* Prices may differ from that shown
This has got to be the most annoying kids laptop we have ever had the misfortune to own and I'm sorry to say that because they have obviously put a lot of effort into it. I just really don't like it. My little girl received it as a birthday gift from an auntie and at that point we already had another vTech one that I do really like so I didn't really see the point of having another one.
This laptop is very pink and girly and is in the shape of a flower. I don't think it needs to be that girly, I guess my little girl isn't really a girly girly so maybe this is why it doesn't appeal to us as much but still! There is a handle at the top of the laptop to enable you to carry it around so I think that's good. The laptop actually opens in quite a fun and cool way and my little girl loves to do it over and over again. You press a little button at the front of the laptop and the lid moves up on its own and at the same time a little introduction song is played, and this is where it gets annoying.
The music is loud and features a little fairy voice who guides you around using the laptop. She starts out by sining is a very high, trill voice, "La la la, la la la la, hi there." I think the fairy noises annoy me quite a bit as they are very loud and I don't think they need to be quite so annoying!
It then asks you to choose a category and keeps beeping at you until you press a button. Options include letters and words, maths, logic and fun and these are listed on buttons at the top of the laptop which you simply press to select. In my opinion I think there is too much going on on this laptop and its a bit too busy for my liking.
The Fun button includes a fortune teller option which I think is not really appropriate for very young girls. When you enter your name on the laptop this function will give you a lucky number and lucky flower but I don't think its something little girls need to know or worry about.
The laptop features an on/off button, the numbers 1 to 9 and a 0 and there is also a querty keyboard so it does get young children used to using a laptop and all the different functions so that is good. What I like is that there is a demo button which tells you how to work the laptop and you really do need to do this to show you how each section as its quite a confusing laptop in my opinion and this is partly the reason why we don't play with it that much, I haven't figured out all the games and functions and so neither has my daughter.
Some of the games I do like include Alphabet apple tree where a letter flashes on the screen and you need to press that corresponding button and Letter pair where you find the big letter and the same small letter.
I'm not a big fan of the screen, I don't think the screen is that clear and its quite small as well. The screen just features black dots to make up the picture and I think other screens on other laptops are better.
One thing I absolutely hate about this laptop, as yes, hate is a strong word but I really don't like this, when you are taking too long to pick a button to press one of the fairies will say, "Oh, I'm bored!" I never want my children to learn the word bored, it is not part of our vocabulary and there is no reason why a three year old should ever be bored, I do not like that VTech have included this on one of their toys.
Well, as you can tell I'm not the biggest fan of this laptop, there are some nice features but the negatives outweigh the positives for me on this one unfortunately.
Well, the time has come. My 3.5 year old has decided trying to sneak a go on daddy's laptop, or iPad, is just not doing it anymore, and wanted something she could call her own. Well, luckily for her, she now has one!
Anyone that has kids under 10 is probably more than familiar with the company VTech. They specialise in 'electronic learning toys', from very simple items for babies through to more challenging playthings for older children. We have several items, for both my children.
This particular item, the VTech Dancing Fairies Laptop, was a reward for filling up her star chart over several months (good behaviour, no bed wetting, etc), and I allowed her to choose what she wanted (within a very tight budget of course). She selected this particular model, though VTech do countless others of all shapes and sizes, and all age ranges.
The Dancing Fairies Laptop comes in a pretty pink colour, and in a lovely flower shape, very appealing to the discerning 3/4 year old female eye! The main screen, on the underside of the 'lid' that opens, has the fairies on there around the screen. It is nicely laid out for little hands, with easy to press keys and buttons, with plenty of shaped buttons and picture buttons too. Very attractive all round.
The problems only really come with the practical side of things, which after all is why we bought it. The box blurb tells us that there 18 different activities, which promote learning by focusing on different areas such as simple maths, letters, words, and easy to play memory games. A 'cyber-fairy' also guides us through all this on screen. Sounds great, but in practice, not so much. The main gripe, which I think everyone who has bought this has, is that the words and letters activities are made very difficult because while the 'example' letters on screen are shown in upper case, the keyboard letters are shown in lower case. This is very confusing for youngsters, and difficult to try and explain (one thing at a time!).
The games, as they are, are not bad, some better than others; we tend to stick to the same handful that my daughter enjoys. She likes the fact it can be personalised to her, and she has chosen a flower that gets bigger or smaller depending on how well she is doing (I sometimes cheat a little to keep the flower big, couldn't handle the trauma of it 'dying'!). As well as the 'learning' part of things, there are some activities and games that are just entertainment; 'Fortune Teller' is something she likes, and I suspect 'Fashion Show' will be as she gets a little older. Sound effects are nor bad, a decent sized speaker is next to the keyboard, and most the activities are explained pretty well by the on screen 'fairy'.
Another gripe is that the screen is just about big enough, and sometimes you can barely make out what is supposed to be depicted there. If I can't make it out, I'm sure my daughter won't be able to. To be fair though, she has never complained, maybe its just grumpy dad! Power comes from a mains plug
Despite the practical shortcomings I have mentioned, my daughter loves this and takes it everywhere. She is learning to do some activities herself, and so the laptop is doing what it is supposed to and encouraging independent learning. I purchased it around the £10 mark, and for that I can't complain. It's probably not the best out there, but theh they would cost a lot more, so I'm happy my daughters happy.
And that makes it a good buy.