. 

  3. A. Dad says

    I think you should write a blog about using an iPad vs a laptop for school.  The iPad fits in your backpack better, has generally cheaper apps, is lighter, and probably is cooler, but the keyboard is not as good, printing is harder, and the apps are not as good for schoolwork.

  4. Rebecca says

    You can get iPad cases with attached keyboards. Printing is still unnecessarily difficult, though. But I can’t imagine what apps you need for schoolwork that can’t be found on the iPad.

    • Harley22x_beast says

      Yeah, but by the time you buy the iPad, the keyboard case and the right apps, you kigh have put almost 1000 into it already anyways, and there are a great range of excelent laptops that someone could get for a thousand dollars.

  5. mkrigsman says

    Great post. I got a Xoom today so appreciate the advice about 3.2. It did a quick update, so that was was good. Now, I need to find an app to replace Goodreader from the I pad. Any ideas?

    By the way, on my desktop this comments bos did not show IP, in both IE and FF. Works on the xoom though.

  6. Rami Alam says

    Actually the best tablet for students would be something more along the lines of an Acer Iconia Tab W500 or an Asus Eee Slate EP121. They run windows 7 so they support all the software students need as well as pen input and multitouch. Battery life 85 not as good as the iPad or Android tablets but is adequate for notetaking at school and you can plug in a USB keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard to use as a notebook. Read more at http://tabletslatepad.squarespace.com

  7. Larry says

    Best tablet for kids aren’t tablets at all, it’s an affordable laptop where they can actually learn skills that would aid them further down the line. Tablets currently are more of a play toy vs actually promoting legitimate skills that they can use for future success. At best, being a master with an iPad with get you a $11/ hour job at an Apple store vs being proficient with a computer can be far more rewarding and who know they might actually end up creating the next best app.

  8. Anonymous says

    My 2.5 yr old daughter uses my Iconia A500 without any issues. No I didn’t have to teach her. She has figured out the touch interface quite well. She browses through the photo/video gallery and has also figured how to exit out of it if she dosen’t want it anymore. I guess the touch interface is far more intuitive to kids than we realize.

  9. John says

    same position as you. I use a Nexus S, love Android – but the education apps just aren’t there for Android compared to the iPad. Reluctantly bought an ipad2 a few months ago.

  10. Naomi Bloom says

    Very timely post as we’re looking at a tech infrastructure overhaul.  Well-done.

  11. Tablet Cases says

    perhaps some of these should be addressed from the perspective of cost. certainly ipad is not the cheapest way to get your kid break a tablet (unless you case it in military grade rugged bag) :)

  12. Harley22x_beast says

    In the “Tablet Only” section of this article, was the MacBook really being portrayed as an inexpensive laptop!? :S I think the author of this article comes from a very wealthy family. Lol.

  13. Boobs says

    Just get a Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It has an optional docking keyboard and you can use Polaris Office (comes installed ($15.00 value) to open and edit any Microsoft document.

  14. Alexa warner says

    I disagree im thirteen and i think for kids the asus transformer is the best cause it has games and a keyboard so I can type school papers and video edit presentations and even plug in my usb but my friend has the ipad 2 and she cant do that so she uses it only for games and facebook.

    • Noripspam says

      “type school papers and video edit presentations and even plug in my usb
      but my friend has the ipad 2 and she cant do that so she uses it only
      for games and facebook.”

      what a bunch of crap.  Your friend obviously doesn’t know how to use a tablet for productivity purposes.  iOS has far more suitable apps for “typing school papers” and you wouldn’t even do video editing on tablets anyways – that’s better on the desktop.

      you know practically any bluetooth keyboard works well on the ipad.  If you’re just going to use a tablet to type on a word processor that isn’t built off a touch interface, then go get a netbook or laptop instead.  The whole point of a tablet is to be a touch device tablet-first  and “netbook”-second experience.

      • M.J. says

        Norispam, While the tone of your postings is generally annoying, as an adult, I am able to simply disregard you. But blasting a 13 yr old kid with your technically advanced rancor is so unnecessary and ridiculous.  You speak of radiology apps designed for use with PACS on this kind of forum?  Eye roll.  There’s also a good one called “LIfe Lessons for the Recovering Narcissist”.

  15. MH says

    I wish Apple would embrace Java and Flash. The decision might be a lot easier. I’m leaning toward the ASUS Transformer because of the keyboard possibilities and battery length.

  16. Jeol Mark says

    Most useful page that helped me learn more about androids is this http://techworld-today.com/2011/09/cheap-android-tablets-arnova-coming/

  17. Noripspam says

    I think it’s silly when discussing tablets with people regarding strengths and weaknesses, and the best thing they can come up with is “oh well they’re both equal since they both have the same great apps: Angry Birds and PvZ etc”

    Really?  Games?   I think the best “kids” tablet is an android tablet.  Inexpensive.  App games that are also on iOS.  A toy really.

    But if you really want to argue about the quality of apps, then iOS has many quality apps that makes the iPad the reason why professionals use it in their work.    Note Taker HD, Notes Plus, VisibleBody, Nova Anatomy series, the whole slew of medical radiology apps that work with PACS, Sketchbook Pro, heck even an app for CAD made by Autodesk.    You don’t see quality apps like those on the Android Market.

    I have an iPad 2, Asus Transformer, and Moto Xoom.    iPad i use for my work needs + entertainment.  My kids get their hands on the android ones.

  18. Queentorrent says

    id rather have an ipad. with it, at least everything works and works
    well. also, its sexy and interweb is fast and snappy, while being
    intuitive. ive played with the samsung slate thing and it was a joke…
    non of the apps worked right and the keyboard was horrible. ill get the
    ipad, thank you

  19. Queentorrent says

    id rather have an ipad. with it, at least everything works and works
    well. also, its sexy and interweb is fast and snappy, while being
    intuitive. ive played with the samsung slate thing and it was a joke…
    non of the apps worked right and the keyboard was horrible. ill get the
    ipad, thank you

  20. Kid Computers says

    it really comes down to the ammount of apps available for purchase. all comptuers are the same… its the applications that are on them is what makes them special

  21. Vallaro says

    I’m in the process of buying my 7 year old and 5 year old iPads for xmass and your post has made me my decision far simpler

    I would love for them to go android but apple just works

    Also my iPad never hangs so from a pure gaming side the iPad 2 is the winner

    Thx for the post

  22. Kate says

    We are trying to decide what to get for our 6-year-old son.  Nabi has a tablet coming out next week.  It has an Android OS.  All of the devices used at my son’s school are Mac, so we’re debating what to get him.

  23. Jrolin_02 says

    was also looking into the nabi kids tablet with android.. anyone have any info or experience with it.  Its for a 7yr old who loves the games/apps on the ipad but dont feel like spending that much on one for a kid. lol

    • Kayla says

      Stay away they are nothing but a glitchy headache I have been through 3 of them getting my money and going with a kindle fire…

  24. Evangutierrezz says

    Would like to note that you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, which is a plus for typing and school.

  25. Ashley says

    Used both ipad and android. I would definitely say the XOOM by motorola was far easier to use navigate and operate. Android has my vote. As for the apps… you can get angry birds on both and what may be on ipad may not be on android but android will have something just like it. My Xoom has 10.1 display is easier to get movies and music on then the ipad was has 3g and is being upgraded to 4g next week no extra cost. Android is definitely more customizable.

  26. manuel says

    this is wrong …. ipad don’t have assassin creed revelation or fifa 12 etc but android have …
     

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