Kids are fascinated with electronics. Ever since they were babies, they have been drawn to my phones, tablets, and iPods. They are now able to play different apps on them, but I'd rather them play with their own. We were sent an original InnoTab Tablet last year, and Vtech sent us the new InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet to compare.
VTech's InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet gives kids ages 3-9 their own tablet that keeps them engaged while they learn. This multi-functional Wi-Fi tablet for children combines a photo/video camera, interactive animated e-books, creative activities, tilt sensor learning games, and a rich collection of applications into a sleek and durable toy. Kids can enjoy e-books, music, photos, and videos on-the-go just like mom and dad! The 5” touch screen, tilt sensor, microphone, pop-up (onscreen) keypad, and stylus allow children to play games, create art, take notes, or use utilities like the onboard calendar or friends list all on one device. Cartridges with licensed characters (sold separately) teach essential skills in reading, logic, and creativity. Additional apps such as games, e-books and music can be easily uploaded to the InnoTab 2 through VTech's Learning Lodge Navigator. Parents can also track their child's progress on a variety of educational milestones and lessons. With 2GB onboard memory and an expandable SD card slot, the InnoTab2 will keep your child endlessly engaged.
After using the original InnoTab for a year, we've run into a few problems. The first being that it goes through batteries insanely fast. It also had no camera, and one of my kids' favorite things to do on my tablet is take pictures. Next, the stylus was not attached and we lost it after a few months. I was in hopes that Vtech had fixed a few of these flaws with the new 2S Wi-Fi version. My kids were most excited about the fact that the new one had a camera. The batteries are still drained very fast. I think they get about 3-4 hours of play before they are dead.
The new camera is 1.3 megapixels and rotates 180 degrees so the kids can record/capture themselves or something in front of them. It has face detection, real time camera special effects, and a choice of 3 photo resolutions. My kids like to take pictures of themselves and each other and then use the Art Studio to edit them with stickers and colors.
The InnoTab 2S does have Wi-Fi capabilities, but kids won't be surfing the internet. The only thing it is used for is VTech's Learning Lodge. Kids can add apps to their "wish list" on the tablet where parents can later view and buy them. It does help that it doesn't have to be constantly hooked up when you want to add a new app, but you still have to hook it up for the initial Wi-Fi set up. It also seems to take forever to download which frustrates the kids. It is best to just look at their wish list and download while they are not looking over your shoulder.
As with the original InnoTab, you don't have to purchase expensive game cartridges. You can download fairly inexpensive apps from the Learning Lodge Navigator that keeps them entertained and learning with fun games. We found a Buy One, Get One Free sale on the game cartridges so we did buy a few of those as well. 17 apps are built-in and include-
The Tablet itself seems very durable. It has rubber corners and has withheld my kids dropping it. I took out our original one for comparison pictures and realized that at some point recently, the screen has cracked. We just played with it about a week ago, so I'm not sure exactly what happened. Obviously they aren't indestructible, but Vtech has taken the steps to keep the Tablet protected. I love that the 2S version isn't quite as large and bulky as the original. It is easier for small hands to hold and operate.
The stylus does have a hole in it, which they say is for a string - but no string is included?? As I mentioned above, we lost the stylus for our first InnoTab, so I really wish that this one was attached. With a 3 and 5 year old playing with it, these things often get misplaced.
Overall, my kids are very pleased with the InnoTab 2S. They play with it often and have fun with the apps that we've downloaded and game cartridges that we have purchased. The games are educational unlike many gaming systems, so I don't mind them playing. The tablet is very user friendly and they have learned that it needs to be tilted to play some games and you use the stylus for others. I also like watching them play together with it. Evan takes time to show his sister how to play a new game and they both giggle while taking pictures of each other. Any product that allows my kids to learn and bond is good in my eyes!
Visit Vtech to learn more and to view their other products. The InnoTab 2S is available in pink or blue.