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It was time for my son's birthday and just when I was looking for something for his present I found this on sale in Argos. It is normally around £75 but Argos had this for just £15. I couldn't believe that this big toy was just £15. I even saw this in ToysRUs for £50. Feeling very thrilled and lucky about my buy, I gave this to my son. He has an iPod and loves listening to music. So I thought this would be the ideal birthday present.
It is a media desktop where kids can play games, learn and also connect their iPod to listen to music. It comes with a monitor like console, wired keyboard, wired mouse and a wire to connect iPod to the console. The console is fairly large although it looks like a flat screen in the pictures and on the box. It is quite thick and tapers slightly upwards. It has two speakers and a very small black and white display screen.
My son first connected his iPod and listened to music- this was relatively easy- just plug in and listen. Surprisingly the sound was pretty good and loud. But the connecting wire is so small and flimsy that it kept coming off the console. The console has a space in it to keep the iPod but it is designed badly. The wire to iPod connects on the base of it and hence can't keep it upright on the docking space in the console. It is not wide enough to keep it flat, so you will have to hold it or rest it on the console.
It teaches many languages like French and English. It also teaches Maths, Science etc. It has about 60 activities including games. It kept my kid entertained for hours but because of its size, I have to keep it in a different room.
Also, it would have been helpful to have a larger screen.
This was found purely by chance after a friend was trawling through the Argos site for prezzies and spotted this!!
It normally costs around £75 but I was really lucky as Argos had them for just under £19 although I'm not too sure why but I wasn't going to start complaining.
It comes with a plug in qwerty keyboard (scaled down normal one) mouse and also a ipod docking station. It takes 4 AA batteries but cannot be connected to the mains unless the adapter is bought separate.
It has 60 activities to help learning with maths, spelling, English and French all at KS1 learning so great for little man who's in reception, as well as a music learning section you can connect an Ipod to it using the cable (included), although I have found it loud and I cant as yet find a volume button.
Upon getting it out of the box it does look like a smaller version of a normal desktop computer except that the screen is around 3X3 inches big, It does look attractive though and I would say it is unisex as it is a nice red colour and my two don't mind about the colour.
Setting it up was really easy the batteries are already in and all you have to do is connect the keyboard and mouse.
Upon turning it on you are greeted by a rather loud song (still cannot find volume button) which cannot be changed and then asked to pick an activity from the menu which is set out in subjects we decided to start at the beginning and work through them.
I did find though that because of the size of the screen the graphics were quite poor and it was difficult to make out some pictures and words etc although we managed to work over this, although to be honest i did expect more from this due to the high RRP and being made by Vtech who i recommend highly anyway.
We have so far worked mainly on the maths and English games which are interesting and include everything from finding the missing letters/numbers to spelling the whole word when showed a picture even though these are KS1 they do range in difficulty and my little man seemed to enjoy it a lot although he did play on it for long periods as it does come across as a learning tool and can be a bit boring (apparently). Apart from the graphics I think the games are good and little man seems to have learned something's from it.
The French section was slightly difficult as because the word is in french and the pictures are hard to see it can be confusing for the little man and myself!
Although im not sure about the social skills learning side of this little man has become more confident with words and spelling.
The media side of the computer is great which I honestly wasn't expecting we connected my Ipod to it and the music came out clearly with on distortion or crackling, it was worth the £19 just for the music player in all honesty and it makes my little man feel big when he has it playing in his bedroom. It has 4 speakers 2 large ones either side of the docking station and two smaller ones next to the screen.
The keyboard is a nice child friendly size as although it is a smaller version it is easy to use even as an adult as is the mouse, they both feel comfortable in the hand even though the mouse is very square in shape.
Although the screen I believe should have been slightly bigger due to the images, it is a great little learning tool and my children seem to enjoy playing on it although it seems to be more of a music player than a computer, the games a very age aware and do pose a good deal of difficulty, I wouldn't have paid £80 for it as apart from anything else it is expensive for what it is but as I got it so cheaply I wont complain, I don't think this is the best vetch or child's computer on the market although it does do what its meant to, this is why it only gets 4 stars from me.