Product Type: VTech toys
Newest Review: ... in comparison. I got my 5 and 7 year olds these last xmas. They haven't had any massive exposure to technology so they were very exc... more
An average children's tablet
Member Name: xmum2threex
Advantages: Great fun when little one is using it
Disadvantages: Limited use due to poor battery life
I found this very easy to set and actually surprised myself after having all three ready for my children to use in less than half an hour. You receive the Innotab itself, accessories to connect the tablet to the computer, and the software to purchase apps and games. One thing I did notice was there was no charger. I was not surprised as we had the same problem with the Storio previously. You can set up to four different profiles, and this is very easy to do by simply adding a few details like the age and name of a child. This is then linked up to the learning navigator which shows you your child's progress, and this is also where you download all of the apps and games for your Innotab.
Once the software has installed on your computer you can download all the apps pre provided when you purchase the tablet itself. You need to download the art centre and other apps, along with the three free tokens you are given to choose from a range of games or books. The thing that we found great about this is all of my children received three free games or books each. All nine games are saved in the same place, and they can be sent to all three of the tablets. This means we ended up with 9 apps for each tablet despite them being three different Innotabs. Everything is extremely easy to do and I was able to do it without any instructions at all. Also to extend the memory you can add an SD card. This means pictures and movies can be uploaded and watched on the Innotab which we thought was great. Then when you log in you are taken the main menu which is very easy and clear to use.
This I have to say is one of the most used sections of the tablet. It spins around so little one can take a picture of someone else, or back towards them to make a self portrait. The pictures can be stored on the tablet and used in the games and apps themselves to make them more interesting. Also they can be used with special effects which my children thought was brilliant as they can edit the picture to however they like. It is fairly easy to use and the pictures can be stored on a SD card so they can be uploaded to a computer and you can keep your child's creations forever. The resolution of the camera is not perfect but for a tablet aimed at small children it is perfectly acceptable. There is also a video recording option which I think is fantastic, and so do my children as this again is one of the most used parts of the tablet
As you may have guessed this is a library of books that you have downloaded that little one can read either with yourself, independently or they can get the Innotab to read it to them. The illustrations are all very detailed and the text is child friendly should the child want to read it themselves without any aid from the story reader. A number of words are highlighted throughout the books and if little one clicks on these it will take them to a dictionary so they can learn what the word is, and what it means. I think this is a great addition and something my children really enjoy. Even if they know what the word means they love hearing the dictionary explain it.
They manage to keep illustrations interesting and engaging but are careful not to have moving graphics like the game, as that would distract the child away from the words on the page. It is very easy for little one to switch between the different reading modes, and with a touch of the screen they can have the book spoken aloud to them. Also if they are trying to read independently and they get stuck on a word they can touch the word in question and it will be read aloud to the child. They are careful to keep the words and phonics clear so little one can learn how to read the word next time.
Games differ depending on where they came from. The games on the cartridges are all character based, and use puzzles and games to keep them both fun but also so little one can learn along the way too. The apps you download from the app store are also all educational. With each game they seem to have really thought about how they can both keep it fun for little one so it holds there interest, but at the same times it helps them learn to count, introduces a wider vocabulary, number work, colours and so much more. At £2.99 an app they can be expensive but each one we have purchased my children have found to be great fun.
The graphics are simple but detailed enough to give it a video game theme while still being educational. Each app or cartridge has a recommended age range so you can find one to best suit your child. I did think this would be the most used part of the tablet but to be honest this is actually the forgotten area. My children much prefer the E books or the camera area and so this is often one of the last parts of the tablets they will play with. I just think as my children have used apps on our I phone and tablet they find these somewhat lacking. I personally do not see a huge difference, but my children still prefer using the games on our tablet rather than their own.
This is a great part of the tablet but one part that my children do not enjoy as much as I hoped. You can draw paint and generally get your imagination going by building different pictures. There are stickers, colouring, painting and lots of other different activities to get your child thinking creative. It is very easy to use and simply tapping the screen or rolling the pen around helps create masterpieces. Despite it being perfectly made for small hands my children become bored very quickly. They like to create pictures, and my daughter especially loves anything arty so I was very surprised this was not a well loved area of the tablet. It is similar to paint on the computer but has more choice available.
You can purchase different cartridges for the Innotab for around £15- £20. They are easy to inset into the cartridge space available and my children are able to do this themselves. You do receive one with the Innotab when you purchase it but anything it is more a demo one. It has a game, E book and other apps included but compared to the cartridges you can buy they are very basic. The main advantage of buying a cartridge over the apps available at the store is it includes a number of activities, games and books for your child all focused on one character. There are lots to choose from so my sons were able to have Disney cars while my daughter has the Disney princess. The games and books are a great addition and it does save times on downloading all the apps separately. I do think they are pricey for what they are. The tablet is fully useable without cartridges so they are not essential for use, but they do add a little more depth to games and stories compared to the downloads.
One thing we like about this is there is a stand at the back of the tablet. This means little one can place it on any flat surface to use it rather than having to hold it in their hand for long periods. This is perfect for stopping them holding it to close to their face while playing and I think it is a great addition. The menu is fully accessible even to my two year old son who knows how to navigate it perfectly. The icons are all large with good size pictures so they can see what is where. All of my children are all able to use this independently. I do need to download apps and at times they do still ask for help, but the whole layout is child friendly. The touch screen is very sensitive so that little one has no need to press it over and over again, but at the same time it is not overly sensitive so they turn pages by accident.
There are a lot of apps available for download when you first purchase the Innotab including the calendar, notes, art centre and many more. To be honest I think my children are a little young to be interested in these at the moment. They do enjoy the colouring and love that you can save your finished creation, but the other parts seem to be forgotten about. It is mainly the camera, E reader and games centre that are used and I think it is a shame as there is a lot more to do. Games and Apps can become very expensive. For each game or E book you purchase it can cost £2.99 each. Then for cartridges they range from £15-£20 each so they certainly make their money from the extras available. I like that it would be too difficult for a child to purchase the Apps so no large unexpected bill. But considering you can buy a character branded game for £4 on the iphone and that includes 5 or 6 games for the same price they really are asking too much.
My children are two, four and five so all at the bottom of the suggested age range. If they become bored with the games quickly I do think a 9 year old would receive even less use from this tablet, so personally I would suggest it from around 3-7 years to get the best use out of it. They do use these tablets from time to time but really the use has been less than I had expected. It's gone from the must have toy to just something that is used occasionally. Durability is fantastic. My two year old son has dropped his number of times and it has survived without even a scratch.
Like with most similar toys this is a battery eater. We can put brand new Duracell batteries in and within a few hours they are dead. We invested in a charger which has to be purchased separately as for some strange reason there is not one provided when you purchase it. This saves a lot of money on batteries, but even when it is fully charged it will run out extremely quickly. When it is being used we have to charge it each and every day which can be very annoying. It is good in one way as it limits the time little one can spend on it at one time unless you allow them to sit with it charging while they play. It is also the biggest downside as it makes my children lose interest. They get really enthusiastic about using this tablet, but then the batteries run out so it sits forgotten about for another few days until they realise that it is ready to be used again.
**Would I recommend?**
I am still in two minds about this Innotab. It does hold their attention while we are travelling and has proved its worth for an activity in the car and for short periods of time. For its £70 retail price to be honest there is no way I would not recommend it. I just think it is too pricey for what you get. My children do enjoy using this, but it gets short bursts of play due to the poor battery life. It is a novelty to them that they have their own tablet, but they still much prefer using ours. We were lucky to pick up all three of ours for around £120 so that was a much more reasonable £40 each. It is great that the free apps provided when you purchase can be transferred on to all three tablets, and that each child can each have a different profile to see their improvements. I just think once you add in the cost of the Innotab, then the games and accessories that need to be purchased to make it more interesting it is too expensive.
Summary: An average child's tablet