Kids now a days are technology-obsessed and I am ok with that as long as limits are set for the kids, and I am involved in their tech playing activities. If the thought of handing an iPad or Kindle Fire or other “adult” tablet to a toddler is pretty frightening then the VTech InnoTab is not a bad option.
The InnoTab is nice and sturdy, and comes with a thick rubber case, and it was fairly easy to download the software from the included CD and get started. It’s not super well stocked out of the box, but has a good amount to get you started without having to download much from their fairly pricey online store. It comes loaded with one book, and some coloring/art apps, most of which are a little advanced for a toddler, but I’ve actually played with them and they could be fun for an older kid. It also give you two complimentary app downloads, a free sign language video, and a cartridge of animal photos.
There is an included still/video camera, which I had high hopes for, since my kid is photo and video obsessed, but the quality is pretty terrible. Every picture looks like we took it in the dark.
My son likes the music app, which plays one minute versions of several children’s songs and classical selections (included with device), and some of the games-he’ll play Tappimals Zoo, where he taps the animals as they appear in their environment and it brings them up and tells him their name and what noise they make (included with device) over and over, and he’s starting to like the Alphabet Bubbles game ($2.99 on the vTech store). He also loves the animal photos on the cartridge.
By far my biggest complaints are:
It loads SO slowly. It takes an average of 7 seconds to load each app. Seven seconds is a long time for me, so it’s an eternity for a little one. Lots of frustrated huffing and pushing the tablet towards me. At least there’s a white “loading” across the screen, so he has figured out that if he waits a little longer something will happen. Usually. Most of the time he’ll just push the home button out of frustration and we have to start all over.
Whoever decided to put a giant green power button on the front of the tablet does not have a child who likes to push buttons. It took a good two weeks of CONSTANTLY pushing it until he finally learned that that button “makes it go bye-bye.” And when it loads as slowly as it does, this is a recipe for disaster. It should be on the top, on the side, anywhere else.
I think it’s got potential, but a really big learning curve, so we’ll see how it goes down the road.
The VTech InnoTab retails for $50.
Thank you Pam Huber Designs for this great review. My Strange Family was provided with a tablet for review purposes all opinions expressed here are our own.