VTech InnoTab 3S Kids Tablet, Blue
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- Display uses Landscape orientation
- 4 GB of internal memory storage
- Improved 2.0 MP camera with enhanced photo features similar to the Kidizoom camera
- 64MB onboard memory and memory card slot for memory expansion
- Kid Connect communication app allows secure communication between a child's InnoTab and a parent's smartphone.To charge the batteries, place the batteries inside product than charge them by plugging the unit into the wall outlet or computer.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Kid-safe internet browser with VTech pre-selected and parent-approved websites and secure Wi-Fi connectivity, 5" color touch screen, E-Reader and Story Dictionary, MP3 Player, 4 GB on-board memory, Memory expandable up to 32GB with micro memory card (sold separately), 180° 2.0 MP rotating camera / video recorder, Wonder Cam with over 55 photo effects, 20 total Apps included: Art Studio, Magical Bean Stalk game, H2O Go! Game, calculator, clock, calendar, friends list, notes and more.Plus, the microphone and new D-pad offer even more ways to play. The box includes a Rechargeable Battery Pack and AC Adaptor (a $34.99 value) and 2 styluses.
Safety WarningWARNING: CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Legal DisclaimerIncludes New Car Charger as bonus
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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.
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.
The included Toca Lab game is loads of fun. We also got to download two free apps, and we chose Musical Message and Hide-n-Seek Greet. Musical Message is geared toward ages 4-8 and Hide-n-Seek for ages 3-6, but I definitely feel Hide-n-Seek is too easy for my boys. From now on we will download games that are geared toward their age and older.
Lots of other fun things were included as well. The Art Studio is a blast -- you can draw, add tire tracks, "stamp" pictures of animals, etc. We had a great time with the Wonder Cam Max. We took a ton of wacky photos of ourselves with two heads, one eyeball, etc. We also added cartoon glasses and mustaches, a cartoon pirate hat, etc.
The Movie Maker app is pretty cool, too. You take a series of photos and then it puts them together into a little movie for you.
Other things I love about the InnoTab MAX:
- Parental Controls that allow me to manage my kids' apps, web access and tablet time. These controls are already working for me, as I got three emails about apps that my kids added to their "wish lists."
- Every app and game includes lots of kid-friendly instructions.
- You can use a stylus or your finger.
- There's a sturdy cover that protects the tablet, and you can also flip it over to stand the tablet up.
- There's a built-in rechargeable lithium battery, so I don't constantly have to buy new batteries.
- There are loads of games available for download or on cartridges that are both fun and educational, and they are geared toward various ages. Many are free, and the ones that aren't start as low as $2.99.
- You can register multiple users, so more than one child can use the tablet and track their progress.
Things I don't love:
- As with all technology, my kids are going to constantly be begging me to download all of the pricey apps like Miles from Tomorrowland and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which cost $14.99 or more.
- Despite the fact that the InnoTab MAX is faster than older versions, it is still a lot slower than the iPad, which my kids have been using. Still, it's nice to reclaim my iPad for myself!
Overall, the InnoTab MAX is loads of fun and kept my kids entertained for quite a long time. It will be great on road trips and long airplane rides. It IS an investment, and you'll constantly need to spend money to download or purchase new content. But if you're looking to reclaim your iPad and get your kids their own tablets, this is a great choice. It will certainly provide hours of fun!
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