3 Low-Cost Web Devices
3 Low-Cost Web Devices

by Bev Bachel

Thanks to today’s technology, you can hold some pretty impressive Web-surfing power in your hands — and so can your kids. And while web-enabled devices can still be expensive, there are some that cost less than taking a family of four out to dinner and to the movies.

“Just because a device is inexpensive, doesn’t mean it’s cheap,” says Steve Mueller, the owner of a Woodbridge, Va., Jimmy John’s sandwich shop that will be opening in the spring. In preparation, he recently went shopping for an inexpensive device that will enable him and his employees to access the Internet.

He was pleasantly surprised by all the options under $300 that he found. You will be, too. Here are three worth checking out:

Dell Chromebook 11

Cost: $269

Though small in size, the Dell Chromebook 11 loads web pages in just seconds and boasts a lot of great features. That’s because Dell designed it as a durable laptop for schools. But students aren’t the only ones who will appreciate the laptop’s stereo speakers, seven-hour battery and 11.6-inch screen, which is ideal for creating documents, watching movies or editing photos. And, as with all Chromebooks, the Dell 11 comes with your favorite Google apps.

What you’ll love:

Your kids can surf where they want, without you having to worry about security threats. That’s because the Dell 11 automatically scans apps and data for viruses and malware in the cloud, keeping your computer and its contents safe without the need for any additional security software.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0”

Cost: $180

This tablet features advanced multitasking and a Multi Window feature that makes it possible for you to open two apps side by side. Flip through photos while shopping online or read your favorite blogs while checking your social media accounts. The Tab A 8.0 also comes with Microsoft Office software, which you can download for free from Galaxy Apps. While the software isn’t as robust as what you’ll find on home or office computers, it will make it easy for you to review and save changes in Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Plus, you get 100 GB of storage and a complimentary two-year subscription to Microsoft OneDrive so that you can keep all of your documents, photos and videos in one place, in the cloud.

What you’ll love:

“Kids Mode” gives you peace of mind by enabling you to easily manage what sites your kids access and how long they spend on them, all while keeping your own documents private and secure.

Nook HD

Cost: 79.99
With a speedy operating system and a high-resolution screen, the Nook HD is an extremely affordable way to keep you and your family connected to the web while at home, at work or on the go. This tablet’s 7-inch touchscreen is large enough for playing games and watching movies but not so large that the device becomes unwieldy in little hands. Another family-pleasing feature is the Nook’s battery, which is rated to last nine hours for video play and 10 hours for text display.

What you’ll love:

The Nook HD is compatible with the Google Play app store, which gives you instant access to a wealth of content. And it’s one of few budget devices that include a microSD card slot, which lets you expand memory by up to 32GB.

Whether you buy one of these or another low-cost device, you’ll be surprised and delighted by how far your surfing dollars will go.

Freelance writer Bev Bachel lives in Minneapolis and uses her phone to talk, text and email friends and family around the world. She’s the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go For It!

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