I've had a most wonderful opportunity for the past several weeks to test out a Samsung Galaxy Tab from Verizon. It's been really fun and I'm honestly really impressed with the technology.
Here's how I've used the tablet this past month:
- Flash cards for Teagan. We have "old fashioned" flash cards that are part of her weekly homework. But we found an app that made a game of flashcards- you get a score based on how quickly you answer and how accurate you are. The family all took turns playing and Teagan really enjoyed using the app.
- Games for Zach. He really enjoyed a fun memory game that was jungle themed. Best of all, if you missed a match, the game farts at you. He loved that. He also really enjoyed a wild animal app with pictures of different animals and the app makes animal noises.
- We also discovered Zoodles. It's a collection of games, books, videos, and drawing tools for kids. You set up a login for each kid and Zoodles loads up specific stuff that is age appropriate. Zoodles also has a Kid Mode so that your child is in the app and can't go into other things. The videos and games seem to primarily come from PBS- lots of Curious George and Sesame Street for the younger set. My kids love that they each have their own login. And I like that I get a weekly email that tells me how long they used Zoodles, what activities they did, etc.
- Games for me. I like to have games on my Smartphone. There are times I just want some entertainment to kill time or as a little stress escape. Angry Birds is a well known favorite. I also enjoy Pretty Pet Salon and it is so much better on a tablet than on my smartphone. And I found a new game that has become a serious addiction. It's called Diversion. Check it out- but be warned that you might want to lock yourself in a bathroom and play for 14 hours.
- Netflix. Jeff downloaded the Netflix app on the tablet on Thanksgiving. I wish I'd known to do that sooner. Jeff has a Netflix account and we watch streaming movies and shows regularly. With the app, I can watch shows on the tablet. I got caught up on season 2 of Parenthood, for example. I watched it at home on our Xbox and could pause an episode and finish watching it on the tablet later. I could pause it on the tablet and resume it at home through our Blu-Ray player or Xbox. I'm totally hooked on having Netflix at my fingertips and want to get a list going of all the shows I want to get caught up on!
Bottom line is that the tablet is fun and impressive. I got comments on it when I took it places. I enjoyed, for example, going out to breakfast and being able to read news articles on MSNBC's app or Yahoo's app and not have to deal with a bulky newspaper. And the guy at the table next to me struck up a conversation about it- he is considering a tablet for work. He owns his own business and could use the apps and accessibility of a tablet for marketing, invoicing, and so on.
I'm not tech savvy enough to give you all the ins and outs and compare it to other devices. I can tell you that my kids and I had fun with the camera, the apps, and the mobility of it.
So if you've got a techie on your list this Christmas or someone who travels often or someone who spends a lot of time waiting at kid events or an older person who could benefit from the lighting on the pages for easier reading - Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Tab might be the perfect gift!