Customer Reviews: VTech - Tote & Go Laptop with Web Connect
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VINE VOICEon October 6, 2011
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a generally positive opinion about the Tote and Go Laptop. On the one hand, it has many educational activities--some more interesting than others--and my grandson enjoys using it. However, it isn't a toy that he, at 3 years of age, can entertain himself alone with. Yet it also isn't a toy that you can `play together' with. The adult interaction is more along the lines of ongoing tech support. (The toy is rated 3-6 years. I would rate it 3 to 5, at most).

Keep in mind that, in this review, I'm rating it based on my experience with a 3 year old at the lower end of the spectrum. A 5-year old would probably not be frustrated or confused and need less supervision.

It is aimed at a generation that has grown up accustomed to HD color TV's and monitors. This 2.5" wide black and white viewing area with stiff little figures made up of pixels in which only some parts move is somewhat underwhelming. (Ex: the talking little dog stands stiffly, but moves his eyes and mouth).

The games are OK to good. Not all will appeal to every child, but everyone should find some that are interesting. Luckily, there is a large selection. My grandson seems to enjoy matching the shadow silhouette to the animal and most of the counting games. Some of the reading preparation games hold his attention and some go over his head. He also likes the idea that he has a mouse. He loves the fact that his name (which I downloaded) is used often.

You do have to download and install software on your computer in order to download and customize the experience. This places a Learning Lodge link on your desktop. You create an account and password (give your e-mail). You must connect the toy to your computer (via a 13" USB cord!) and pick among several options. You can pick additional vocabulary words, stories, and songs. In my experience, no matter how many I downloaded, only the last one was saved. So I think you download, one at a time, and that one replaces the previous. Maybe this is good since there will continue to be "new" things to do.

If it was possible to rate each category separately, rather than the toy as a whole I would rate (based on 3 year child's interests, attention span, and curriculum):

Music Party--1 star
My Downloads--4 stars (though YOU have to replace & replenish)
Net Pals--2 star
Letters and Words--4 stars
Numbers and Shapes--4 stars
Logic and Games--4 stars
Ease of Use without supervision--2 stars
Need for Adult Supervision--2 star
Length of time it holds interest--3 stars
Ease of accessing web-based resources--3 stars
Ability to add new material and customize--5 stars
Value for Price--5 stars

Overall, though in some ways it's a little technologically underwhelming,for the price it is a pretty good investment.

Because to buy (at least one):
**counting book;
**shape identification book or toy;
**book of beginning letter sounds;
**toddler/preschool vocabulary book;
**logic game
***would probably have been less entertaining;
***would still have required adult interaction;
***and it would have been much more expensive.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 26, 2011
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have two daughters, the younger one will be three in December and the older one will be five in November. This laptop seems to be squarely between their ability levels. It's far too easy for my older daughter, although she likes playing with it anyway. She likes to get "100" on all the games (and she gets rather frustrated if she gets anything less). On the other hand, it's too advanced for my younger daughter, although she can do some of the activities with adult help. For one thing, the younger one hasn't been able to figure out the mouse, so she can't work the games on her own. But even with adult help to work the mouse, she still needs help with the games themselves. It appears that this game is appropriate for children perhaps three to four and a half - ages when children are learning basics such as letters and numbers.

For Christmas we bought the younger one a "Leaptop" by Leap Frog. This children's laptop is quite a bit better. This laptop has quite a bit more functionality, including several features within each of four different categories: "Music Party", "Letters and Words", "Numbers and Shapes", and "Logic and Games".

Music Party includes ten different songs for kids to chose from and each can be spiced up with extra sounds by pressing the letter keys. The top row of letter keys produce musical notes as if played by a piano. The bottom row produces animal sounds such as a dog bark and a cat's meow. The middle row contains a variety of sounds including a belch, much to the delight of your average preschooler. My younger one can play this one on her own once I select a song for her. This section doesn't seem terribly educational, but my kids seem to enjoy it, until I get annoyed enough to tell them to choose something else.

The Letters and Words section and the Numbers and Shapes section both contain learning modules and interactive games. For instance, there is a "picture dictionary" which will present a word for each letter of the alphabet and show a picture of that word. The Shapes section has a module which features a dog walking down a path passing various shapes which are named as he passes them. There are also games involving recognizing letters that are partially hidden, counting shapes, and adding small numbers.

My older daughter seems to like the Logic and Games section the best. The games are quite simple, such as matching shadows to the animals which produce them, finishing a two-piece puzzle and finding the "odd one out" among four pictures. There's also a module which simply shows a fish swimming in a tank and children can change the fish by clicking the mouse.

After completing activities in the Letters, Numbers and Logic sections, children can get their "report card" to see how they've done.

There is also capability to connect to the internet and download additional material, but we haven't tried that yet, and we might not; it just seems like a lot of work and hassle for a three-year-old's toy. I will update this review if and when we do attempt it.

This laptop does seem pretty durable. My kids are less than dainty and they've already managed to bump and knock it around a bit. It doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects so far.

Because kids will grow out of this pretty quickly, I recommend it more for learning centers or daycares where multiple children will have opportunity to use it, or at least households with multiple children who can use it in succession. It seems rather expensive for the use that just one child will get out of it, unless you have other children in mind to hand it down to. 3.5 stars.
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on October 20, 2011
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Vtech Tote & Go Laptop Computer with Web Connect is a great toy! It recommended for children 3-6 but my 18 month grandson took to it immediately. Perhaps because he sees all of his family using laptops and iPads, he was thrilled to be able to finally "push the buttons" he never can on the others. He quickly learned the on and off switch and even learned the word "soon" as the person says "See You Soon" as it turns off. He played with the buttons and laughed with the pictures and when someone worked with him by showing him how to push the music button for instance, would dance and laugh with great glee. He liked the sounds the animals made and having just started to learn to count, was quite excited by being able to push 1, 2, 3 and hear the numbers he is learning. It is very durable and he would push back on the top and it would click and I feared it would break but it is going strong. He even taught me how when it is closed, the mouse fits in the top with an easy click and he can carry it by the handle just like his daddy. This will be a toy he can use for a long time as he gets older and can do more things. Linking to the web allows you to personalize the computer to say the child's name and when it tells the short stories you can download, it inserts the name in the story much to their delight. It also has Web Pals but never fear, they are not linked to any real people but rather animals become their friends. I would highly recommend this toy especially for ages 2-4 for sure!
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on April 3, 2013
The laptop has great educational games. The only thing I found wrong with it is that the screen is so dark and small it's hard to see. My child immediately lost interest.
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on April 30, 2016
I purchased this item for my niece's as a birthday present. My main goal was for her to use this V-tech to help to reinforce what she was learning at Preschool. When I was younger my grandmother also purchased me a v-tech and I found that it helped me in the areas of science and math (older child version) and I wanted the same for my niece. I was not disappointed and she was happy with what she was learning. When she would visit my home she would bring her v-tech laptop and would sit next to me and I would be on my laptop and she would be on hers. To her this was a real "adult" laptop and she enjoyed every seconds of it. Do I believe that my niece benefited from using this item, yes. She was always happy to tell me what she learned and from her reaction I could see that it was both educational and fun.
The screen on the V-tech could be a little bit bigger, maybe the screen is suitable for a child but not for an adult. Especially, if you are trying to get your child to get interested in the item for the first time and you can barely see the screen. In the beginning you will have to help the child to navigate through and figure things out. I found that after the first orientation she was able to do and figure things out on her own.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2011
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A great introduction to using a computer and mouse. This durable VTECH Tote and Go Laptop will provide your child with hours of educational fun. Learn numbers, shapes, words, letters and more through games and reading activities. The simple LCD screen and voice instructions will talk your youngster through the steps, what to press on the color coded mouse and how to get from one activity to the next. The keyboard is set up alphabetically rather than like a normal keyboard, so you will not be able to teach the child the correct finger placement for typing, however, this isn't crucial for a first laptop toy. The age range of 3-6 is quite accurate, but if you have an extra bright 6 year old they might find the 20 learning activities less than challenging. My 4 year old niece loves it and will continue to learn from each activity, especially since she is new to the English language and the pictures and words along with pronunciation are a great help. There is a USB cable included in the package so you may connect to the WEB to download additional activities like stories and e-cards straight from the VTECH web site. The auto shut-off feature will preserve your battery life (3 "AA" batteries) and the mouse stores neatly in the top of the unit. There is a volume control with two settings and a convenient carry handle for ease of portability. Great toy, very well made, and an affordable price tag. Product is made in China but has an 800# for customer questions.
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on May 10, 2013
Even though this is made for older toddlers, I bought this for my almost 18 month old grandson. He enjoys our laptops a little too much so I decided to check out computers made for children. After reading how tough this computer is, I ordered it for my grandson. He loves it!!!

We went online and downloaded his name. Each time he cuts his VTech - Tote & Go Laptop with Web Connect on, he gets to hear his name & he smiles and his eyes light up. I like how you can pick out the songs you want it to play and how you can personalize the stories with your child's name. It is very easy to connect it to your computer for the FREE downloads. The only improvement I would make to this VTech - Tote & Go Laptop with Web Connect is to allow more than 1 story at a time to be downloaded onto it.

It is not only sturdy and fun, it is also educational. Like a lot of Vtech toys, this VTech - Tote & Go Laptop with Web Connect teaches your child the alphabet, counting, and shapes, plus more. It's wonderful that children can learn while playing.
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on October 10, 2012
This toy is very durable even in the hands and under the feet of a 1 year old bent on destruction. Baby loves to open and close the top, yank the mouse and press the buttons. She loves the sounds. The display is disappointing because it is small and the screen background and rudimentary display blend together in gray. The baby doesn't even see it. Maybe she will when she is older but by then we will get her a baby tablet that they are coming out with that has a color display.
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on February 10, 2012
My 2 year old loves this toy. One of the appeals about this product was that you could download more games. The product website doesn't have any capabilities for Mac for this product. So we're waiting until v-tech catches up with the times. Disappointed.
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on December 14, 2011
Would be great for kids 3-6 years old.

I purchased this after my daughters leapfrog leaptop went missing. My daughter is 20 months old and loves the leaptop which says it is for ages 2 plus.

This product is for ages 3 plus. I purchased it since it has a mouse and my daughter always grabs the mouse off my real laptop and plays with it and I thought perhaps a kids version would keep her interest.

Well this product is very educational but not something that a younger child can fully explore. My daughter does enjoy it but it really is for older kids (which it does state in the product description). I know she will get more use out of it as she gets older.

I believe this product is more for older kids so if you have a younger child the leapfrog leaptop would be a better fit. LeapFrog My Own Leaptop

Both products will continue to provide educational enjoyment for your child as they age, however the vtech product is more suited for older (it does say 3 and up on it)kids.
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