Your Money and careers writer for the NZ Herald

Buy Crikey: BYO tablets a school dilemma

Tablets are becoming increasingly common in NZ schools. Photo / Thinkstock
Tablets are becoming increasingly common in NZ schools. Photo / Thinkstock

Thousands of Kiwi parents have a new shopping dilemma this year.

They will need to buy a tablet or other digital device for their child. BYOD - bring your own device - is now common in New Zealand schools. Choosing a tablet isn't easy for a novice parent.

First, check out what your school expects, says Stephen Lethbridge, principal at Taupaki School, one of Auckland's most advanced schools in using technology for teaching.

Some parents may think they're doing their child's education a disservice if they don't buy a top-of-the-range tablet, such as an iPad, Samsung Note or Asus Transformer.

They're not. It is possible to save money. What's more, children break and lose tablets, which can be quite galling when you kiss $900 goodbye.

As well as finding out what the school can handle, parents should think about where they live in the cloud, says Lethbridge. "Are they Apple or are they Android?"

Lethbridge says the cheapest tablets are sometimes less reliable, the apps won't work, or will need constant restarting. Most devices would last two to three years but cheaper tabs may not last that long.

Last year's top-of-the-range model is still a fine piece of technology and can go for cut-down prices, such as the excellent 7-inch Acer tablet at Dick Smith for $175 - which is still available at that price. Even if you are fixated on one tablet, shop around on, or Geekzone's price comparison.

Deals ASUS Windows 8 Transformer pad with keyboard, $699.

Warehouse Stationery: Samsung Galaxy Tab3 7.0 $249 plus bonus $20 gift card.

Dick Smith: Toshiba tablet with quad core processor, $249.

- Herald on Sunday

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Your Money and careers writer for the NZ Herald

Diana Clement is a freelance journalist who writes about personal finance and careers. She has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years in both New Zealand and the UK. Diana has contributed to a large number of local and international publications. Her pet topic is the secrets of saving money.

Read more by Diana Clement

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