Tablet Computers For Kids

Tablets are really hot this holiday season, and plenty of new ones are just out. There are also a bunch of tablets made just for kids.

Consumer Reports just sized up four.

To test tablet computers made just for kids, Consumer Reports brought in the "experts."

More than a dozen young testers played with tablets from Fisher-Price...Leapgrog...VTech, and one from Vinci, which most resembles and adult tablet.

The kids read books...take pictures...and play with the tablets for several days.

Carol Mangis of Consumer Reports says, "They do mimic tablet computers, but they don't have nearly as many features. And they also don't have access to the Internet. Now, that's a good thing because they're for such young children. But that means parents will have to help with downloading content."

Back in the lab, testers got serious with their evaluation. They used a device to make sure the tablets stay on in order to measure battery life.

They also evaluated display quality and how easy a tablet is to use.

The Vinci-for ages four and younger-has the best display...touch-screen interface...and the largest hard drive at eight gigabytes. But that's not the only reason it stood out.

Mangis says, "The Vinci has a large screen, and it did well in our tests. But our model costs $480! That's a lot of money to spend on a device for a toddler."

For far less, testers recommend the $80 InnoTab by V-Tech for ages four to nine. It has a smaller screen and hard drive, but it's loaded with features like an art studio...e-Reader...and MP3 player.

The crowd pleaser with the children turned out to be the $100 LeapPad Explorer also for ages four to nine.

It's camera, photo-editing feature, and art studio had kids beaming.

The fourth tablet tested, the $80 Fisher-Price iXL Learning System, didn't have as many fans, but one aspect of it was a standout.

Consumer Reports says it had an especially long battery life-13 hours.


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