Tuesday, September 18, 2012

VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet for Kids {Review}

From the first day that I took my iPad out of the box, I had no plans for it to end up being a child's toy. Same thought for my iPhone. We're talking (not cheap) technology here, people. With large screens made of glass. Why in the world would I trust my loveable-yet-clumsy children with them?

All of you Apple owners are rolling your eyes at me right now, aren't you?

You have every reason to, as, sure enough, nowadays it's quite common for Little Sister B to turn to me and say, "I play games on your iPad now, Mama?" or "Mama, where's your phone? Can I play on your phone?"

But even though many of us parents have gotten used to the idea of relinquishing our smartphones and tablets to our kids, that doesn't mean that these tech devices are now being made with the durability required to withstand children's play.

Instead, that's where VTech comes in with their gadgets that are safe, educational, entertaining, easy to use, and just for kids. And, after the success of the original InnoTab, VTech has added a wide array of interactive and educational updates and features to make it even better with the release of the InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet.

InnoTab 2

Designed to help your child take learning to the next level, the InnoTab 2 combines eBooks, educational games, creative activities, learning apps (there are hundreds available to download!) and tools into a sleek, durable and entertaining device.

With a 5" color touch screen, a tilt sensor for gameplay, an MP3 music player and a new rotatable camera that can also take video, kids ages three to nine can touch, drag, tilt, photograph and record their way to learning fun.

Considering how much my kids have enjoyed playing and learning with the original InnoTab, I knew they would be beside themselves to see the changes that have been made in the InnoTab 2.

InnoTab 2

Right away I found that the new version resembled the previous with its colorful appearance, durable design and stylus (love that this one comes with two stylus in case one is lost!) but the addition of the rotatable camera right on top is one that definitely can't be missed.

InnoTab 2 review

This portable, multi-media tablet (available in blue or pink) is slightly smaller and lighter than the original, while still providing fun and education for 3- to 9-year-olds through the opportunity to learn basic skills including math, vocabulary, spelling, reading, logic, drawing and more. But since kids will have so much fun playing with it, they most likely won't even realize that they are learning as well!

With all of the InnoTab 2's applications accessible right from the colorful home screen, just choosing where to start can be difficult... there are so many fun options to pick from!

Along with the integrated mp3 player and video player (allowing children the ability to listen to their favorite songs or watch videos to their heart's content), they can utilize the microphone, pop-up (onscreen) keypad or stylus to play games, create art, take notes, or use utilities like the onboard calendar or friends list all on one device.

VTech InnoTab 2 review

I also appreciate that VTech included a 2GB onboard memory (compared to the 64MB memory of the original InnoTab) and an SD card slot for memory expansion so that your child can save their games, artistic creations, and more.

At the same time, connecting the InnoTab 2 to a PC/Mac is easy with the included USB cable, so going online to browse or download the hundreds of available apps is quick and easy.

VTech InnoTab 2 USB

Whether the young user is tech savvy or just a beginner, they simply have to turn on the power, pop up the stand in the back (if needed) and they're set to go. I love that VTech made the InnoTab 2 customizable for up to four profiles, meaning each child won't have a problem turning it on and selecting their own name (and no one has to be a "Guest" instead of having their own personal avatar and name on the screen).

From there, the InnoTab 2 offers a variety of games and activities that keep your child happy, learning, occupied and expressing their creativity. Between the features right on the device itself and those that are on the included cartridge, there are enough options to keep your child all set for hours of play.

Everything from the easy and colorful art that comes "alive" at the touch of a button...

VTech InnoTab 2 art

...to the entertaining (and a bit addicting) games that are secretly practicing skills like balance, logic and coordination...

VTech InnoTab 2 games

...they are adaptable for all ages, encourage creativity and are just downright a lot of fun.

I love the built in eReader that provides interactive, animated e-books that offer story narration, character voices, animation, vivid graphics, sounds and music. Being able to highlight the words as it reads is just another way to encourage Big Sister E's blossoming reading skills, while not having to make her sit and sound out word by word.

VTech InnoTab 2 eReader

Of course the most engaging new feature of the InnoTab 2 has to be the rotating camera. Big Sister E has been wanting a digital camera of her own, but now instead of having to purchase one separately, there is one right on the top of the InnoTab 2 that takes photos... as well as video!

Simply swivel the camera back and forth and your child can easily take photos or record their friends, their family or themselves. And if capturing the memories themselves aren't enough, an additional graphics program on the InnoTab 2 allows kids to save and edit the pictures using special effects, funny disguises, stamps and more!

VTech InnoTab 2 camera

Although the VTech InnoTab 2 is entertaining all on its own, I appreciate that VTech has made it so simple to keep expanding the options.

First, they offer a variety of changeable software cartridges (sold separately for approximately $24.99), providing interactive e-books, learning games, and creative activities. Kids can play and learn with some of their favorite characters, including Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse, Disney Princesses, and the gang from Toy Story (cartridges from the original InnoTab work on the InnoTab 2, while those purchased for the new device will work on the original).

Second, parents are able to go right online and download apps (approximately $2.99) to find games, books and more that are just right for their child's age and developmental level. With such a wide variety of ways to learn and so many options for fun, this is one toy that does it all!

Retailing for $79.99 from VTech or on Amazon, the VTech InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet really will help your child take learning to the next level and stay up-to-date on the latest in technology. By allowing the combination of interactive reading, learning games, creative activities, a camera and more into a modern, versatile, high quality toy, it has the appeal that kids want with the durability and portability (great for travel!) that parents insist on.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for VTech. I received product samples to facilitate my review.

5 comments:

bxcrochet said...

Will be getting this for my nephew.

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

Sylvia Ortiz said...

Thank you for such a detailed review of the VTech Tablet. I never realized all the learning features that were included with this item. I will definately consider buying this for my grandson.

Carole Ingram said...

I think my daughters would be too old for this vetch tablet, and my son is too young. HOwever, overall Vtech has some AWESOME products! We have purchased several of their products in the past and I'm 100% positive we'll be buying more in the near future. They are very colorful and great learning toys!

randy fulgham said...

I THINK MY GRAND-DAUGHTER WOULD THIS ,I WILL HAVE TO CHECK INTO IT.THANKS FOR THE INFO

Ellen Thompson said...

This looks like a great product. I think this would be a great way for kids this age to start working with technology and hopefully keep your own expensive products safe from little hands.