* In the "cheap" tablet market you generally get what you pay for, so check what you need. If it's poorly built the device may get broken quickly. It may also have limited memory, so be inadequate for some games. You may also find an older version of Android and, in some cases, no access to Google Play, the app marketplace.
I've seen some good user reviews for devices in the pounds 100 bracket and the Tesco Hudl looks promising, though I'd give it a couple of months for any longer-term gripes to come out. The Kindle Fire has been around for some time, but is heavily linked to Amazon, which may not be what you want.
Check that your children can get the apps/games they use on the iPad, or it will be you using the new device!
* I'd recommend Hisense Sero 7 Pro. It is slightly more expensive than the Tesco Hudl, but is basically the old Nexus 7 with a few tweaks. You can plug it into a TV using HDMI and without adding a storage card you can load it with videos.
Using the CBeebies app,
* I'm happy with my Hudl. It has a high-quality screen for games and TV and is robust enough to survive both my toddler and the daily commute. It's certainly not got the sleekness and responsiveness of an iPad. Also it uses Android so it won't be compatible with iTunes, iPhoto, iCloud etc, and some of your kids' favourite apps may not have Android versions.
pandle at theguardian.com/money
* The kids probably want the iPad for the apps - so give them the iPad and get a cheap tablet for yourself.
List what you want it to do, then get the one that meets your needs.
Docksider at theguardian.com/money
* I have recently bought a tablet, called the Asus MeMo Pad. It is really good!!
A good way to find your perfect tablet is to look at various reviews over the course of a few days. Me and my parents looked at various brands. The one I got cost pounds 129.99 and it is really worth its money.
* Best bet would be a 2012 Nexus 7. Excellent tablet with a lot of flexibility to download all apps from
MrCheerful at theguardian.com/money
* The original Kindle Fire is pounds 89 on Amazon. Looks good and is fairly apptastic.
* Depends how old your kids are. If they're teenagers, or near teenagers, then give them the iPad. They'll keep taking it, anyway, because the iPad is cool and Android tablets - especially from Tesco - are not. The iPad is easier to use, has more apps and has iTunes in its DNA. It's also what their friends (who have also blackmailed their parents or sweet-talked their grandparents into giving them) are using. So the question is - what do you need?
deeplyblue at theguardian.com/money who wins this week's pounds 25 National Book Token
* Great lesson for them - if you bug Mum and Dad enough and/or disregard their boundaries, eventually they'll get their own shiny (and expensive) toy. Are you going to do the same with a car when the time comes?
Sarcasm aside - how about you base the decision on how old the children are (Toddlers? 10-year-olds? Teenagers?) and what is needed rather than what you want to spend. However, I would not go for the cheapest - and what kind of warranty/customer service would you expect at the price? If your children are going to use it quite a lot and for a while, invest in a better product. What will they use it for? Apps, browsing, games, doing homework? If you already have PCs/laptops suitable for that purpose in the house, why add to the technoclutter?
Read reviews by users and consumer websites, and once you've decided on the model let your children look forward to their Christmas gift - yes, that's right, they might have to wait a few weeks instead of getting instant gratification. Set a price limit - say up to pounds 100. Anything above that, they pay for themselves (pocket money and/or doing chores); relatives/friends might chip in. And make it very clear that the gadget is their responsibility if it breaks, gets stolen or they lose it.
Last, not least, I very strongly recommend you overcome any technophobia not just in regards to makes and models, but also digital security. You might want to look into setting passwords/access codes for your tablet unless you are happy for literally anyone who gets hold of it to use it.
Adjust parental controls on browsers and regarding apps, make sure they require a pass code and separate entry of payment data. All this in addition to the supervision they should be getting while using their tablet (level of which, again, depends on their age).
Quite frankly, this is the most important point - if your children are getting their own computer you very much need to know what they could potentially do with it.
* Best cheap tablet? Got to be paracetamol from my local supermarket. Am I old?
NoahDeere at theguardian.com/money
For more ideas go to theguardian.com/money then click on Blogs and Personal Effects
Any answers? I have an ever-growing number of passwords as I do more and more stuff online. We're not allowed to write them down or use the same password each time, but how do you remember them all? What's the solution to one of the growing problems of modern life.
Reply Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Personal Effects, Money, The Guardian,
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