My family shares an iPad, and my six year old son has been asking for a tablet of his very own. Since receiving his VTech InnoTab Max, he’s been in heaven. He has enjoyed playing the games that were pre-loaded on the tablet, using the movie maker, taking pictures and sending text messages (just like we do on the iPad!).
Pros: The tablet is very sturdy. We’ve only had it a few weeks, and you’d never know by looking at it, but he’s already dropped it several times. It also has an attached stylus and a handle so that he can carry it around more easily.
There are a lot of parental controls available, which makes me feel more comfortable letting him use the tablet on his own. I monitor and approve any websites he accesses through the browse and I can set time limits to make sure he’s not spending too much time on the tablet when I’m not with him.
All of the game apps are educational, whether or not my son knows it, and he has fun playing the games. While he insists that his favorite game – Little Fireman 2 – is training him to be a fireman, it is actually helping him learn problem solving and coordination.
The KidConnect app lets my son send voice messages, text messages and pictures to approved friends and family who download the corresponding KidConnect app on their smartphone. He loves sending messages to his Grandma – and I love how this is helping to improve his spelling and grammar.
The tablet is rechargeable, and does not require batteries. Once charged, the tablet works for several hours without the need to be plugged in again, which is great for long car trips. I can also plug the charging cord into my iPad charger if needed.
Cons: There are no free apps available, other than the two free downloads that you receive with purchase. The rest of the apps range in price from $2.99 for a single app to $14.99 for the app bundles which have 5 games, as well as other activities for the kids to do.
The tablet took a while to set-up. As soon as I turned it on the software required an update… which took over an hour. While an hour may not seem like that much time, when you’re dealing with kids, an hour can seem like an eternity.
The apps on the tablet are slow to load. This probably wouldn’t be an issue for kids who are new to using tablets, but my six year old tends to be impatient, especially when waiting for the apps to start. So he’ll click the home button, repeatedly, making it run even slower.
All in all, I think the VTech Innotab Max is a great product, especially for a kid who is young or who is new to using a tablet. It has been great on road trips, both short and long, and since it is much less expensive than an iPad, I feel more comfortable bringing it with us, and less nervous about it being left in the car.
VTech provided my family with a sample to review, but all thoughts and opinions expressed belong to me.