It’s birthday time again and there is a debate going on in the house. We have a young boy, nearly 8 years old. As per most modern, Western (whatever that means) middle class (ditto) households he’s got access to TV, internet, iPod, DS, Playstation – he has multiple access points to entertainment, information, and multiple user interfaces– touch screens, keyboard, mouse pads, motion/Kinect, PS eye etc. We spend our time both encouraging certain aspects of this techno-panopoly and banning him outright from them for pushing the usage boundaries we’ve adumbrated. We want him to be engaged but also to know when to disengage. We want him to run, to swim, to cycle, to play soccer and we also want him to become an autodidactic wizard of the infoverse. Do we expect too much and are we just piling on the pressure by encouraging and at the same time limiting? Should we just get a grip? (That’s another story)
So, we ask ourselves as he sobs at us for banning him from his DS for the rest of the week once again, do we really want to introduce another gadget into the life of this busy little guy? He’s got enough going on already surely?
Well, we talked and we thought and we thought and we talked some more. After all when did I have my first computer? Well I was 10 but I also think we’re way past first computer territory now. Anyway I just got my pi and he dismissed that as ill suited to play Club Penguin. So we can safely assume that there has to be a large play element to this gadget but we also want him to be able to do things like make films and share stuff while not make it so expensive that it’s going to be a liability and for me, it would be good if it wasn’t an Apple product. I want to show him that there is a world outside one hardware manufactuer and one ‘app store’ ideal. In his short life he’s hardly known any other model of sales/distribution and I take every opportunity to show him alternatives.
We considered the new fatboy 3DS, we considered the traditional laptop, we even considered the iPad 2 because it’s still damn good tech and the price is now verging on appealing. The iPad 2 particularly ticks all the boxes however, my personal pecadillos once again surfaced – I didn’t want another Apple product in his life, I wanted to show him an alternative. Also I didn’t want a full size tablet because I want him to look after it. So in the end I plumped for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0”.
I read the reviews and they say – adequate. I look at the specs and they said – fine. I looked at the price and the functionality and I thought – for a kid it offers enough flexibility and it’s something he can carry about and look after for himself. Whether it lives up to my expectations is another thing but as long as it lives up to his and he can do what he wants with it then we’re all happy. You might say we’re willing to give Samsung a chance to impress us.