A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .
actually, it’s more like a few months ago, at a store right up the road, I purchased an iPad. It’s been a fun little learning tool for the babies and The Nerd alike, but having one tablet and three children poses a bit of a problem. I knew we needed something else, but I wasn’t ready to sell one of the kids on the black market to make it happen, as nice as that sounds some days.
Because I’m really the head nerd of the family, I did a ton of research on tablets before making a decision on just one. There are SO many! I always hear that the iPad has “the best games for kids blah blah blah“. But upon doing some research, I found that tablets that are powered by Intel processors, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, have many of the same games! One of their favorite apps on the iPad is Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. I was beyond excited to find out that it is also available in the Google Play Store for Android system tablets.
There are also some pretty sweet things you can do with this Android tablet that you can’t do on a system without USB & MicroSD ports. I’m not a tech nerd, but I’m a crazy busy mom with a bit of a wild hair. Let me show you how this tablet has enhanced our lives, and how we use it in practical day-to-day functions.
1. It Can Help Your Tween Get Better Grades
I know it sounds far fetched, but it’s true. Technology in general is such a blessing and a curse. Finding balance is of the utmost importance. Using the tablet to help The Nerd maintain his grades and study, is a lot more exciting than looking at flashcards. BOOOORIIIING! We use our Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to log onto his school’s website where I can check his grades, see upcoming assignments, and he can study! We also use educational apps like the Algebra Course Assistant to help solidify his knowledge in math. When he has completed his study time, I reward him with some gaming time on the tablet, which we will talk about a little later. Watch this video, created by The Nerd, on how using a Windows 8 Tablet can help you or your student excel in school.
2. Trips Over the Meadow & Through The Woods are More Bearable
The kids and I are traveling to Florida for Thanksgiving this year. The Workaholic is staying home to (take a wild guess . . . ) WORK! Such is the life of a family in the hospitality industry. We live in North Carolina and the trip is going to be approximately 9.5 hours without stops every 30 miles. More than likely it will take us an entire 20 hours to get there. My phone holds a charge for about 3 hours, The Muffin’s LeapPad holds a charge for about 30 minutes on brand new batteries, and The Nerd just sold his DSi. I envision something akin to the Ringling Bros. circus all confined to the walls of my Dodge Grand Caravan (beige), for the entire ride. I will probably look like Elvira when I arrive. I hope they have a bed of nails prepared for me to lay on that night.
On a full charge, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 can last 9+ hours, and hasn’t failed us yet. That’s almost a whole trip’s worth of play time. THAT, I think I can handle. I might even invest in some headphones so I can listen to the 90s rap station on Pandora without my kids learning any new 4-letter words.
3. Your Kids’ Favorite Movies at Your Fingertips & Can be Accessed Anywhere
One of my favorite things about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is that I can download our Digital Edition movies, use an HDMI cord to connect the tablet to the TV, and play the movies on the big screen once we get to Nana & Papa’s house. If you have digital edition movies loaded to your tablet, you don’t even need a wireless connection to play them, which is perfect for our up and coming trip, because people in the backwoods of Florida don’t have wireless. True story.
You can also play games from the tablet while watching the TV and show your family the gluttony of photos you have taken over the course of the past year. Just make sure you delete those intimate photos before you show your family on their 60″ screen, OK? Nobody wants to see that.
4. Perfect for Getting Work Done Remotely in a Portable Little Package
Tablets get a lot of flack for not being able to keep up with computers, and while that may have been true a few years ago, they’re catching up in a big, big way. I purchased a bluetooth wireless keypad so that I can use the WordPress app and write blog posts on the go without hauling my laptop all around. As a matter of fact, I’m using it to write this blog post now just so I can prove that it’s as effective as a laptop.
Think about other things you might need for your work. Word processors? Email? I use Google Drive for all of my word processing. There are documents, forms, spreadsheets, and presentations that save without you telling them to, and are accessible from any computer as long as you are signed into your Google account. Google is also my email provider, so I can sign in from any device that allows internet usage.
The calendar on the home screen also makes it extremely easy to see what you have for the day. It’s virtually impossible to miss anything if you have your Intel tablet sitting right next to you.
Sometimes working from the laptop is more efficient. But other times, having the convenience of a small tablet is fantastic, and the same work can be accomplished.
5. Affordable Option for All Gamers in Your Family
The Nerd just got rid of his DSi because he was tired of looking at the small screen. He has his Xbox to play while we’re home, but for on the road, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, has gorgeous graphics and a crystal-clear screen that allows him to play games that range from educational to just plain fun. He is a huge Plants v. Zombies fan and recently found Tiny Death Star which is a game where he can create his own Death Star. Kind of like The Sims for really big geeks. When he’s feeling really ambitious, he can hook the tablet up to the TV with our HDMI cord, and play on the tablet while watching the TV. We haven’t gone that route yet, but it is an option.
So there you have it! Our new Intel Tablet is amazing and I’ve found that it has more functionality than our iPad. It has been a fantastic tool for my genius tween as well as a fun learning tool for the babies. Without it, I would have never remembered Pearl’s photoshoot at 1 today, and I couldn’t have written this blog post while my laptop was in for its Geek Squad checkup.