GIVEAWAY: @VTech Innotab 3S – The Next Generation of Tablets for Kids
Do you find yourself fighting your children for use of your iPad? Does your four year old (like mine) know how to download apps without your help? While this may be ok on occasion, I have come upon a product that will hopefully alleviate this problem and give my son free reign of his very own tablet. Perhaps the Innotab 3S by VTech will help you relinquish custody of your personal tablet as well.
The VTech Innotab 3S is an Android tablet that is designed specifically for children (ages 4-7). With it’s bright colors (it comes in pink or blue) and relatively large screen (5 inches) it has a look that is closer to a toy than other electronic tablets and children are immediately drawn to the Innotab’s visual appeal.
To address the specs of the device, the Innotab 3s comes with a thick, rubbery ‘casing’ that is easy for little hands to hold, and all of the buttons are large enough for little fingers. The screen itself is a relatively decent size and the icons are large enough for younger users to navigate through. The Innotab 3S comes with an easy to use and has a 2- megapixel, 180 degree rotating camera that is centrally located on the upper part of the device. The tablet come with many different apps to play with (for the camera) and I find my son using his camera to take “selfies” often. While the Innotab 3S has a touch screen, I think it may be easier to use the attached stylus pen in order to utilize certain applications on the device. (The tablet actually comes with an extra stylus pen as a spare if needed).
It is relatively simple to begin using right out of the box, once you download the software to your computer. The VTech site, as well as the accompanying disc will take you trough the initial set up of the device. Once that is finished, you are free to download apps, games, and/or whatever programs offered on the site. Although the Innotab 3S is WIFI enabled, it seems the only way to download new apps from the internet in through plugging your device into your computer directly. The programs can also be purchased both individually or as bundles at your local Vtech Innotab retailer. While my family has never owned an Innotab before, I am told that the older models have cartridges that are compatible with this newer model.
A feature I enjoyed was the Innotab’s ability to know it’s users. It enables several users to make individual profiles so that when the device is turned on, one can choose if they want to use the Innotab as a guest or under their own profile. This comes in handy when your child is sharing his/her Innotab 3S with siblings or friends.
As a parent, I enjoy many of the features of the Innotab 3S, including the parental controls which allow me to regulate the content of what my child can access. For instance, the Innotab 3S can connect to the internet (a feature I am still mastering) based on the settings and preferences that I have allowed. I also really like the Content Lock feature which is accessed in Settings. This, I’ve learned, can help prevent my son from deleting content (accidentally) from the device.
The games and apps that can be purchased for the Innotab 3S are mainly educational, and fun for kids and are catagoized online by content, type, characters, and curriculum. Once your child has downloaded an app (and put it to good use) you can monitor his/her progress in the Learning Lodge. With popular characters such as Sponge Bob, Dora, and almost every Disney character that comes to mind, there is something for everyone to enjoy. I was honestly a but surprised at the cost of some of the apps but I realize that they often come in bundle packages, which allows for several different programs, games, and applications in one download.
A feature that we are still getting to know is the Kid Connect messaging. Your child can send messages to other friends who have the Innotab and even receive text messages from Mom and Dad – which is very exciting for most children. There is a free app in the android and apple stores which allows you to communicate freely with your child’s registered Innotab 3S.
I must mention that I’ve heard compared to other child friendly tablets, the VTech Innotab 3s can be slightly sluggish at times. Again, not able to personally compare it to anything other than an iPad, I didn’t find this to be much of an issue. I can also say that my son, the primary user of the Innotab 3S, has never had any complaints. As a matter of fact, he loves that he not only has his own tablet now, but he is also able to use it without constantly asking for help. Ironically, his favorite apps thus far have been the ones that come included on the Innotab 3S like the beanstalk.
Overall, I think it’s an extremely fun and easy to use tablet for children ages 4-7. If you have a child who is older than that, they may feel limited by the capabilities of the Innotab 3S but it is perfect for the recommended ages. The amount of options that the Innotab 3S has for children will keep them entertained for hours and parents can feel safe that they are learning while having fun. I really enjoy being able to monitor everything that my pre schooler is utilizing on his Innotab 3S because it enables us to download apps and games to further enhance his learning in areas that he made benefit from. I can also say that we both are grateful to now have our own individual ‘electronic devices’ that we no longer have to fight over.
(1) Lucky MomConfessionals’ reader will win the Innotab 3S by VTech! You must answer, “Which feature of the Innotab 3S by VTech do you like most?” You have several additional entry options if you’d like to increase your odds of winning! ALL ENTRIES ARE CONTAINED WITHIN THE WIDGET. Good Luck!