Category Archives: Kids’ tablet

nabi 2S review

nabi 2S Review

 

best tablets for kids

 

See the Nabi 2S on Amazon 

nabi 2S vs. nabi 2

The nabi 2S is Southern California-based Fuhu’s newer version of the nabi 2. It now has twice as much memory (16 GB instead of 8), a better display (1280 x 800 pixels vs 1024 x 600), upgraded Wi-fi and Bluetooth networking capabilities, a more durable charger, and a longer-lasting battery. It’s a big improvement over an already popular kids’ tablet.

The display on the nabi 2S is much sharper than on the nabi 2. Images look crisp. On the downside, it doesn’t have a mini HDMI port, and the 2 did. However, the 2S works well with Google Chromecast.

Because of its speed, content, and parental controls, the nabi 2S is one of the top tablets for kids in its class.

Type of Tablet

Children’s tablet, Android

Age group

pre-K to 8

What’s in the box

nabi 2S tablet
Drop-safe Bumper
Power adapter (100-240V)
proprietary nabi connector to USB Cable
Product info
Quick start guide
nabi cares Card

The bumper on the nabi 2S, like the 2, is made of non-toxic, food-grade silicone. The bumpers are removable and come in many colors, including glow-in-the-dark.

Features

Dual mode: nabi kid-friendly nabi Mode and Parent mode
Screen: 7-inch with Multi-Touch (Capacitive)
Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
NVIDIA Tegra 3 Mobile Processor with Quad-Core CPU
16GB, expandable via MicroSD (up to 32GB)
1GB RAM
2MP front-facing camera
Takes photos and shoots 720p Video
plastic body
headphone jack
runs on Android KitKat with Blue Morpho, a nabi overlay to the Android OS

Dimensions

Width: 8.69 Inches (220.8 mm)
Height: 6.05 Inches (153.7 mm)
Depth: 1.14 Inches (29.08 mm)
Weight: 1.31 Pounds (596 g)
These sizes and weights include the bumper.

Durability

The bumper protects very well even after many, many drops.

ince it isn’t fused to the nabi (allowing you to take it off and change it to the various colors of bumper that nabi sells) it does not protect the nabi from liquid spills.

 

 

Dual Mode – Parental Controls

The nabi sports two modes, nabi mode, which is kid-safe, and Parent Mode, which is a standard Android mode. These modes are already set up and ready to go as soon as you turn on the tablet for the first time. Parents can allow or block apps, create customized channels for kids, set automatic time limits for tablet use, create a Chore list and dole out nabi “Coins” for completing them, set rules for individual apps, and create ways for children to earn extra tablet time.

You can make multiple profiles for more than one child.

The kids’ apps include kid-safe sharing and messaging app called nabi Konnect. Skype can be used only in Parent Mode. The nabi Coins are for sale in the nabi store and can be used to buy kid-friendly content from the nabi Treasure Chest.

Content

The proprietary Wings Learning System features reading, writing, social studies, math, and an “iStorytime” app, for pre-K through third grade. It adapts to your child’s levels of proficiency.  It’s designed to build skills and confidence, and ties in with Common Core. The Wings N-sight feature delivers reports on how well your child is doing and recommends areas to improve. It’s accessible in the dashboard. There’s also content from educational providers such as MeeGenius.

The apps provide a personalized, adaptive way of learning,  meaning the content adjusts to the child’s proficiency level. The system includes videos made by classroom teachers. Wings can supplement school learning. Wings Challenge, a gamified way of delivering educational content, has over 16,000 lessons and 300,000 questions. Fuhu says the system supplements school learning and helps a child’s achievement and confidence.

Kids can play HD games on the nabi and listen to music. The sound is high-quality.

Besides the preloaded content, and you can also install lots of apps, many free, from the Google Play Store, the Amazon Appstore, and 1Mobile Market. For those unfamiliar with 1Mobile Market, it’s an app store that has editors who sift through the millions of apps Google Play and curate them, sorting them into categories and displaying them in a user-friendly menu, making it easy for you to find quality apps.

Storage

To get the preloaded content, you use Tap to Download (TTD). The preloaded content is not removeable, and takes up about half the available 16 GB of storage if you download all of it–you’re not forced to download every single one, so you can be choosy if you want to save space. But you might want all the nabi apps since they are of high quality and are a lot of what you’re paying for. Any third-party apps you install are removable.

Using a micro SD card isn’t any help with storing apps, because like all Android devices, you cannot store apps on the card, but you can store media and other files on it. The nabi’s micro SD card slot holds up to a 32GB card. The tablet doesn’t come with a card.

Tip: If your child shoots a lot of photos and video, that can fill up the internal storage. This data can be stored on a micro SD card instead of in the tablet.

nabi Grid

The back has the Nabi Grid, which is rows of squares with slots. These protruding squares have multiple uses. One is that the slots hold Nabi “Kinabi” alphabet letterpack bundle so kids can spell their names or messages and stick them on the back.

Another use of the nabi Grid is to fasten optional accessories such as car mounts, stroller mounts, stands, and additional cameras. The 2S itself only comes with a front-facing camera, but you can add a Bluetooth camera or other cameras. The nabi Square HD Camera does a lot and is of high quality. (Update: it’s no longer being made by the company, but is still available.)

Drawing

You can draw on the screen with fingers or use a capacitive stylus. There are plenty of art apps, both free and paid. There is no pressure sensitivity.

Pros

Case is protective from drops and scratches; very durable
Excellent parental controls
Access to all Android markets
good sound quality (though some feel it could be louder–but do you want your kids to have that much volume?)

Cons

No HDMI (though the nabi 2S works well with Chromecast)
Volume could be higher
Cannot run Flash on KitKat–though some people manage to via the Dolphin browser and some additional hacks. Google Chromecast works well on the nabi 2S. But that’s just a fact about Android, it doesn’t affect this nabi 2S review.
Screen not fingerprint-proof
Bumper not fused on, so is detachable but not spill-proof.
Menus can be complicated
Tablet is pretty chunky at over an inch thick (to compare, the new iPads are 1/3″ thick. However, there is some kid appeal to chunkiness).
A bit heavy

User reviews

Most users were very happy with the nabi and so were their kids. Some users who wrote a less than glowing nabi 2S review had issues with charging or glitching, but nabi customer service promptly helped them with replacements or fixes. For freezing/glitching, nabi suggests a hard reset, and provides a video.

Customer service

Excellent; very responsive. They respond publicly to every grumbling nabi 2S review on Amazon, and when we asked them questions they answered quickly and thoroughly. Hopefully you won’t have to return your nabi, but it’s good to know the company is so accessible and helpful. There is also an active group of “nabi moms” on Facebook who provide info and help.

Battery life

about 4-5 hours of steady use. Also takes 4-5 hours of charging to fully charge.

Chargers

The nabi 2 charger will not fit the nabi 2S.  The 2S, nabi Jr. nabi Jr.S, DreamTab, and nabi XD all use the same charger. Only the nabi 2 and the nabi BigTab have unique chargers. Still, you can only use nabi chargers, not third-party ones.

Bumpers

The nabi 2 and nabi 2S are the same size, so bumpers for one will fit the other.

The Verdict

The 2S has been highly praised by parents and kids with the biggest complaints being glitching, but nabi customer service quickly comes to the rescue. For the price, the nabi is a tablet that both kids and parents will like. The content is engaging and educational; the tablet is fast. The parental controls are excellent. Even adults enjoy the nabi 2S, and can get some work or play done themselves on the nabi, including email, Facebook, and Netflix.

The nabi 2S is fast, educational, and versatile. With its combination of learning and fun, it’s like having your cake and eating your vegetables too. See more reviews on Amazon.

 

end of nabi 2S review

ArmorShield nabi screen protector with lifetime replacements

nabiscreenprotector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nabi Square Camera

nabi 2s review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More nabis…. Really want both front and rear facing cameras? AND a pressure-sensitive, Wacom pen?

nabidreamtabtablet
nabi DreamTab HD8 Tablet has a slightly bigger screen than the 2S and has a both front and rear-facing camera. It’s called DreamTab because it has preinstalled content from Dreamworks.

The DreamTab also has a pressure-sensitive, Wacom pen for your budding artist. Further, your child can create and edit animation and movies. The price point and weight are both quite a bit higher, though. Review to come.

 

Want a rully BIG nabi? Check out the nabi BigTab.

best tablets for kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

end of nabi 2S review

Also see our post about cheap tablets for kids.

Cheap tablets for kids: yes, there are good children’s tablets under $100

The best cheap tablets for kids: yes, there are quality children’s tablets under $100

(Also see: Best tablets for kids: 2015 roundup)

Cheap in price doesn’t have to mean low in quality. With the economy the way it is, there’s no reason to break the bank when it comes to getting a fun, educational device for your child. A children’s tablet doesn’t need to be as powerful as an iPad. There are plenty of quality children’s tablets for under $100. We’ve gone through customer reviews, company Web sites and reviews and discussions on other sites to zoom in on tablets your child will love. To find current prices, please see the product pages.

What to look for in affordable tablets for kids

The most important qualities in a cheap tablet for kids are the same as in any children’s tablet: hardware, quality of content, durability, ease of use, and parental controls, as well as battery life, as well as customer service.

Hardware: what operating system does it use? Is the processor fast enough to watch video? What about HD video? Is the screen resolution high enough?  Is the screen large enough?

Content: It’s important that the tablet has enough variety of content so that your child can grow with it. The cost of adding apps and other material should be considered too. What’s preloaded onto the tablet? How much does it cost to add content? Is there free quality content available?  Is the content personalized to your child, can you track it? Some tablets have only proprietary content that must be purchased or downloaded from the manufacturer’s Web site. Other cheap tablets for kids are just regular Android tablets where you can get any Android apps from the Google Play store.

Durability: Is the tablet rugged, will it survive drops, spills, and rough handling? Does it come with a protective casing, or do you need to buy one?

Ease of use: This is about design of both hardware and software. Is it simple to use? Are the parts easy for little hands to manipulate? Are there complicated series of operations to get to the content? Is it lightweight enough for young children to hold and carry it easily?

Parental controls: Some cheap tablets for kids have robust parental control, and others are simply lower-end adult tablets with no parental controls. Is there enough memory to accommodate different media, including video?

Battery life and power: What about the battery life and charging options?

Customer Service: It’s good to know that if you have a problem, you will be listened too, since inexpensive electronics are somewhat more likely to break or malfunction because of lower-quality parts.

Here are our top picks for cheap tablets for kids.

 

 

Amazon Fire

 

cheaptabletsforkidsamazonfire

The price is super low and the functionality competes with considerably more expensive devices. With the option to buy a sixpack of Fire tablets at a discount, the Amazon Fire (see it on Amazon) is a great choice for kids.

Features

Runs Fire OS 5 “Bellini”
7″ IPS display
Plastic build
Weight: 11 oz.
8 GB storage (OS takes up about 2.5 GB)
1.3 GH processor
screen resolution 1024 x 600, 171 ppi (low resolution, but higher than the original iPad and iPad2, which were 132ppi))
Parental controls
Battery life up to 7 hours
Micro SD slot takes up to 128GB SD card
preinstalled Amazon apps include Instant Video, games, Kindle
Child subscription to paid content for $2.99 a month (as of this writing, Nov. 2015)
Ad-free option for additional cost
front and rear cameras
over 250,000 apps, lots of free content
“sixpack” of Fires currently available (check site for coupon code)

The Amazon Fire is a low-cost tablet that’s perfect for kids and budget-minded adults alike. The tablet, while not the fastest, works smoothly for apps, including videos and gaming, at a very low price. Parental controls allow you to create profiles for children. The Amazon store has a great deal of kid-friendly content (you won’t be able to get apps from the Google Play store, only Amazon). And kids (and you) can draw using art apps.  If you have a Prime membership, that considerably increases the content. You can sign up for a free month trial of Prime here.

The screen is low-res, but it’s fine for casually viewing Netflix and other streaming, and for reading the gazillion books available via Amazon’s Kindle store. The camera is not the best, and the sound isn’t exactly hi-fi, and the large-bezeled design is strictly utilitarian, but the many ways it gives you of enjoying content makes it a great value.

 

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet

leapfrogleappad2 power learning tablet review

Ages 3 to 9

Features

The LeapPad2 features cameras both in front and back, a video camera, and an MP3 player. Games are enhanced  by its motion sensor. It features personalized learning, and comes in at a low low price. There is no wifi.

Screen size: 5 inches

Screen resolution: 480 x 272

Processor: 550 MHZ

Comes with an attached stylus.

Content

Apps including Art Studio  and Pet Pad. Other apps must be purchased either as apps or cartridges. Some kids may not want a whole lot of games and apps, but if they do, these cartridges and apps cost from a few bucks on up, with cartridges being more expensive.

Personalized learning that  parents can keep track of and that grows with the child. The LeapFrog library has over 800 games, ebooks, and videos.

 

Durability

Hard plastic, but the screen can crack if dropped.

The battery lasts a generous 9 hours. It’s a good idea to buy the rechargeable battery set.

Some parents not happy with customer service. Complaints about the expense of the content and that it does not come with much content. There are no free apps in the store. App cards often go on sale though. All the same, LeapFrog content is high quality and you don’t need to worry about kids getting online.

Our rating: 4.5/5

Please see our longer review of this tablet here.

 

 

VTech InnoTab 3 The Learning App Tablet

innotabtabletforkidsreview

Age group:

2 to 9 (Amazon says 3-9, but content from Vtech for this tablet starts at age 2)

Screen size: 4.3 inches. Memory: 2GB storage, can be expanded to 4.

The Innotab comes in pink and blue. It’s popular among customers. VTech has been around since 1976 and creates innovative educational products. The Innotab is multilingual; you can set it to English or Spanish during setup. There are two styluses included; the stylus attaches to the tablet.

Children can’t use their fingers on the screen, only the stylus.

A rechargeable battery is available separately, and strongly recommended.

Content

Content in the areas of reading, language, handwriting, geography, problem solving, science, social studies, and math is available for 4 age groups: 2-5, 3-6. 4-7, and 6-9. The tablet comes with apps and an ebook. More can be purchased on the Vtech site. It has a cool rotating camera and kids can add 55 special effects to their photos. It has a directional pad and tilt sensor to make games exciting, and interactivity includes being able to shake the tablet to cause things to happen. Kids can also make videos and import and play MP3s. We think this tablet is a great buy. This tablet does not have wifi.

Each cartridge has a game, app, and story mode, so your money will go farther with the cartridges. The tablet comespreloaded with 16 apps, including Art Studio and the Magic Bean Game.

It comes with 4 AA batteries, but we suggest buying the rechargeable battery pack. It can be charged via the included USB to a wall charger, or you can buy a separate AC adapter.

Amazon Prime is available with this purchase.

In the box: InnoTab 3 Learning Tablet, two styluses, “Read, Play and Create” cartridge, 4 AA batteries, USB Cable, and a Learning Lodge installation CD.

Our rating:4/5 stars.

VTech AC Adaptor

VTech Rechargeable Power Pack

NOTE: There has been a hack with this company in 11/15 (after this review was posted) that has been in the news and apparently privacy has been compromised. Hopefully the company will learn from this and improve its system, but be warned.

Our rating: 4/5

 

PPTab® 7 Inch Android 4.2 PC Tablet

best cheap tablet for kids

Age group

None designated

Parental controls

None

Durability

There’s no gel bumper or other protection, so we don’t suggest this for small children.

Hardware

The capacitive-touch PPTab is an Android tablet with wifi with a decent amount of internal memory and storage.  Itsports a front and rear camera. Some adults even buy it for themselves. You can play videos, full-length movies, and music on it.

Screen resolution : 800 x 400.
Screen size: 7 inches
Memory: 8 GB of internal storage, 512MB DDR RAM.

Content

It comes with Google Play and many common apps pre-installed. You can play games, watch YouTube, and keep social media updated. YouTube and Facebook preinstalled. In short, this is a real tablet. Some customers complained of poor battery life and some glitches, but overall, the reviews are very positive. This is not a tablet that’s very different than adult tablets, but you have the whole Android store and all media available for kids, so adding content to this will be inexpensive. There is nothing specifically child-centered about this tablet, it’s just a lower end Android tablet, but it’s suitable for kids.

Loading children’s apps onto this tablet will make it a straightforward and positive experience for youngsters.

Our rating: 4/5

 

XO 7-inch Kids Tablet XO-780

xokidstabletreview

Age Group

2-12. Content can be customized for all ages.

 

Parental Controls

Parents can create profiles for up to three users, and monitor their activities in the Dashboard. They can see every Web page visited and app used via theJournal feature. Parents can limit Internet usage, chat and talk, and app store purchases.

 

Durability

The bright-green bumper case does a good job of protecting this from drops.

Vivitar makes excellent cameras, so it’s no surprise that the front and rear cameras on this XO 7-inch Kids Tablet are of good quality. HD video plays fine on the high-resolution screen. The software is called Dream Explorer, and allows children to press buttons to explore different careers. For instance, pressing XO Engineer will lead them to various learning modules about what engineers do. Hundreds of apps and carefully chosen books, including classics, are preinstalled, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money adding them.  Dream Explorer was developed by MIT Labs as part of the One Laptop Per Child Program. The content has been chosen by companies such as Oxford University and Discovery Communications.

The XO Learning Tablet can be used in English and Spanish. You can toggle back and forth between the Dreams interface and a regular Android tablet. It gets wifi, but has parental controls.

Customer service receives praise, and people were able to get new tablets when there were problems.

Battery life and power: The main complaint about the XO is problems with the charger. Children and adults should be careful when using the rather flimsy charging port. And sometimes even new devices won’t charge. But customer service did replace problem tablets.

 

 

Orbo Jr. 4GB Android 4.1 Five Point Multi Touch Tablet PC

orbojrchildrenstabletreview

Orbo Jr. 4 GB
Age group: 2 and up

Features

Android 4.1 (Jellybean)
4GB expandable memory
One front-facing camera, good for video chat.
Included soft, slip-on gel cover comes in blue, pink, or red
Screen size: 7″
Screen resolution: 1024×600

Content

Google Play; download educational apps from the app store, movies, music, books, videos; use Facebook, YouTube etc.

No child-specific content comes preloaded. Has wifi and is just a regular Android tablet. Some adults use this tablet too.

Parental controls: none

Ease of use

One Orbo user said her child has to press a bit harder on the screen than on a more expensive tablet. Overall, easy to use.

Durability

A surrounding case made of silicon gel protects the tablet well. The case is about 1/4: thick and has rounded, reinforced corners that jut out, giving it added shielding. If you happened to drop it on something sticking up and it hit the screen, the case would not protect the screen.

Users report good customer service.

However, some complain of defective battery charging, or getting refurbished items. If not for the problems being fairly common, we’d give it 4 stars.

Our rating: 3.5/5

Also see Best tablets for kids: 2015 roundup

Leapfrog LeapPad 2 Power Learning Tablet Review

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Power Learning Tablet Review

by Tablets for Artists

The LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Power Learning Tablet (see it on Amazon) is a popular tablet among children and adults. LeapFrog tablets are award-winning, educational  devices that fascinate most kids. This model has many features of a grownup tablet, such as rear- and front-facing cameras and a video camera. Kids can edit their photos in the Photo Studio app. They can draw on photos or in the art apps using their fingers or a stylus. So instead of spending the money on an iPad, this tablet is for toddlers through age 9. It says 3-9, but if your kids are familiar with Nintendo and other tablets, it skews younger, such as 2 to 6.

Several apps are included, but for content, cartridge games and apps must be purchased. You go to Leapfrog.com/connect for more apps. There are often download cards on sale at Amazon and other stores. Kids can be encouraged to create their own art on these creative devices. They can create paintings, draw, write, and make movies and edit them. This particular tablet doesn’t have wifi, so pictures can be transferred to computers via the included USB. One parent wrote in her LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power review that she prefers her young children to not be able to get Internet. The newer LeapPad3 does have wifi, with browsing limited to LeapFrog content.

 

The company listened to parents who said the biggest problem with the LeapPad1 was the battery life. This LeapPad2 Power Tablet has a rechargeable battery pack, a huge plus, and is faster than the 1. It’s same as the regular LeapPad 2 except for the battery pack and the inclusion of the Utility Suite, which are 4 apps not found with the 2: a Calculator, Calendar, Note Pad, and Clock and Stopwatch. While these apps do not earn it a better  LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power review compared to the 1, the rechargeable battery and faster speed certainly rank it higher. The battery pack would cost $40 if sold separately, so the price of this tablet is very reasonable.

FEATURES

Comes in pink, green, and Disney Doc McStuffins design5-inch backlit resistive touchscreen with 480 x 272 resolution

550 MHZ processor

Front and back facing 2 MP cameras
240p video recorderMP3 player

Motion sensor so kids can play games and apps that respond to shaking and moving
4 GB memory
apps including Photo Lab, Cartoon Studio, Pet Pad, and more
personalized learning
No wifi. If you want wifi, get the LeapPad3, which features limited, kid-friendly browsing

Price: under $100; price has dropped to $70.00 as of this writing

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

Rechargeable battery
AC adapter
USB cord
Quickstart and Parent Guides
Stylus that fits into side compartment, attached by a cord

Battery life

9 hours

 

leapfrog leappad2 power tablet review

2 free app codes (from a customer):
The Book of Super Awesome Stuff (e-book): 5813 1140 1518 1413
Alphabet Stew (game): 5813 0790 4610 4973

USING THE LEAPPAD

This tablet has fast, crisp graphics and good sound. The buttons are large and easy for small hands to navigate. It’s a favorite of both parents and kids. Leapfrog’s learning library is educator-approved, and there are over 2,600 skills that go beyond core subjects. Some of the apps will automatically adjust to a child’s learning level as has been charted by Leapfrog.

The cartridge games are more expensive than the downloads. The games go for around $25 and the apps start at $3 with many in the $5 to $10 range.

With this kids’ tablet, children can learn math, writing, the alphabet, art, and photo editing.

It’s a good idea to spend time with your child at first, and of course along the way. But they can learn and play independently with this device.

This is a great kids’ tablet for a long car trip. Kids can watch videos, take pictures, play games, or learn.  You will have to convince them to keep the sound down while you’re driving.

Connect to your computer to the LeapFrog site to chart your child’s LeapFrog learning path. You can your child’s work and play progressing and improve any areas that need it. Each child will learn about themselves. You can be fascinated by the different charts for each son and daughter.

Kids are limited to seeing what’s in the LeapFrog library, which is all educator-approved and ties in with school curricula.

Customer Reviews

There are over 800 LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power reviews on Amazon, attesting to its popularity. Positive ones far outweigh the negatives.

PROS

Durable, fun, educational, great battery life, rechargeable batteries. Long battery life. The fact that the stylus is attached by a cord is a plus.

CONS

Screen is a bit small for kids who have been exposed to larger screens, but for small kids it’s fine, and it’s lightweight and portable. Content needs to be purchased, and it’s not cheap. The cartridge games run around $25 and the downloads $3 to $10. Some software bundles range from $80-$100 for 4-6 more apps.

Both cartridges and the stylus compartment can be a little tricky for kids to use.

While it’s reasonably rugged and has been drop tested, and is made of drop-resistant plastic, stepping on it will break the screen, and some parents reported that even normal drops broke the screen. However, this is more rugged than many kids’ tablets out there.

 

 

end of LeapPad LeapFrog 2 Power Learning Tablet review

Here is the LeapPad3, which features Wi-fi. With this, kids can only access Leapfrog materials, rather than the whole Web.

 

 

 

See reviews of more tablets for children here.