Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby's First Laptop - Coby TF-DBD7377

Being the computer geek that I am, I couldn't help but have the thought - My 5 month old so needs a Netbook. Of course he didn't really need one, but I thought it would be handy to have access to YouTube, internet radio, and other goodies. A Netbook made sense too because I could plop it down on the blanket where he was playing (more interested in chewing on the case, than watching the screen no doubt).

The idea pretty much evaporated when I realized that the cheapest, solid netbooks were still going to cost hundreds of dollars - and I just couldn't justify the expense. Especially when you consider our kid can be entertained with an empty Kleenex box and a plastic spoon.

The issue kind of popped up again when my mom and one of her friends, bought us some audio CDs. Of course we don't have a CD player in the house, so we were playing them on our laptops. It was a workable solution, but not ideal. As I considered buying a CD player, I thought again about having an all in one device.

That's when I decided to take a different tact - rather than buying a netbook, what if I bought one of those travel DVD players? I looked around realized that they would play DVDs, CDs and display photos. They also fit the portable and durable platform I was after. With a reasonable price tag (say around $100 - and a CD player alone was going to cost $30+), I was sold.

In the end, my Mother-In-Law came through and got our little one a Coby TF-DVD7377. It's relatively small with a 7" screen, but nobody's complaining. What I really liked about the Coby is that it not only reads DVDs, Audio CDs and CDs you make with your computer, but it also reads SD cards and USB drives. That means it's really easy to fill it up with content.

Having had the device a few days now, I can tell you that I'm pleased with it. It came with all the accessories one could ask for (a car adapter, case, remote, AC adapter and recharable battery - even a headset). And while the video / audio quality is nothing special, it more than works for our purposes.

Most importantly, I was able to flickr and download download photos of Firetrucks, burn them to a CD and create a slideshow. I was also able to drop MP3s on there too.

While the device is hardly as flexible as a PC, I think it'll meet the real goal - having a portable device that's full of entertaining media. Oh, and it plays those old fashion CDs that apparently folks can still buy.

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