My seven-year-old niece wants a laptop computer for Christmas this year. It would be a joint gift from my four siblings and I. However, we all feel laptops will be obsolete within a few years. For that reason, we came up with the idea to buy her a Kindle Fire.

The Fire is basically an iPad, minus a few inches and personalization options. It can surf the web, download apps and books, and perform other functions that a computer would.

Extended family members are telling us this young girl is too young for such a device. We claim they need to face reality and catch up with the times, as their youngest children are already in their 30s.

I was not allowed to own a cellular phone until I was a senior in high school. Today, cell phones might as well be given as gifts at baby showers. My niece owned a Nintendo DS at age four, and she's been playing on my smart phone and her home computer for years.

I do agree that some parental controls may need to be set, but I think, nowadays, a Kindle Fire is an appropriate gift for a seven-year-old.

What do you think?