Fed up with lending your Apple iPad or Blackberry Playbook to your son or daughter? Well, Vtech has launched a touchscreen tablet especially designed for children.
The Vtech InnoTab is is an eReader, games console, mp3 and video player all rolled into one. Children aged between 4-9 years controlled it by tapping or using the stylus on the 5-inch LCD screen.
Like a ‘grown-up’ tablet the InnoTab rotates automatically when you swap between landscape and portrait orientation. It also includes a G-force sensor so you can turn it left and right to control (for example) a car during a racing game.
We had some hands-on time with the InnoTab today and we were impressed. The main menu includes bright colourful options for: E-Reader, Games, Music, Videos, Photos, Notes, Art Studio, Color and Pop and Calendar, each accessed using the stylus.
The quickest way to get content onto the device either by downloading apps from the Vtech store via the Learning Lodge software. Three free downloads are included with the InnoTab otherwise they will cost around £2.99 each, Vtech estimates it will have 100 apps available before Christmas.
Alternatively, you can download cartridges for £25 a pop, which includes a full eBook, with titles such as ToyStory coming soon. Cartridges are available for different age ranges, the idea being (as with the apps) the difficulty level increases are your child gets older.
Supports for MP3 and AVI music and video formats, means you can transfer your children’s favourite songs or family videos on the device, although it doesn’t work as plug-and-play, instead you need to use the software. On-board storage is only 128Mb, so if you do this an SD card is a necessity.
Elsewhere there’s a 3.5mm jack, speaker and useful desk stand.
The Vtech InnoTab will be available from September for £80, it will be interesting to see how it compares the LeapFrog LeapPad also launching soon.
Vtech InnoTab E-Reader
Depending on your childs’ ability; they can choose to read the story or have it read to them. Tapping on the letters reads out the words.
Vtech InnoTab Games
Pinball Letters and Ice Escapetters are pre-installed on the InnoTab; both are designed too be educational.
Vtech InnoTab Photos
Pictures can be uploaded cameras such as the Kidizoom, or converted from a smartphone using the software
Vtech InnoTab Art Studio
Children can draw using a selection of tools including: pencils, patterns or even frong prints and tyre tracks
Vtech InnoTab Calendar
Drag and drop icons – such as presents or even a pumpkin – onto the calendar, older children can use the ‘friends’ app
Vtech InnoTab controls
Supplied with the InnoTab is a stylus, which is adjacent to the cartridge holder