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8 school-smart tablets

Is a tablet on your child's back-to-school list? Check out our tech expert's top picks.

By Christina Tynan-Wood

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Nabi 2

Ages: Preschool and up

The Nabi 2 ($200) is a cool idea: A 7” Android tablet that’s built just for kids — and it's a genuine tablet, not a toy. Its interchangeable bumper case makes it small-hand friendly and tough enough to survive the school day without turning Mom into a hovering worrywart. And it comes with access to a music store offering songs from Disney and Nickelodeon, as well as multimedia books preinstalled by MeeGenius, so right out of the box, your child will be able to turn it on and play. If this sounds like a device that will turn your tot into a vidiot, relax. It also features built-in math, science, and reading tools and a chore manager to help you raise a helpful adult. Will it keep your tot happy through high school? Probably not, but it will likely be her favorite source of fun and learning for quite a while. And unlike your fragile iPad, it will keep her away from games and content too mature for little minds.

Bottom line: Young kids love iPads but they aren’t really kid-proof. This 7” Android tablet is designed just for small kids, with content — and a price — to match.

Christina Tynan-Wood has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, PC World, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, and many others. She currently writes the "Family Tech" column in Family Circle and blogs at GeekGirlfriends.com.

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