We recently faced a frightening challenge, travelling to Belgium for the weekend with no checked luggage. Given that our usual excursions, even for just a week, require two full suitcases, four carry on backs and a stroller, facing a five day journey with a small carry on suitcase and a couple of handbags seemed impossible, but we did it! We downsized everything we brought with us, including our trusty tablet. Today’s blog post has been written by the hubs! I’m hoping he’ll write more reviews so let us know what you think 😉
Disclosure : I received a complimentary tablet, but as always, opinions are totally mine.
As part of an early release program, Staples Canada sent us the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 the week before the journey and it could not have arrived at a better time. Lightweight, compact, and surprisingly kid friendly, the tablet replaced our trusty iPad on the journey and we discovered several features that will make it a part of future trips. We loaded some kid friendly content on the new device, and hoped for the best. Little Monkey took to the device immediately, and after a few nights in Belgium we were pretty happy that we were able to provide her with a distraction while we enjoyed the late nights playing board games and consuming the chocolate and beer we found during the day. The Tab S was also perfect for our 9 hour flight…she had her Frozen headset and was entertained for the entire journey. Baby Boy has been trying to get in on the tablet action too and luckily we’ve had no issues with the tablet being dropped.
Here are the features we liked best:
Kids Mode: We have struggled at times with the decision to allow our daughter to use the tablet. Sure, there are some amazing educational apps, but recently, we have been turning the WiFi off on her devices to prevent her from entering a YouTube labyrinth, and now that she is getting older and wiser, she occasionally sneaks off to avoid us knowing that she is watching toy videos (it’s a thing). On the Tab S, an easy to activate kids mode lets you choose which apps you want to allow your little one to use. Kids Mode also features a fun interface, special versions of the camera and voice recorder (so you can get your child to record their own special version of Let it Go), and it even allows you to set a usage time limit. As a parent, Kids Mode is great comfort. We can set specific limits on use and don’t have to worry about her playing with Apps she should not be using.
Multiple user accounts: As frequent travelers, having a tablet that can be shared and customized for multiple users is a great feature. I don’t have to complain that my screen is cluttered with unnecessary apps and that my bookmarks are missing, and both of us are free to add all our social media accounts without having to sign back in when the other signs out to check their own accounts. While this may require us to share more, that may be a good thing – at least one of us will be enjoying the scenery.
Expandable storage: The tablet has 16GB of internal storage, which is suitable for a large number of Apps and Pictures, but a Micro SD card slot allows us to load all of the kids’ movies and shows on to a separate storage area for when we need them. Staples sell a variety of Micro SD cards of varying storage capacities at very reasonable prices. On iPad, a jump from 16GB to 64GB will cost you about $100. A 64GB Micro SD card can be purchased for a little under $50 putting you at a total capacity of 80GB.
We are a multi-device family. We each have an iPhone and an Android, and I love my tech gear (we have 7 speakers in our living room). My brother in law is a true tech geek who was very excited to play with the Tab S when it arrived. He was very impressed and thinks it’s the best tablet available on the market. We’re amazed with the picture quality and speed of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S and quite grateful for the extra luggage room. The one challenge we had was trying to find a sturdy kid proof case for the new Tab S 8.4. We ended up buying a sleek one that’s fancy for the adults but we’re on the hunt for something similar to our iGuy.
If you’re looking for some last minute holiday gift ideas, check out the many tablets on sale at Staples (yes the Samsung Tab S 8.4 is also on sale!).
How’s your Christmas wishlist looking?