1. tjoyce's Avatar
    So, my kids (ages 6.5 and 8.5) are asking for an "iPad" for Christmas...like asking for a band-aid instead of "adhesive bandage".

    Because of Cyber-Monday sales, and this morning's $99 Dell Venue 8 Pro deal, we're sitting on four tablets, and are trying to decide which to keep and which to send back.

    We have two Kindle Fire HDXs (32GB) that we paid a total of $379.48 for and two Dell Venue Pro 8s (32GB) that we paid $387.93 total for, so cost is a wash.

    The kids are already very familiar with Windows 8 as they regularly use our family all-in-one and surface. But, I'm thinking the Amazon ecosystem is still much more mature. I also think the kids would enjoy the camera in the Dell more than the front-face only one the Kindle has.

    Microsoft's family safety is really nice, but lacks the time limit control over Game time vs Reading time the Kindle has. Also, Kindle has an unfortunate all-or-nothing approach to web browsing, with no site filtering or reports.

    Still no Minecraft for Windows 8...that's a bummer.

    I know....first word problems, right?

    Looking for some other compelling thoughts one way or the other on this....
    12-09-2013 02:49 PM
  2. jjmurphy's Avatar
    I don't have an answer, but I'm interested to see others opinions.

    We have a nook HD+, iPad 3, Samsung Atom tablet, and I have a Lumia 2520.

    My kids use all but the Lumia.
    12-09-2013 03:11 PM
  3. Goku1982jason's Avatar
    I'll buy those venues from you :-).... Seriously I will....
    12-09-2013 03:21 PM
  4. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    So, my kids (ages 6.5 and 8.5) are asking for an "iPad" for Christmas...like asking for a band-aid instead of "adhesive bandage".

    Because of Cyber-Monday sales, and this morning's $99 Dell Venue 8 Pro deal, we're sitting on four tablets, and are trying to decide which to keep and which to send back.

    We have two Kindle Fire HDXs (32GB) that we paid a total of $379.48 for and two Dell Venue Pro 8s (32GB) that we paid $387.93 total for, so cost is a wash.

    The kids are already very familiar with Windows 8 as they regularly use our family all-in-one and surface. But, I'm thinking the Amazon ecosystem is still much more mature. I also think the kids would enjoy the camera in the Dell more than the front-face only one the Kindle has.

    Microsoft's family safety is really nice, but lacks the time limit control over Game time vs Reading time the Kindle has. Also, Kindle has an unfortunate all-or-nothing approach to web browsing, with no site filtering or reports.

    Still no Minecraft for Windows 8...that's a bummer.

    I know....first word problems, right?

    Looking for some other compelling thoughts one way or the other on this....
    The Kindle Fire HDX is a great device. I own a Kindle Fire HD (2012 edition)... terrific out-of-the-box but I rooted mine and installed an alternate launcher (Nova) so that I can switch between an Amazon Kindle Fire experience and a more generic Android one. But that certainly isn't necessary.

    As for which is better suited, it depends upon what you want your kids to be doing with the devices. IMO, full Windows is not as suited for tablets as Amazon's "Fire OS" (customized version of Android). If you already have Amazon Prime, then there's additional benefits to own a KFHDX. And if you don't, they make a compelling case to get it if you have a Kindle Fire. :)

    For media consumption the KFHDX is better suited. I'd say even for creative activities. Full Windows may have access to more apps and more advanced apps, but your kids will most likely be overwhelmed by them. In other words, it's nice that Audacity (multi-track audio recorder/editor) will run on the Dell, but the kids will most likely not be able to use it. There are plenty of low complexity audio recording apps for Android that will work on the Fire.

    IMO, the Fire really does well as a color ereader. You could install one of the many quality cbz/cbr reader apps and load the devices up with vintage comic books and magazines. There are sellers who offer data DVDs filled with vintage comics and magazines. I bought a DVD that contained the complete collection of "Classics Illustrated" for $10.

    The touchscreen on my KFHD (I'm sure the HDX is even better) is excellent for use with a rubber-tip capacitive stylus. (they can be found at the $1 store). They can use it as a sketchpad, writing, etc.

    You probably already considered these things, but hopefully it offers a different perspective.
    12-09-2013 04:49 PM
  5. Sean Stanley's Avatar
    Both of our younger kids (3.5 and 7) have had Kindle Fires for quite a while. I think that ecosystem is great for younger kids since it is very contained, more so on the newer Kindle's with the FreeTime App that let's you control and lock things down even further. If you have Amazon Prime linked up to the Kindle, then they can get a smaller subset of children's content (Apps and Videos) free. Think kids games and TV shows like Spongebob, Max & Ruby, etc. The one downside is that it is such a controlled environment, especially for older users, and the number of Apps that Amazon makes available (Android apps) is much smaller than devices running pure Android. The Dell Venue (i.e. Windows 8.1) as everyone knows, suffers from same problem as any Windows device with regards to volume of Apps. It's getting better, but not anywhere near where Android tablets are.

    So it depends what your kids are into. I just went through same dilemma with my 7 year old. He has worn is original Kind Fire out over the past several years and we decided to get him a new tablet for Xmas. He loves watching stuff on Netflix and playing games. We recently did an experiment where we looked up a few games he was interested in getting on his Kindle (through Amazon) and comparing the same to what was available through the Google Play Store. Amazon wanted $2-$3 for the game, and on Play Store it was free. Also many games I looked up that were available on Play Store were not available on Amazon.

    So...our choice was actually to go with a Nexus 7. We let him play a bit with our Asus Transformer Prime and he had no problem navigating the screens (he's a wiz on our computer already) so I no longer feel he needs the ultra controlled Kindle experience (our younger one still does and will for a number of more years). I think at 7 he'll get a kick out of having more freedom to set-up his home screens the way he wants, has many more apps available, and the research I did into Parental Control apps has me comfortable I can lock it down.

    My wife and I are getting Surfaces for Xmas (RT and an S2) and I love that interface. Assuming you can lock down the Dell 8.1 to act more like just an RT device and they can't load anything they want, between the options you've outlined, I'd almost say for the older one go with Dell, and depending on how mature the younger one is, go with Dell as well, unless he's young for his age and needs a more locked down system, then go with the Kindle.

    p.s. If adding 2 more devices is an option, and having tons of apps is important, you can find some good deals on Nexus 7 tablets too.
    12-09-2013 05:32 PM
  6. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    I would keep the dell venue pros. I also look at it as longevity. As your kids get older, especially the older one, they can start using the tablet in more productive ways for school assignments and what not vs the kindle.
    Reflexx likes this.
    12-09-2013 05:49 PM
  7. Insti Gator's Avatar
    FYI - You CAN actually play Minecraft on Windows 8......
    xandros9 likes this.
    12-10-2013 05:34 PM
  8. xandros9's Avatar
    FYI - You CAN actually play Minecraft on Windows 8......
    doesnt it have a touchscreen modeor something?
    12-10-2013 05:44 PM
  9. reedsutton's Avatar
    Have you looked at the child safety settings for Win8? It will email you a report on all the time spent on different apps, websites, etc. Very nice tools for parents.

    Sent from my Lumia 928 using Tapatalk
    12-10-2013 06:23 PM
  10. Reflexx's Avatar
    The child monitoring tools on W8 are pretty awesome. I also think that Micah has a point that the W8 is going to be able to grow better as the kids age; especially the older one.

    But the Kindle Fire HDX is a nice device. There will be more games available. Games like Plants vs Zombies 2 and Candy Crush are there.

    You really can't go wrong with either one.
    12-10-2013 07:04 PM
  11. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    doesnt it have a touchscreen modeor something?
    I mean it has a touch screen mode, but it is sadly quite awful. And I'm not sure with the power the venue 8 pro has, that it can run real minecraft.
    12-10-2013 07:05 PM
  12. Reflexx's Avatar
    My son plays Minecraft on a Kindle Fire HD. That's also where he finds PvZ2.

    But he uses my Surface for Fresh Paint which is a seriously awesome app. Nothing on Android, iOS, or Kindle really compares.
    unstoppablekem likes this.
    12-10-2013 07:37 PM
  13. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    My son plays Minecraft on a Kindle Fire HD. That's also where he finds PvZ2.

    But he uses my Surface for Fresh Paint which is a seriously awesome app. Nothing on Android, iOS, or Kindle really compares.
    This! Fresh Paint is amazing, especially with the surface pen! Best part, it's free!
    12-10-2013 07:52 PM
  14. tjoyce's Avatar
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    I'm well aware of the Family Safety features in Windows. We currently use it for our other devices to set time limits and curfews, restrict apps and get reports on their usage.

    After much deliberation, we've decided to give the kindles to the kids and we're keeping the $99 venue pro, returning the second one.

    One factor that played in was the lack of availability of kid covers for the Dell. There are many kid-friendly covers of various colors available for the Kindle. All the Dell covers are clearly designed for professionals. I don't know that Dell has ever had a whimsical childish side.

    Despite the fact that we didn't pay $300 for the devices, I'm not sure we're prepared to be the parents that gave their young children $300 devices. A cyber Monday deal on a couple of sub $200 Kindles is one thing, handing over the keys to full PCs is another.

    They've had $99 Leap Pads that kids easily outgrow by age 7. The Kindle just seems like a better next-step device that can be trimmed down to a simpler interface, not far from what the Leap Pads offered. I really wish there was a 7" RT device, or that the Lumia 2520 had come out a year earlier (assuming I could pick up a last years model today at a reasonable price)

    Because we're keeping the Venue Pro, they'll have access to it, and over the next two years, we'll see where they gravitate for their content...hopefully the decision will be easier next time around (and Amazon has fixed their Windows app line-up)
    12-11-2013 06:46 AM
  15. vols1998's Avatar
    I have a 10 year old and a 3 year old plus 2 iPads. Very easy to use and navigate for both my kids. I like it because it is hard to mess up the apps or delete things and change settings. If they do it is easy to undo any untended changes. My 10 year year old has his own windows 8 PC as well.
    12-11-2013 07:05 AM
  16. Reflexx's Avatar
    The Kindle is a nice device.

    As I said earlier. You can't hovering with either choice, so I think your kids are going to love their gifts.
    12-11-2013 09:56 AM
  17. stevedan11's Avatar
    Would you like to sell the other Dell?
    12-25-2013 10:01 AM

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