Buyer’s Guide – Tweens & Teens Electronics

Teens are into all things electronic.  Boys love video games and consoles, computer games, mp3 players and just about any gadget they can lay their hands on.  Girls in this age group are tough to shop for, however they love the favorites like phones, cameras and any electronic accessories that go along with them.  Even the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has found that households with teens own a total of 35 consumer electronics products as compared to only 24 in non-teen households!

Here are the hottest electronics for today’s youth:

  • Cell Phones: Teens are not only using their phones for talking and sending text messages to their friends any longer.  They are downloading video clips and ringtones or sending opinions to websites who ask for them.  Be sure the phone you purchase for your child can keep up with its intended use.
  • Video Games and Consoles: Portable gaming devices are becoming more popular with teens as they can be used while on the run.  Game consoles at home are used by a greater percentage of 12 – 14 year olds than older teens, ages 15 – 17, likely because the older teens may not have the free time for extra hours of gaming.  Video games are given ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB); however, research suggests that T-rated (Teen) video games expose players to a wide range of unexpected content (violence, profanity, gambling, etc) therefore, it is important as a parent to take an active role in selecting the games and discussing the content with your teens.
  • MP3 Players: There are many features to review when deciding which MP3 player to purchase for your teen:
  • Price: Before buying an MP3 player, consider the price – the younger your child is, the less you will likely want to spend as your younger child is more likely to break or lose the player.
  • Ease of Use:  Consider how easy the MP3 player is to use by determining if the screens allow for more functionality than just shuffling through the entire library.  In most cases, teens will be able to download music and videos on their own, but be sure to warn them about the legalities of downloading.
  • Video:  Many of today’s MP3 players also play video – these players have larger memory and hard drive capacity.
  • Memory:  There is a wide range on the amount of memory players have – ranging from 128 MB up to 60 GB.  Some players also have expandable memory which allows extra music and videos to be stored on other cards if needed.
  • Extras:  Check to see if the unit offers anything unique that might not be available on any other player.

Although there are many items to consider – all should be considered simultaneously to find the perfect player for your teen.

  • Cameras: Be sure to please your picky teen by taking into consideration options available.  See below for some tips to help please your teen:
  • Size:   Think small – your teen will likely prefer a small, compact camera even if it means giving up a few features.  Select one that can easily slide into a pocket, purse or backpack.
  • Coolness Factor:  Many times, more significant than the actual usefulness of a digital camera, teens want to look cool.  Cameras come in flashy color and can be cute, high-tech looking or just funky.
  • Features:  Zoom range and recycling time are generally of less interest to a teen – more importantly, look for cameras that also have the ability to shoot video or connect directly to the computer.  Think about picking out a camera that can also be used as his or her cell phone – your teen can shoot pictures on the fly, and then email them immediately to friends!
  • Extras:  An additional memory card as well as any other accessories available may be a worthwhile investment.

Of course, keep your teen’s interests in perspective – if he or she is concerned with picture quality and overall performance of the camera, be sure to research all the features of the camera more thoroughly.

New electronic products are being introduced to the market rapidly.  The above items will provide you with some of the top teen electronics – but as the market changes, keep an eye out for any new and exciting toys!