Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times tweeted about the Edifi tablet the other day:
The Edifi tablet is a tablet sold by Family Bookstores, a chain of Christian bookstores for $150. It’s a seven inch Android tablet (version unknown) with wi-fi (B or G), HDMI output, microphone, speaker, Micro SD slot, and a case that acts as a stand.
I just did a Twitter search on the tablet, and I’m seeing a lot of people making fun of the tablet–even calling it a “GodPad.” As an Evangelical, I know a lot of fundamentalist Christians (some in my own extended family) who very carefully filter what they see, read, and absorb. There’s a lot to “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” So I get why some Christians would be interested in such a device. I’m sure there people from other faiths that have fundamentalist divisions (Judaism, Islam) where a tablet catered to their needs would be welcome, too.
From what I can see, the tablet comes with “safe” apps, as well as a browser that filters responses. And quite honestly, if you have a family, you ought to be using some kind of a filter (e.g. OpenDNS). I don’t know a single school that supplies wi-fi that doesn’t also supply a filter. There’s a lot of junk and nasty stuff on the Internet that kids don’t need to be exposed to.
The Edify also comes with a Bible pre-loaded, as well a eBook reader for books from Family Christian Bookstores. There might some people that are against buying products from Apple or Google based on the political and social stances of those companies. So if someone wants to buy one of these tablets (I don’t think you’ll ever see them in schools), more power to them. It’s a free country.
That said, it is probably an underpowered tablet. If you desire a low-cost seven inch tablet, you would be better off looking at the Unobook (I heard from CDI on Twitter yesterday and learned more about that tablet), Amazon Kindle Fire (although that line will probably be refreshed soon), the new Google Nexus Seven, or an iPad and just load the same basic apps on your device: a Bible Reader–my favorite is the Bible Reader by Olive Tree, K-Love, and the Family Christian Reader. I’d also recommend the app from Christian Book Distributors–if this is your cup of tea. There is nothing wrong with someone wanting to listen to Christian music, read Christian literature, or read the Bible. It’s part of the wonderful freedoms that we offer in our country–the right to religious freedom.
The only thing I do have issue with is the name: “Edifi.” It’s a play on the word “edify” which means to improve someone morally or ethically (specifically in a religious sense) and “wi-fi.” It strikes me as being as cheesy as calling it the aforementioned “Godpad” or even “the Moses Tablet.”
And a final thought: if Amazon and Barnes and Noble can have their own tablets, why not a chain of Christian bookstores?