Putting Toy Tablets to the Test
Children want to receive a fun and educational tablet designed just for them, and toy tablets are shaping up to be a hot gift for the upcoming holidays. 14% of people have the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet on their shopping lists this year states the results of a recent poll by Consumer Reports. Other models, like the Vtech InnoTab Interactive Learning Tablet, are nearly as popular this year. Consumer Reports tested these two and two others in a series of head to head examinations to see which tablets offered the best blend of education and entertainment.
The tests were conducted in the labs of Consumer Reports and used children that were within the age group recommended for each device by the maker. All of the tablets came with preloaded apps and some form of a touchscreen color display. Only the expensive Vinci Tab featured rechargeable batteries, while the other three required AAs. All four connect to a home computer to download new games or to upgrade the content.
Child testers chose the LeapPad from LeapFrog as the most enjoyable and fun. 8 in 10 said that they would like to have one of their own. The Fisher Price iXL thrilled younger children and lasted the longest on one set of batteries, but the Vtech InnoTab offered the best variety of fun games. Kids liked the quality of the screen and responsiveness of the Vinci Tab, but weren’t thrilled with anything else about it.
Consumer Reports concluded that the LeapPad was the best deal for the price, balancing a $100 cost with good durability, medium battery life and enjoyable games. Younger children will find the iXL from Fisher Price more suitable. The InnoTab received the lowest overall ranking due to its high price tag at $480.