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The 5 Best Tablets for Your Early Years Setting

Finding the right devices for your setting can be a minefield. That Nursery Life’s CCO Greg McCallum is here to help you find the best tech at the right price for your setting, avoiding the rest, from technical overkill to future landfill.

This month Greg is here to help you find the right tablet for your facility.

Young girl practicing kids coding on iPad
Photographer: Kelly Sikkema | Source: Unsplash

What does a tablet need to do?

1. Take good quality photos

Tablets, much like smartphones, are every bit as much of a camera these days as they are anything else. Taking photos indoors and outdoors and catching ‘action shots’ of children moving and playing requires a highly capable rear facing camera.

2. Offer quick image editing with good multitasking

Good images aren’t just about snapping the best shot in the moment, they’re also about the edit. With apps from Procreate to Snapseed, tablets are increasingly important tools for editing images, and unlike computers can be used on the go in setting. You will want a tablet with a decent amount of processing power, RAM, storage and good WiFi connectivity to make the most of your photos.

3. Deliver good battery life

Nothing is more infuriating than going to take a photo of a child’s work or group activity for their learning journal only to find a device with a flat battery. Many have such poor battery life that, even if charged overnight, they can run flat by lunchtime!

4. Be affordable

Although price is important, getting value for your money is also key. All the tablets in our list come in under £150 but are also produced by well known, genuine manufacturers so that you can trust in their reliability and durability.

Is there anything that is important to you in a tablet that I’ve missed?? Let me know in the comments below.

Here are the best tablets for your setting as recommended by That Nursery Life:

Best All-Rounder

LENOVO Tab M10 10.1” Tablet – 32 GB

£130

This tablet ticks quite a few boxes. While it does not boast the best specs in all areas, it is a reliable device that will serve you and your team well.

It comes with a custom shock-resistant bumper and a “kids’ mode” ready for use by the children directly, with screen and sound quality that are impressive for the price.

The 5MP rear facing camera is more than adequate, and its impressive 32GB of storage is plenty for storing photos and downloading any software you need for use in your setting.

Pros

  • 10.1 " HD Ready 1280 x 800p 10-point touchscreen display
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 32 GB Storage with a microSD card slot for up to 256 GB
  • Dual-band AC WiFi
  • 2.0 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 Quadcore processor for multi-app performance
  • 3 Years instant replacement available when bought via: https://tidd.ly/3cdDBuk

Cons

  • Lithium-Polymer battery instead of the more durable Lithium-ion
  • eMMC storage not SSD
  • Average battery life at 9 hours

For the full specs, to purchase or to spread the cost over 36 months, click here

Best for Admin

ACER ACTAB1021 10” Tablet - 32GB

£110

This is the only tablet on this list with the Android 10 operating system, making it the best option for colleagues with administrative responsibilities. It has great performance specs, a 5MPrear facing camera, a good screen size and decent battery life.

Android 10 has a desktop mode, meaning that if you purchase a MYminiPC pack here: https://bit.ly/38mAkYn you can simply plug the tablet and wireless keyboard into the dock and use it like a laptop. You can even run an HDMI Cable [https://tidd.ly/2PABzwu] from the dock to a larger screen for a full desktop experience, perfect for presentations, or for digital activities with larger groups of children.

Pros

  • 10 " HD Ready 1280 x 800p display
  • 3 GB RAM, perfect for heavy admin usage (and highest on this list)
  • 32 GB Storage with a microSD card slot for up to 512 GB
  • 2.0 GHz, MediaTek MT8168B ARM Cortex-A53 Quadcore processor for high performance
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • 3 Years instant replacement available when bought via: https://tidd.ly/3cdDBuk

Cons

  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi not Dual-band AC WiFi. This is serviceable but may struggle with weaker signals)
  • eMMC storage not SSD
  • Below average battery life at 8.5 hours.

For the full specs, to purchase or to spread the cost over 36 months, click here

Best for Photos

SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab A 8" Tablet (2019) - 32 GB

£125

This tablet boasts an 8MP rear-facing camera (the best on this list) and Samsung’s market-leading image editing software preinstalled. If your main need for a tablet is taking photos, this device is the one for you. With enough storage for plenty of photos and Dual-band AC WiFi to quickly share to the cloud or to a wireless printer, you can’t really go wrong with the A8.

Pros

  • HD Ready 1280 x 800p display with 800:1 contrast ratio.
  • 2 GB RAM & 32 GB Storage with a microSD card slot for up to 512 GB for storing photos and videos
  • Dual-band AC WiFi for fast uploading speed to shared folders and learning journals
  • Lithium-ion batteries with up to 14 hours battery life! (second best on this list)
  • 3 Years instant replacement available when bought via: https://tidd.ly/3kTxfEp

Cons

  • • Front facing camera is only 2MP (but not likely to be an issue unless you’re taking a lot of work selfies!)
  • • A smaller 8” display

For the full specs, to purchase, or to spread the cost over 36 months, click here

Best for Battery Life

LENOVO Tab M8 Tablet - 32 GB

£89.99

If battery life is important to you and you are on a budget then the Lenovo Tab M8 is a great choice. With a whopping 18 hours of battery life, 2 years of manufacturer guarantee, 32 GB of storage, and a 5MP rear facing camera, this is a great option at an even better price.

Although the Quad-Core processors used in this tablet are known to run more slowly when they get hot, a device like this is still an excellent option, especially if you need to purchase several tablets for use in a larger setting. (A bonus tip: turn the tablet off overnight to prevent overheating and extend the its lifespan.)

Pros

  • HD Ready 1280 x 800p display multi-point touchscreen
  • 2 GB RAM & 32 GB Storage
  • 1-cell Lithium-ion giving up to 18 hours of battery life!
  • 3 Years instant replacement available when bought via: https://tidd.ly/3rt7b5o

Cons

  • No microSD card slot for expandable storage
  • A smaller 8” display

For the full specs or to purchase with additional offers, click here

Best for Performance

LENOVO Tab M10 10.3" Tablet - 32 GB

£149

This tablet takes top spot purely due to its processing power and durability. With a MediaTek Helio P22T Octa-Core 2.3 GHz Processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage the Lenovo Tab M10is all about optimal performance. What does this mean in practice compared? While it is by no means on a par with a £700-£1,000 iPad, this tablet can run multiple apps and handle photo and video editing considerably better than most others on the market.

Pros

  • MediaTek Helio P22T Octa-Core 2.3 GHz Processor
  • 10.3” Full HD+ 1920 x 1200p display 10-point touchscreen
  • 2 GB RAM & 32 GB Storage (with microSD card up to 256GB)
  • Lithium-ion (up to 9 hours battery life)
  • USB Type-C
  • 3 Years instant replacement available when bought via: https://tidd.ly/2PN2XHT

Cons

  • Rear facing Camera an average 5MP (but front facing is 8MP!)

For the full specs, to purchase or to spread the cost over 36 months go here: https://tidd.ly/2PN2XHT


And that’s our list!

Have you bought one of these devices, or perhaps know of another that should have been on this list? What other tech reviews should we tackle next?

Let us know in the comments and share your insights with the TNL community!

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