Mellow Mummy: VTech InnoTab Review - Children's Tablet Computer : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 14 August 2011

VTech InnoTab Review - Children's Tablet Computer

NOTE: You can read my preschooler review of the VTech innotab here.

I'm a geek. Mr. B. is a geek. It is almost a given that Lara will grow up to be a geek. I cannot wait to get Lara one of the new VTech InnoTab learning and play tablets when it is launched next month! This week I was lucky enough to get a hands-on sneaky preview of the new VTech InnoTab and I loved it.

The InnoTab by VTech is, to all intents and purposes, an IPad for kids! Designed for children aged 4-9 it brings together learning and fun on a hand-held computer that is tough enough to cope with the demands of a child. I played on the InnoTab for about half an hour and could have spent a lot longer ( I didn't stay longer because I was being shown up by a group of under 9s!).

The InnoTab comes with a wide array of built in apps and you can download more from the VTech website for a few pounds each. This means that the InnoTab can grow with your child by updating the content to their abilities and interests. Out-of-the box applications include a basic colouring application, a drawing app, an e-book, an interactive calendar and the ability to store and play videos, photos and music.

The InnoTab has a touch-screen that your child can use with or without a stylus. It has 128MB of built-in storage but additional apps can be dowloaded onto an SD card which you slot into the back. It also supports plug-in cartridges and you can buy a number of these with your child's favourite TV and movie characters.

I found one of the most impressive features of the InnoTab to be the built-in gravity sensor. It means you can play games that recognise the movement of the tablet and interpret this into actions in a game - the Spelling Pinball game was brilliant!!!

I think Lara's favourite app would be 'Colour and Pop' which is a colouring in application where you fill in a picture by picking from a wide range of colours that you can scroll through on the right hand side. As she gets older I already have images of her storing all of her friend's names and birthdays in her organiser and writing little notes to herself.

The InnoTab is battery powered but you will be able to buy USB and AC chargers for it. Photos and Videos can be transferred to the device directly from VTech Kidizoom cameras and video cameras and with a little more effort from your PC or memory card through the VTech software.

I found the InnoTab very instinctive to use. The touch screen navigation was very familiar and easy to pick up. I think that for pre-school and primary school children it will be a hit but I can't imagine there being many 9-year-olds who would prefer one of these to a 'grown-up' tablet.

The VTech InnoTab has no wireless internet connectivity so you don't need to worry about your child downloading hundreds of pounds worth of content, but I would recommend you keep your password for the VTech download site safe just in case they work out how to connect it up and download without your help!

The VTech InnoTab is launched in September and will cost around £80. It is currently available to pre-order.


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