Buying iPad vs iPod for Kids: Pros and Cons

Gift imageby Debbie

To iPad or iPod, that is the Question! Well, your son’s birthday is coming up, and he has been dropping hints. Alright, he’s really been outright asking for an iPod touch. Only, he’s turning eight. His big sister has one, and ALL of his friends have one. His request is only another reminder of that things just aren’t what they used to be . . . Did we even have blow driers when I was eight? I think not. But we had Lincoln Logs!


Anyway, what to do? Perhaps you have been thinking of giving him an iPod or an iPad. Both are cool gifts, but how do you choose?

Here are some thoughts:

  • First, consider the child. Does your child wander around the room looking for his shoes every day when they are right in front of him? Does your daughter lose her homework even when you are positive you saw her place it in her binder? If the answer is yes, take heed! That child may not yet be capable of keeping track of such a small device as an iPod. If you do decide to buy one, be prepared to take charge of it, yourself.
  • On the flip side, iPad are larger and typically easier for little hands to maneuver and use. The broader screen may also make playing games more fun. And best of all, the iPad is much more difficult to lose.

From a parent’s point of view, I think all teens should choose the iPad, over the iPod. Although the cost of the iPad is higher, think about how difficult it would be to sneak texts to friends during the middle of math class if it required pulling the iPad out of one’s backpack! “Johnny, what is that large computer like device you just put on your desk?! Put it away!”

However, choosing an iPad for all teens is unrealistic. Typically, teens like the portability of the iPod, which easily tucks into jacket pockets and can go anywhere; to school, to the beach, to the mall…Anywhere teens love to hang out.

How does the iPod compare to the iPad? Both devices offer Face Time with two cameras, blue tooth capacity and WiFi networking. Both are excellent for surfing the web and checking email or Facebook. They both include video out to tv and video editing apps’ and both are great for travel.

It is true, however, that the iPod touch has a slightly smaller GB capacity, and the iPad features a limited GPS. Also, the iPad 2 boasts 10 battery hours to iPod touch’s 7 video battery hours. (Note that the iPod touch has up to 40 audio hours.) If you just can’t decide, the bottom line may be cost, as the iPod touch runs from $229-$399, whereas the iPad can range anywhere between $499-$829. The big buck factor may decide for you.

So, think it over carefully. Choosing either the iPod or the iPad boils down to personal preference, in the end, and practicality. Is the purchase for an adult or a child? Is portability to places like the mall or beach important? Just remember: if your kid is prone to losing things, you might just find that iPod, yes, in the laundry.