Monday, 9 December 2013

Dream Toys Review - Inno Tab 3S

The VTech InnoTab 3S Wi-Fi Learning Tablet was recently announced as one of the Dream Toys for Christmas 2013, the industry expert's predictions for the top 12 toys of the season. Dream Toys are available at Argos online here.  

Ben (6) was very excited to receive an Innotab 3S for review. He has used children's tablets before but often the limited functionality meant that he grew bored with them quite quickly. 

The first thing I noticed when the Innotab 3S arrived was the look. It differs in appearance from other kids tablets that I've seen and looks much less like a toy and more similar to the tablets that myself and my husband use.

What they say...

  • Durable multimedia touchscreen tablet with 5-inch colour touchscreen
  • Capture photos and record videos with the rotatable 2-megapixel camera
  • Interactive ebook reader with story dictionary brings stories to life
  • Control with the D-pad or stylus, and use the microphone and motion sensor
  • Includes 17 built-in apps with more available to buy from the Learning Lodge
The box lists developmental benefits as...

  • Cognative development
  • Basic maths skills
  • Problem solving
  • Science concepts
  • Reading development
  • Visualisation and Memory

What was in the box?

Inside the box we found:

  • Innotab 3S
  • 2 Styluses and string to attach them
  • USB Cable
  • Demo cartridge
  • Learning lodge installation CD
  • User Manual

Was it easy to set up?

To get the best out of this product I did have to help Ben with the set up but it didn't take too long. You set up the child's user settings, which include adding a picture and his name, set the time and date on the device then download the learning lodge software to your laptop or PC. Once you have registered you are able to select your one free download from a limited selection.

Do you need to purchase extra Games?

Although there are 17 Apps included some of these are very basic so it is likely that you will want to purchase further apps or cartridges. Cartridges are available from a variety of outlets and seem to have an RRP of £19.99 but I have seen a few promotions. You can purchase apps from the Learning Lodge from just £2.99. As mentioned above you do get one free download but the selection is limited. You can expand the memory to up to 32gb but to do this you will need to purchase an external memory card. 

What did Ben think?

Ben is really impressed so far, he has being using this for a week and is still finding new things to interest him and keep his attention. He is enjoying the educational games as much as he loved playing angry birds on Daddy's tablet! At first he found that the screen was not very sensitive to his touch but he has taken to using the stylus and found it to be much more responsive. He does get a bit frustrated with the time some of the games take to load, but 6 year old's are not really known for their patience are they? He really liked the 360 degree camera until he saw the quality of the images and compared to those on other tablets he has used they just don't match up.

We have purchased a couple of the cartridges for him for Christmas so I will update once he has tried these out.

My overall thoughts...

Although the age range states 3 - 9 , I would say that Ben at 6 is towards the higher end of suitability, I would have preferred to have something like this for him from around age 3 or 4 so that it could grow with him as his abilities develop and needs progress. He will no doubt be passing this on to his 3 year old sister at some point so we will be sure to get the most out of it with her. 

As a learning tablet I am impressed, Ben benefits from the games and really enjoys the e-reader capabilities. However issues such as the slow loading and limited internet functionality, that just let this tablet down. If I was looking to spend this sort of money on my 6 year old I would be more likely to purchase an android tablet and set up a parental control app. Saying that If you have a younger child and want a learning tablet that has educational value as well entertainment and can safely teach them how to use the internet then I would say that the Innotab 3S will be ideal. 


Rechargeable Battery Pack

Parental Controls Allow you to Limit time spent n the tablet and allow / disallow sites.

The tablet is sturdy, even without a protective case it can withstand being dropped or manhandled by young children.


The internet functions are slow running

The RRP is on par with some 'adult' laptops which have more functionality

The camera is very grainy.

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