If you are wondering about great deals during the holiday season on tech gifts for the teens and tweens on your shopping list, then anticipation of the 2014 Black Friday ads may be high. As I see great deals, I’ll edit and update, but as Black Friday tablet deals for teens and tweens are anticipated, it helps to take a look at prior years’ events.
One of the most notable BF tablet deals during 2013 was the availability of gift cards in connection with tablet purchases. During that time, both Target and Walmart offered significant gift card values with the purchase of designated iPads. At Target, you could take home a $100 gift card with a full-size iPad and $75 with a mini. At Walmart, you could take home a $100 gift card with an iPad mini. Additionally, the store provided a one-hour in-stock guarantee. iPads should be much more affordable this year, especially if you aren’t set on the latest model.
Amazon offered significant discounts at a couple of points during the holiday season, making it helpful to check back regularly on the site for sales. Often, the Amazon sales are limited to one per household, making it important to act promptly when the opportunities arise. Be aware that you do need to read the instructions and be observant. When I picked up my Kindle Fire HD 6 earlier this fall, the first attempt at using the offer on the site for monthly payments didn’t get applied. I promptly cancelled my initial purchase and tried again, during which time the offer was applied. Some Amazon offers come in the form of spreading out payments. Others come in the form of lucrative discounts. Just be observant if any of the Kindle eReaders or Fire Tablets are on your list. These are, in my opinion, some of the best tablet deals for teens and tweens during the season.
Amazon has a one-day deal today, October 31, that is really worth investigating. If your tweens are anything like mine, earbuds take quite the beating. My teenager can be quite careless with hers, and a cheap grocery store set of earbuds doesn’t usually last for more than a month. If I’m lucky, she can get a couple of months out of a name-brand set of tween earbuds. JBuds have been great earbuds for tweens in my house. I won’t promise that they will last indefinitely because care is the major component in keeping a set in good working condition. However, this daily deal on JBuds and related products at Amazon is truly worth a look.
The one-day sale on these colorful headphones allows you varied discounts based on the style you select. The discounting available at this time is up to 83 percent off, tremendous if you consider the list prices. While this may not last long (the sale), you might expect some long-term relief from that cry of, “Mom, I need headphones.” I do help in a pinch with headphones for my most careless child, but the help often comes in the form of needed extra chores around the house, resulting in my daughter having to work to earn the funds for the needed tech device.
As far as other children, the life expectancy of a set of headphones with most of my other tweens and teens has been much longer. Most of them are a bit more careful in how they store their tech gadgets, making it less expensive to keep them supplied with headphones. Even the cheapest JBuds designs tend to last nicely. If you stumble across this post after the sale expires, I will encourage you to explore the line in spite of an expired sale. The low-end models hold up quite well. You can also keep your eyes out throughout the holiday season and the year as the products can drop in price when new models are released. Check out the full rang of JLabs products here.
This may be the year of many choices and bargain prices in tween tablet computer choices. As you consider your priorities, both budget and style have a place on your shopping list as you consider the whim and whimsy of the tween fashion and gadget sense. Until this year, the majority of colorful tablets fell to the needs of young children, designed with colorful cushioning to absorb shock and abuse that might come at the hands of a small handler. The tween is equally capable of harsh treatment of tech gadgets, but the childish look of many colorful tablet computers for preteens has given way to a sleek design and attractive tween-friendly color choices.
The iRulu listed above is available in light purple, perfect for the preteen girl who wants a purple tablet. Others include FONESCO tablets with both 7 inch and 9 inch versions in vibrant oranges, pinks, yellows, blues, and purples. More importantly, these colorful choices are listing at approximately $100, but they are often selling in the $50 and under range. That’s good news for a tight budget! With models like the Dragon Touch 7″ Tablet, you will want to watch for new models to replace old, potentially encountering a chance for savings on older versions.
The Kindle FIRE HD 7 shown above is great for providing an excellent tablet with a strong reputation for excellence to the tween crowd at a very attractive price. The 7-inch Kindle tablets for tweens are continuing to sell in the $139 range, but there is good reason to monitor trends during the holidays as the company often posts some steep discounts in December. It’s also very nice to see that Amazon has created a 6-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet this year, perfect for bringing the price down just a smidge ($99) without creating a difficult viewing surface. I picked this one up right away in a Navy Blue for my kids to share for videos and various educational apps. It is a big hit with my younger tweens especially, much better than a childish device would be.
iPad has even gotten in on the colorful action with silver and gold options this year. While this isn’t as much of a tween thing, the colors make it possible to add a bit of finesse to your gifting for the tween and teen this year. Whatever tablet you decide on, be proactive by thinking seriously about the protection plans available and by getting a protective case as well. It’s worth the investment, especially with an accident-prone tween.
If you look at the finances, a tablet computer is an excellent investment as a gift for a middle school student. Tablet computers for middle schoolers can provide the function of a television, mp3 player, digital camera, camcorder, video game console, ereader, computer, organizer, and personal tutor. Not to mention communications! Given this, even the costly price tag of a new model iPad for a tween could be a great savings over buying those items independently. Fortunately, you don’t even need the top of the line model today to provide a good experience. Following are some options to consider:
Kindle Fire HD 6: As I try this tablet out with my tweens, the middle schoolers in the bunch are adept at navigating, and they are making requests for apps and activities. Because this one is Mom’s, there are some restrictions. However, the device is a hit. The tween boys still love their Nintendo DS systems though.
Kindle Fire HD7: My older son has a 7-inch Kindle Fire, and the size is good for viewing, having served his needs for social networking. A case is a must, and it’s a good idea to consider a protection plan.
iPad Mini: With the new set of iPads, the original mini offers low-end pricing on a quality tablet. If you have the budget for the more recent releases, you can accommodate a tween’s interests in colors and technical features. However, my perspective is that the cheaper mini is a great starter tablet for a tween.
iPad with retina display: If you have a bigger budget, the larger iPads have also readjusted to line up with new tablets. A big tablet may provide the best visual experience, and the pricing is better than ever.
You may still find that some tech gifts for tweens are better than the tablet versions, but I feel that the many functions of a tablet computer make it possible for a tween to find a niche and focus on an interest. My tween sons love to discover photography effects and sound effects on devices, for example, so I will be looking for options in this arena for them.
If you ask my tween sons about their preferences in tech gadgets, you will find that the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS systems win hands down. They have invested in significant games, and giving up their systems wouldn’t fly. However, they do like the new Kindle Fire HD 6 as well. The type of content is significantly different, making it important to understand a bit of your youngster’s tween tech interests before you splurge on a top of the line gadget.
The transition from tween to teen is kind of blurry, and both of the older tween boys are beginning to be more interested in music and reading on their devices, searching for fan fiction and downloading songs to their SD cards. This may be one of the biggest signals that a tablet or iPod touch is a good investment for a tween boy. My tween daughter, on the other hand, loves both the tablet and her DSI greatly. She is equally happy with either, and the Kindle Fire HD 6 has become a favorite with her and the youngest tween son.
If you are deciding on one or the other of these devices for a tween during the holiday season, consider some of the following:
What is your budget? The Kindle Fire HD 6 is now more reasonable in price than the latest Nintendo Consoles, unless you get a great Black Friday deal. Be on the watch during the lead-up to the holidays as Amazon tends to offer some fantastic discounts and financing options on Kindle Fire items as well.
How much do you want to invest in content? A single DS or 3DS game can range from $10 to $50 depending on popularity. The Kindle Tablet offers the ability to load numerous free apps, and if you have Prime, there’s even more chance that your young person will find plenty of affordable content.
Is your tween already immersed in one platform or the other?
What devices are your tween’s friends using? Sharing and trading games is popular among those who are working with similar consoles, another way to get more from a device without spending a bundle.
Gifting ideas – it is much easier for an aunt or uncle to track down a useful gift card for tablet content than to find a game that will strike a cord with a picky tween.
You may have your mind made up by the items on your child’s wish list. However, the introduction of newer and cheaper tablets of higher quality makes the landscape interesting this year. Lower pricing may even make more than one device possible.
If you are eyeing the tablet world this holiday season, then you may be kicking up your heels in glee over Apple’s recent announcements about new iPad models and pricing. The lower pricing of the mini and the full-size provides cheaper iPads for teenagers and tweens who love iTunes and other Apple products.
As an iPhone fan, I love iMovie and Garage Band as apps that my tweens and teens can learn with so that they can excel in expression and creativity. I’m not giving up the phone for the kids, though, and an iPad is on my list for the household so that these interests can be facilitated.
As much of the Apple line is familiar, the thing that most captures my attention as a parent with the recent announcements is pricing. The mini is now within reach for those who have gandered from afar. There are many competing options, and Kindle Fire HD 6 offers a run for the money with regard to pricing and quality, providing a compact but powerful device that allows access to a huge library of content. If budget is your main factor, the lower pricing of the iPad mini may be tempting. However, if you really need to stretch your holiday budget, definitely give the Kindle Fire HD 6 a bit of consideration.
With nearly a week of the Kindle Fire HD 6 on the market, I’ve had a little time to evaluate the intuitive nature of the device in the hands of tweens and teens. I’ve also had a little time to evaluate my own ability to adapt given years of dedicated iPhone and Apple product use. There are definitely some Apple features that I miss with Kindle Fire, but I can get past them in lieu of having access to an affordable tablet computer for my kids.
From my own perspective, the home button used by Apple helps when you are stuck, and I much prefer this navigation to the touchscreen swiping needed to find the home button. I got stuck in an app and had a bit of trouble getting back out until I accidentally swiped from top downward to expose the home icon. The kids weren’t nearly as stuck on this issue, and they have adapted easily.
As a parent managing one device for multiple kids, I needed to spend a little time creating profiles. This is not terribly difficult, but it is time-consuming. The kids, on the other hand, can easily access their profiles for use of loaded features. I can load apps to the device and assign them to specific kids. The boys, after all, have no interest in butterfly math that my tween daughter likes.
Overall, the device seems more easily discerned by my tweens and teens than by me. I still need to come to terms with Kindle Free Time and other parental controls. My kids aren’t tremendously thrilled with my choice of educational apps, but we are just getting our feet wet. As we work through the process, I hope to adjust so that there will be a balance of educational and entertaining activities.
The last few years have certainly provided a roller coaster ride in the world of electronics, and perhaps there has been a bit of malaise toward some of these devices due to the fact that there have been so many cheap tablets introduced on the scene. The iPad still seems to rule the roost as the primo tablet for tweens and teens, and I can’t blame those who choose this option as the iPad and iPad Mini continue to be excellent for intuitive use while integrating quite seamlessly with iPod and iPhone. However, those of us on a budget or dealing with larger families may be holding our breath for a cheaper version of a quality tablet that provides an exceptional, not mediocre, experience. Behold, the Kindle Fire 6.
As I get used to my own iPhone 6Plus, I’m appreciating the fact that a 6-inch tablet should be excellent in comparison with tiny iPods and cellphones. My own Kindle Fire 6 is due to arrive at any moment, and I will continue to post as I introduce the device to my children for educational and reading purposes. The trick is to get their interest fixed on the benefits without losing them to a plethora of video games, but Kindle Free Time may be the perfect solution, allowing for different profiles and limits.
My tweens can become much too absorbed in games, but then, I can as well. However, the Kindle reading is an excellent tool that I want to tap into more. This will enable me to test the waters before diving in and getting additional cheap tablets for teens and tweens in my home. The $100 mark is a significant dividing line because of the fact that this isn’t just any tablet. It’s able to connect to a significant amount of content and services that I appreciate and use, and the ability to share without worrying about my device being ruined is a plus. Wait, there’s UPS! Time to test the new tablet! Will post about my opinions about this choice in teen tablet computers soon!
If you are keeping your eyes out for cheap tablet options, the Visual Land device, while basic, is regularly priced in the $149 range with occasional sales in the $100 range. If you need an affordable choice for your tween or preteen, then this may work well, though reviews at Best Buy (Visual Land – Prestige 7 Tablet with 8GB Memory – Red) are mixed. Some think it’s great for what it offers at the price. Others find it insufficient. Google Play isn’t available, but reviewers state that the Amazon App Store works well. You can explore further firsthand reviews of the device at Amazon.
In coming weeks, many parents will be thinking about cheap tablet options for tweens, teens and kids. There are lots of possibilities. The most important thing to remember is that cheaper tablets aren’t going to be the equivalent of an iPad. There are some affordable devices that have rave reviews, but most cheap tablets have very mixed reviews. One of the more affordable tablets that has excellent reviews is Kindle Fire. The new family of tablets in this series have been improved upon from last year’s highly successful original Fire, and the original is $40 cheaper at $159. I know tweens who have saved allowances and made a Fire purchase, and the device seems to be well-received at the preteen and teen age range. It’s worth considering if it’s in your budget. If you are thinking about a tech device in the below 100 range, my daughter really loves her Kindle ereader, and I have to say that it’s a great option for giving your preteen or tween something useful to learn tech responsibility.
If you are looking for a great tech gift for tweens, especially in the area of tablets and ereaders, you need to pay attention to stock issues. There’s a balance in waiting for the right deal and looking for the right device. It’s important to realize that if you are working with a specific occasion in mind that you pay attention to the trends with some of the devices.
As an example, the release of Kindle Paperwhite was in advance of my daughter’s birthday. Unfortunately, delivery was pushed back due to popularity in pre-orders. This is happening with other tech gifts for tweens, teens and kids, not to mention adults. Shortages and demand require fast action on some products but leave other viable alternatives more easily available. iPhone 5 is hard to find right now. Tabeo from Toys R Us sold out of preorder tablets for kids being available.
The shortage potential isn’t equal across the board, and it requires some research. If you find that you’ve missed the boat on your desired device, you can do a couple of things. Try calling around to local tech stores or department stores carrying your device. You may luck out. You can postpone your purchase for another occasion. You can provide your child with either a more advanced or less advanced model. For example, I had to think about a basic Kindle or a Kindle Fire Tablet for my tween. I opted for the ebook reader because I don’t want too many distractions associated with the gift. I also had the option of choosing a refurbished Kindle Touch, but since I wanted an extended warranty, I didn’t consider this choice for long. You have time before the holidays to approach tech purchases for preteens, but it’s important to recognize the happenings in the market.