VTech InnoTab 2 Kids Tablet, Blue
|Price:||$229.99 + $5.49 shipping|
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- Built-in digital photo/video camera fully rotates to take images and videos of others or yourself
- 2 GB onboard memory with memory card slot expandable up to 16 GB of memory (memory card not included)
- 5" color touch screen and tilt sensor
- Camera, video camera, photo viewer, video player, MP3 music player, e-reader, art studio, games, and microphone
- Can personalize the InnoTab 2 for up to four users with photo wallpaper, user name and avatar, a voice greeting and typed greeting
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VTech InnoTab 2 Kids Tablet, Blue
From the Manufacturer
VTech's InnoTab 2 gives kids ages 4-9 their own tablet that keeps them engaged while they learn. This multi-functional 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 creativitiy. 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 childs' progress on a variety of educational milestones and lessons. With 2GB onboard memory and an expandable memory card slot, the InnoTab2 will keep your child endlessly engaged. Additional content may require an memory memory card (not included).
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5 inch touch screen - It's fairly reactive to my touch, and that's without using the included stylus.
Menu System - The menu system is very easy to use and navigate.
Apps - It offers a Calendar where you can input important events like Birthdays and Holidays. It offers a fun Coloring app that is fun to use and draw with. It also includes an E-book, with the option to download more from their VtechKids site. There are many more included apps than what I've listed here (8 preloaded).
$3 Downloads - I love that you can download additional e-books, games and other apps for just $3.
SD Card - This is probably the largest selling point for me as a parent. I bought an 8GB SD card for each InnoTab (it can accept even larger SD cards). I was then able to preload it with tons of children's songs that we had as CDs. So now the InnoTab works as an MP3 player. Even more fun is I was able to convert our kid's DVDs and load them onto the SD card. I fit 6 full-length DVDs onto each card. (See below for what I used to do the conversion). That "other" kid tablet does NOT include the ability to add an SD card, which is again why this was such a huge selling point.
Audio/Visual - The MP3s that I preloaded on the SD card sound great through the speaker on the InnoTab or when using a pair of earbuds. Movies tended to be a little quieter, so earbuds or headphones are good to have for them. Also the movies looked great! They weren't fuzzy or grainy and I was able to fastforward them, using the slidebar, and the Video never disconnected with the Audio.
Price - For $80, this is a SUPER deal for a kids tablet!
Kickstand - I know this is a minor thing, but I really like that it's there. Your kids can set it up either vertically or horizontally and play games or watch movies without having to hold it.
AC Adapter - This is a life saver. Forget using batteries, even rechargeable ones. Just buy the AC Adapter (and car adapter if needed). They are only $10 from VTechKids.com. The reason I listed this as a Pro is because, I'm not giving my kids batteries at all. They don't last long, and can get lost. Instead, I like the idea of tethering them to a power outlet. : )
Learning Lodge Software - There are some major bugs with this software, especially if you bought 2 or more InnoTabs and are trying to register a new child for each additional machine. See my PS below.
Battery Life - As mentioned everywhere else, 4 AA batteries will maybe last a day with continual use, especially if watching movies. Batteries can also get lost, even rechargeable ones.
No Camera/Video Recorder - Honestly, to me this isn't really a Con. If I had to choose between having an on board Camera or SD card slot, I'd go with the SD card slot every time.
Additional Apps - This is only a Con because there aren't as many as with the "other" kid tablet. However, I do like that you can download additional apps or e-books or games for only $3.
Make sure you check the Learning Lodge software for any updates. The Version I'm using is 1.034 (you can find this under Help and then Version Information).
Also, make sure your InnoTab's Firmware us updated. The latest I have is 6.10914. You update this through the Learning Lodge software.
Converting Movies Instructions:
First off you have to get the movie from your DVD onto your hard drive. I use a program called DVDFab, though there are many out there. The key is you have to remove the protection from the DVD before converting it to the format needed for the InnoTab, which is .AVI. Also, only bring down the Main Movie from your DVD.
Then download the Free Software called FreeMake Video Converter. Again, Google it. This is a great program and works quickly!
1 - Once installed, open the program and click the +Video button.
2 - Navigate to where your movie folder is and select all files in the folder and click the Open button.
3 - On the bottom of the program select the "to AVI" button.
4 - Click the blue sprocket or "Edit Settings".
5 - Choose the following settings: (Videos display perfectly using these settings)
Frame Size = Custom, Width = 512, Height = 320, Adjustment = Auto, Video Codec = XVID, Frame Rate = 29.97 fps, Bitrate = Auto
Audio Codec = MP3, Channels = Stereo, Sample Rate = 44100 Hz, Bitrate = 128 Kbps.
6 - Give a Title like InnoTab Settings and click OK.
7 - Choose where to save the finished AVI file.
8 - Click Convert.
The conversion process is quick and once done you'll have a single AVI file, which is the entire movie.
Transferring Movies to SD Card:
If you have not placed the SD Card in the InnoTab and connect it to your PC with the included USB Cable, then do so first. Then open the Learning Lodge Navigator program and Register the InnoTab. This will make the InnoTab create the folder structure on the SD Card. Make sure the SD Card is in the InnoTab first before connecting it to your PC.
Then you can either close the Learning Lodge program and navigate to the new Drive, which is the SD Card (varies by computer) or you can take the SD card out and place it in an SD Card Reader (faster transfer speeds than through the InnoTab). Once you navigate to the SD Card on your computer, go to the LLN folder and inside you'll see a number of folders. Open the Movies folder and simply drag-and-drop the AVI file you made with the FreeMaker program into the Movies Folder on the SD Card. Once done, put the SD Card back in the InnoTab and turn it on, or restart the InnoTab for it to recognize the new movie.
Transferring Music to the SD Card:
Music or MP3 songs MUST be transferred to the SD card through the Learning Lodge Navigator program. Using the Movie method for some reason won't work. However, the transfer is pretty quick and you can select which songs you want placed on the SD Card very easily.
Downloading Games to the InnoTab:
When you register your InnoTab through the Learning Lodge Navigator program, you will get 3 V Coins, where each V Coin is worth $2.99. 90% of the games/E-books are $2.99 with a handful at $4.99. There are about 80 Applications in total that you can download (I recommend the H2O game, you actually tilt the InnoTab to make the water drop go through the game.) Since I bought 2 InnoTabs, I was able to get 6 of the $2.99 games, and was able to load all 6 onto each child's InnoTab. The process was quite simple. In the Learning Lodge Software, I selected the games/e-books my kids wanted, then I completed the checkout (which was free because of the V Coins), and the games Downloaded to my PC. Once on my computer, they right away appeared in the My Downloads - All section. I simply clicked the box next to each application and chose Transfer. The games all downloaded to both InnoTabs without any issues. I even closed the LLN software, and switched InnoTabs, and all 6 applications were still listed in the My Downloads - All section, and it even knew that I'd already transferred some games and e-books to the first InnoTab, so those were grayed out, but the other 3 were active and transferred just fine.
I hope this post helps!
PS - If you bought 2 or more InnoTabs, then hopefully you've read this review before registering the InnoTabs using the Learning Lodge software.
There is a trick. You have to add the 2nd child after you've connected the 2nd InnoTab to the PC, and there in the Learning Lodge, when it shows the image of the 2nd machine you have to click on the Register button. Then you click to Add another child. Once you do, it will retain the information for each additional InnoTab you register.
DO NOT try and add another child in the My Account section. It won't retain the record, but it will keep the child's name on file, and won't let you re-add that same child's name.
Build Quailty: The leappad wins hands down. It just feels more soild. The innotab is built a little cheap and the battery cover on mine is kinda loose. Also the built in kickstand is a joke. There's no doubt that will be the first thing to break. Edited to add: Build quailty becomes less of an issue if this tablet will be given to a child age 6-8 as they are less likely to drop it and drag it around the house by the stylus like my son does with his leappad :) My son is rough on toys so the fact that the leappad it still going strong (minus some scratches) after a few falls is awesome. With cheap plastic and rubber corners that look super-glued, I'm hoping the innotab will be able to withstand a few accidents.
Included Apps: The innotab comes with 2 games(Pinball Letters and Ice Escape), 1 book (What's That Noise), an art studio, coloring book, calendar, calculator, video player, mp3 player, photo viewer, notebook, clock, and a contacts app. Additional apps can be purchased online for $2.99 each and when you register the innotab you get 3 free V.Coins which you can use towards your purchase of additional games. While vtech's apps are priced lower than that of leapfrog, the games available leave alot to be desired. Leapfrog has better downloadable games. And by better I mean the games are more polished. Seems as tho more thought has gone into leapfrogs apps when compared to vtech. Vtech's downloadable games have no depth. They are basically a bunch of mini games that look thrown together real quick to make a quick buck. Some seem a bit silly as well.
Another thing to note is that if you already have the v.reader the ebooks that are included with the cartridge games are the exact same. Disappointed that they didn't come with new stories. I also noticed that the games that come with the cartridges are VERY similar to the mobigo games. While this is a new system alot of things have just been recycled over with very little new content. This would have been a 4 star toy if I didn't have to re-purchase games I already own. Also only one profile can be made and there is no way to customize their educational level. While playing one of the downloadable games it quickly progresses to the next level without making sure the kids are really ready to move on. Other gripes include not being able to delete vtech's preloaded photos and video. Also it is extremely easy for kids to delete content you've added to the device. Not sure why they would include a delete button. So those with little ones be prepared to keep reloading content that has gone missing. (Not sure if locking the sd card will prevent deletes...will have to try and update later) Speaking of which the innotab will take up to a 16gb sd card compared to leappad's 2gb capacity.
My main reason for purchasing this was the video player and mp3 player that the leappad lacks. But with that said there isn't really any educational value in listening to music and watching videos all day. However at this price point I'm getting a portable video/mp3 player, so for entertainment purposes this hits the spot. (Videos must been in avi format in order for the innotab to play them) I purchased an 8gb sd card and uploaded Cars, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age 3 and Toy Story 3, downloaded a few games and one extra ebook and still have over 2gb left. I haven't gotten around to uploading music and photos as of yet.
If I had to recommend one over the other I would definetely say go with the leappad because of the educational value, but it also depends on the age of the child you are purchasing it for. I see older children (ages 6-8) digging this system alot more than the leappad because of the features. Also the leappad, while educational is geared toward pre-k thru 1st grade kids...any older than that is pointless in my opinion. I just dont see kids that old being challenged by anything the leappad has to offer.
Edited to add: I have changed the recommended age for this toy to no more than 8. The more I play around with the innotab, the more I agree with other reviewers. However, my best friend has an 8 yr old daughter that wants this for christmas. So in the end, I guess it just depends on the child.
1. Touch screen is not very sensitive, you have to hit screen many times before it responds. My first disappointment, and my 2 year old did not have time for that nonsense so she bailed on it and went back to my iPhone.
2. Most of the things things that go with it, you have to buy, downloads are expensive, almost all video are $7.50 each, or you buy cartridges which are also expensive. I bought a $12 one, "my first nursery rhymes". What a disappointment there too, was more like sample songs, each song lasted a few seconds.
I just won't be doing anything VTech again. With today's technology this is very disappointing.
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