So junior has seen you with your iPad or your Android tablet and wants to be just like you. Aww, that's sweet. But as soon as that loving sentiment fades from your brain, you realise that anything you get them is going to end up with jam and biscuits all through it, faster than you can fudge an excuse for where babies really come from. This week I have found a solution to your woes: the KiDiGi 7: A $99 tablet your kids will love.
What Is It?
The KiDiGi 7 V4.1 is a 7-inch tablet that gives you great bang for buck. It runs stock Android 4.0 out of the box and is powered by a 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and packs 8GB worth of storage. It even has expandable memory. We got ours for review from MobiCity who is currently doing a deal on the device for $99. It normally retails for $149, but even then this is still top value for the little-uns in your life.
First things first: this isn't a Nexus-killer, an iPad mini-alternative or even a Kobo Arc-competitor. This is a tablet that was built with a price point and value for money in mind.
$99 is great value for what you're getting in the KiDiGi 7. Normally you'd expect something with a sub-1GHz processor, 256MB of RAM and maybe Android 2.3 paired with an unusable skin. Not the KiDiGi 7. Its 1.5GHz processor delivers results quicker than you'd expect, the 512MB of RAM is the same as you'd get in the more expensive iPad 2 and the 8GB worth of storage is topped off by what the Nexus 7 still lacks: expandable storage via microSD card.
The battery goes for a couple of days, too, so you're not about to upset junior during playtime by having to take their favourite toy away for a charge mid-way through.
It's easy for any kid to pick up and use being stock Android, and it's light enough that they can carry it about with them and sturdy enough -- being made out of plastic -- that it's not going to shatter into a trillion pieces when they drop it in favour of something shinier that just crossed their gaze.
Movie playback is loud and clear, games are responsive and smooth, there's no crapware in sight and it's the right size for little hands.
Like I've said: don't buy this expecting a Nexus 7 replacement. Sure it's nice for grown-ups who want a muck-about tablet on the cheap, but that's not who it's really for.
The screen is a bit washed out and the backplate is white, which means it's going to get dirty, fast. None of these are huge issues for something a kid will be using, though.
The only thing I have a geniuine issue with is that the bezel is slightly raised, meaning soft, child hands might find it has a bit of an edge to it. Not really a problem for something that's going to be used on the floor or a table, though. How often does a 10-year old use a tablet between meetings, anyway?
The only thing that might put some parents off, though, is the size of the tablet as they get older. I think 7-inches in this spec is perfect for kids between 7 and 13, but if they want something bigger (to play around the ages of 14 to 18) then the $179, 10-inch Kogan Agora tablet is probably the go. Or they can just save their pocket money and buy their own at that point.
Should You Buy It?
This is everything you want for your tech-obsessed kid in the one package, and it screams "my first tablet". The box should carry the words "Ages 8 and Up". That's who this tablet is for: kids who want to be as cool as their parents but aren't yet ready for a $300-$800 tablet. Frankly, if your kid is getting one of those and it isn't for school it's madness anyway. Get this for them this Christmas and stop fishing biscuits out of your laptop bag. Who knows, they might even use it to learn something.