The Top Xmas Tablets for Children
The InnoTab Max is the latest version of VTech's kid friendly tablet with WIFI built-in and parental controls for safe browsing . It has a seven inch screen with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution that replicates versions of adult tablets. Unlike previous models, this offering has access to a selection of educator-approved Android apps, thereby increasing the depth of software outside of the normal VTech range. This gives it the edge over its direct competitor.
Another clever touch to keep adult technology from child's hands is the Kid Connect mode which can be used to text or voice message when linked with a parent’s smartphone and tablet app. The model is well built with a very useful stand that can be detached and has an 8GB storage which can be guarded to 32GB with a micoSD card. Individual music and movies can be added and the camera (2 megapixel) is of serviceable standard with a rotation option.
The InnoTab Max retails for £109.00 although there are many outlets online and instore where it can be bought cheaper. The age range is three to nine, but in reality it is ideal for anyone up to the age of seven. Kids grow up quickly but this is a very good addition to the InnoTab range.
Last year’s LeapPad Ultra was Leapfrog's answer to VTech models and introduced kid-safe web browsing to the arena. This addition has now been extended across the whole range of LeapPads – including the new LeapPad 3.
The Ultra is a larger, higher-resolution screen 7-inch tablet while the LeapPad 3 is a smaller 5-inch screen but there isn't much difference in playability. The Ultra XDi has no significant differences from the LeapPad Ultra but retains the rechargeable lithium battery and the camera front and back options.
The Ultra XDi is £10 more than the Innotab Max at £119.99. However, it does have twice the storage of the LeapPad 3 which retails at £30 less, which may be very appealing when users want to load the tablet with the multimedia sweep of videos, music and photos. There is the usual range of Leapfrog software to download via a very handy app centre and the tablet comes with 11 apps too. The four digit parental lock is a clever device to prevent children accessing this.
Wearable technology for kids
One of the increasing trends is wearable technology for adults and now that has been translated to children in an interactive way.
The Leapfrog LeapBand is a wristband activity tracker and watch for four to seven year-olds, aiming to get them fitter and healthier. It is a perfect combination of technology and exercise. Time magazine has ranked it in their top 10 list of toys 2014.
Young children can earn points by being active, caring for a customisable pet pal and complete challenges such as "Spin like a helicopter". It can also be hooked up to LeapFrog Connect, where parents can set up to 36 LeapBand challenges.
There are eight pets for kids to choose from. They care for their pet by playing with it in mini-games which are unsophisticated but fun. In this way, they will earn even more energy points and treats that are required to advance.
While LeapBand attacks potential child obesity the VTech Smartwatch is aimed at young photographers who want to take photos and videos. There are also mini learning games and 50 different faces for the watch
The Tech Smartwatch’s outstanding feature is the Voice Recorder that records your voice and then lets the user hear it back through a selection of funny effects.
Both products feature a stopwatch although the Smartwatch has an alarm and countdown Timer.
The Kidizoom Smartwatch boasts a rechargeable battery and parental game controls. The water resistant Leapband also has a rechargeable battery and can be switched to a quiet or school mode. It retails at £29.99 and the Smartwatch is £39.99 (the latter has a wider age range of four to eight).