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Best Tablets for Kids & Families

Apple’s iPad has become synonymous with the tablet experience. But just because idevices are the most popular choice doesn’t necessarily make them the right choice for you. Depending on your needs, budget, and wish list, one of these alternative slates may just make you much happier with your purchase. Take a look before you buy. For the Bookworm and Video Junkie Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX, available in both 7 and 8.9 inch versions, might just be the perfect tablet for media-holics. It comes with Amazon’s huge e-book lending library built in, which is awesome for book lovers. But don’t mistake the Fire for just another e-reader. Amazon instant video, 24/7 tech support at the push of a button, fantastic parental controls, a stunning high-res display and a whopping 14 hour battery life make this one of the most well-rounded tablets on the market. A streamlined user interface and a much lower price tag ($229 – $375) than the iPad make the Fire a great introduction to tablets for novices and many kids, as well. There are different options to the HDX that alter the price. Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers For the Writer, the Artist, or the Doodler The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the perfect tablet for doodlers. If you’re one of those people that’s always jotting down notes and ideas, or if your fridge is covered with sticky notes and recipes, or if your job requires constant updates and revisions, the pen interface of the Note is just what you’re looking for. Features like Screen Write and Action Memo allow you to do everything from design your own app windows and copy website information to writing directly on your screen and red pen editing presentations. Perfect for teachers, students and artistic souls, the Note has an impressive 10.1 inch display and 3GB of RAM. For the Tech-Savvy Parent and their Children Southern California-based electronics creators Fuhu are making a name for themselves with tablets, laptops, computers and more geared towards a much younger audience. The Fuhu Nabi XD is a tablet geared specifically for tweens. If you’re looking for the perfect tablet for your 11-13 year old, but worry about the implications, this may be the perfect solution. You’ll love the adjustable parental controls and a library of over 200,000 e-textbooks to choose from. They’ll love playing console-quality games and watching moves on the high def 10 inch screen. You’ll both love the built-in features that make homework, presentations...

Pranks, Parties, and Pretend: Sims 3 – Generations

Sim lovers, it is time to get excited. The mega minds at EA Games have come up with yet another expansion on the beloved game. The Sims 3 brought with it the ability for Sim children to grow into teenagers juggling part-time jobs, adults with children of their own, and finally elders with retirement on the brain. The Sim citizens were free to jump through age groups, but something was still missing. The teens obediently went to school and did their homework. Adults experienced the joys of parenthood without the slightest hint of stress. Elders refused to reminisce about the good old days. The Sims clearly lacked a sense of realistic roundness, but that glitch is about to be rectified, thanks to The Sims 3: Generations. Kids say the darndest things, probably because their imaginations are running wild during this delicate age. Now your Sim children can exercise their creativity the way real children do. Enter the original childhood activity of make believe, complete with imaginary friends. Kids can pretend to be a princess or even an astronaut, and luckily for them, the castle or spaceship has evolved, too. Sim kids can be seen playing their games in the brand new tree house or the bunk beds they share with their siblings. If that is not enough, the kids also enjoy time spent at the playground, which boasts new equipment, such as a see-saw and sandbox. When the weather is beautiful, as it always is in the Simverse, kids can play on a waterslide in their backyard. Talk about an upgrade, kids lives are fuller than ever with all the places they can play in this expansion. The new features in childhood are fun and fairly harmless, though the same cannot be said for the new lives of teenagers, thanks to the expansion. Since when have any teens you know monotonously, yet happily, gone on their merry way to school each morning, plopped down to start their homework in the afternoon, and gone to bed without a fight? Well, never, unless the only teenagers you know live in the Simverse. If the teens had really wanted to shake it up, they might have gotten a part-time job, which of course, they would excel at, given that their angelic lack of autonomy never let them skip a shift or steal from the cash register. Sim parents are in for a real treat with this new expansion pack. Pranks and holding house parties while their parents are away are key features...

Wii Fit Plus—Everyone’s Entertainment

Is this unique game system and fitness-oriented game for you? The Nintendo Wii game system has exploded in popularity since its introduction. The novel idea of moving your whole body to play instead of just your hands on a controller fired people’s imagination. The Wii Fit Plus game has only increased that popularity, attracting a wide audience from all ages. The game has something for everyone, increasing fitness through soothing yoga poses, body strengthening positions, fun aerobic activities, and balance games. The basic concept of the game is to increase fitness through better balance and toning. The great thing about this game is that it doesn’t emphasize physical beauty as a goal, but rather health and strength of body. The game allows a person to choose their own fitness goals and length of time to reach those goals, guiding and encouraging the player on the best path to a healthy body. The Wii system allows the player to create their own Wii person or Wii Mii, recording their progress in each game. Wii Fit offers a body test each day which includes weight, BMI, balance tests, and Fitness Age (calculated from your real age and results of your tests), plus a calendar and graph to record your own Wii Mii’s progress. The game is played by standing on a pressure sensitive board, which responds to movements according to each person’s specific weight. The only activities that do not use the board are the running activities under the aerobic section. For these, the system records the up and down movements of the Wii hand controller, which the runner either carries or secures in/on clothes. In the yoga and strength training sections, there are fifteen poses each and in the aerobic and balance game sections, there are nine activities each. The game starts the player off easy with beginner levels and only a few poses and activities available. As the player progresses and improves, the game rewards the gamer by unlocking new poses or activities, and increasing the difficulty. Although this game has a nice variety and range of activities, it’s not for people who are deeply into exercise, like fitness buffs, athletes, or body builders. This game is for people who need more exercise in their lives and thrive on structure and encouragement in their fitness regime. But the range of activities ensures that players of all ages will find this game engaging. From centering with yoga to fun with balance games, Wii Fit Plus is a great game that...

Money-Saving Tips: How to Save Money on Video Game Consoles

Money-Saving Tips: How to Save Money on Video Game Consoles Save money on video game consoles. Whether you are looking for a handheld video game system such as the PSP or Nintendo DS or a full console such as the Wii or Playstation 3, these tips will help you get the video game console of your dreams for less money. Buy online. You can often get great deals on video game consoles by shopping online for them. If you are looking for a used or older video game system, check out sites such as Craigslist and E-bay. Many people selling old systems will include everything they have for that system including controllers, memory cards, add-ons, and even any games they might have. Don’t buy old systems such as Sega Genesis in stores as you’ll pay more for less. Instead look for private sellers looking to get rid of their entire system and all the games and accessories they have for it. As for newer consoles, look for sales at retail store sites or online only prices that may be cheaper than in store prices. Get bundled package deals. Just like many private sellers will sell old systems with everything included, many stores will sell new systems with added bonuses. You can save money by buying bundled packages which may include controllers, a new release game, or a memory card. Sometimes they may also include discounts with the purchase for your next video game purchase. Trade-in older systems. Look online to see what the going rate is for the system you want to sell. If it is better than trade-in value, sell online for a good price. Otherwise take your old system and everything that works with it to your local video game store. Most stores will give you a store credit or even cash for your old games and systems. If you are bringing in the last generation of a system (such as Playstation 2) you may be able to apply that trade-in to a discounted purchased of the latest generation system (such as Playstation 3). Go to yard and garage sales. If you are looking for a classic console or older generation console you’ll want to check out local yard sales, flea markets, and garage sales. Also don’t forget about pawn shops as they can sometimes have new systems for a great deal. Consider these tips and ideas when shopping around for a new or used video game console system. You’ll often end up with a great deal...

How to Connect Your DSi to the Internet

Ever wanted to connect your DSi to the Internet? Well, after following the steps listed in this tutorial, you should be well on your way! First, you must check to make sure that your own or have access to the following devices: > A Nintendo DSi > A Wireless router > An Internet connection (Broadband is recommended, but a Dial-up connection will also work) By connecting your game system to the Internet, you’ll open up a whole new world for yourself. You’ll be able to play Wi-Fi enabled games against other players around the world, search the web, perform system updates, and much more. Setting up the system is actually quite easy, and only requires a few technical steps. This tutorial will be broken up into two sections, which covers setting up your DSi using the main menu or by using a Wi-Fi enabled game. Which ever method you choose will produce the same end result. Note: A lot of restaurants, hotels, and stores are now providing free Wi-Fi access, so if you are any of these places and can find a connection, go for it! Connecting your DSi (Regular method) 1. Power on your Nintendo DSi. 2. After the Health and Safety screen, you’ll be greeted by the DSi menu. 3. Find and select the “System Setings” icon. If you haven’t adjusted the order, it should be at the extreme left. 4. From here, press the over arrow 3 times (or tap the “3”) to navigate to the 3rd menu. Click on the “Internet” option. 5. Now, simply choose “Connection Settings”. 6. Select any connection that you would like to use (1-3). If it says “None”, then you can set up a new connection by tapping that option. 7. Select “Search for an Access Point”. 8. If there are any Wi-Fi connections within range, it will find the connection. Select the appropriate connection (most likely your router’s name) to connect. If your router uses a WEP key, then the DSi will prompt you to enter it. 9. It will then test the connection, checking for internet availability. 10. If everything goes right, then your connection will be confirmed and then you’ll be able to connect to the Internet from your DSi. Congratulations! Connecting your DSi (Wi-Fi game method) 1. Power on your Nintendo DSi. 2. After the Health and Safety screen, you’ll be greeted by the DSi menu. 3. Insert a Wi-Fi enabled game. Examples include Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Tetris DS, … 4. Within...

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