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Are you starting your Wish List for the Holidays? We found two interesting products that are said to be a top seller this coming Christmas because their original version did so last year. Last June 2012, VTech announced the two new InnoTab models, the InnoTab 2 and InnoTab 2S. Today we will take a closer look on the InnoTab 2 since it has already been released in the market a few months ago and take a peek on the InnoTab 2S.
Comparison with the Original InnoTab
In terms of function and overall features, the InnoTab 2 and 2S are not far different from the old InnoTab. What make the new InnoTab models stand out are the rotating camera, a microphone, bigger storage space, create multiple profiling, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Built-in Rotating Camera
The InnoTab 2 and 2S both have a built-in 1.3-megapixel rotating camera. Kids can now take pictures of other things or themselves. They can even edit the picture to put special effects and use the photos in various games and apps. Because of this feature, kids enjoy playing while seeing their own face on the screen and they are able to enjoy the art of photography. The camera can also be used to take video which is so cool for an electronic toy.
The VTech InnoTab 2 also features a built-in microphone which of course is essential for video recording. But the microphone is also great for games and apps that respond to sounds.
Bigger Storage Space
The original InnoTab used to have up to 64MB of memory and up to 16GB via SD card. The new InnoTab 2 and 2S has 2GB on board memory and the SD card slot is now expandable to 32GB. Doesn’t this simply compete with a grown-up’s tablet?
Create Multiple Profiles
The VTech InnoTab 2 and 2S have the capability of creating up to 4 personalized user profiles. Each profile includes photo wallpaper, user name, avatar, and voice and text greetings. This makes it easier for sharing the toy with numerous siblings or friends.
The VTech InnoTab 2S has the ability to hook-up in the internet via Wi-Fi. This is not an open internet where anyone can browse their favorite websites. This only connects securely to the servers of VTech to download purchased apps, eBooks, music, etc. This is the only difference between the InnoTab 2 and 2S and comes with the additional $20 value. It is actually a costly feature in replacing the USB connection just to download already purchased items.
VTech InnoTab’s Retained Features
5″ Color Touch Screen
The VTech InnoTab has always been designed to look like an actual tablet, boasting with 5 inches of colored touch screen like the VTech Mobigo. The screen interaction can be used with either the stylus or the kid’s fingers. They can easily drag or flick objects. The stylus is great for activities that require smaller points such as drawing, tracing letters, or coloring.
The InnoTab has astoundingly tilting sensor which is great for motion based games such as the 3D Coloring App where shaking the tablet gives life to the colored objects. You would actually think that it is built so much like a real tablet.
Like the VTech Vreader, the InnoTab has e-reader capabilities. This is great for preparing young ones to learn how to read even before they go to school. The kids will be able to read or listen to the storyteller and interact with games and activities that come along with each story. My son loves the fact that he can touch objects every page and see what happens to those objects or what characters will say. There is even built-in dictionary to aid the kids to learn about the words used in the story.
The InnoTab like any other tablet has the capability to store and play MP3 files. This is great to incorporate nursery rhymes and kid-friendly music that kids will love and essential in their learning. This is best used with headphones that are sold separately.
Adding to VTech InnoTab’s durability are the padded corners. These cushion the Learning Tablet when the child accidentally drops it.
The InnoTab can be set on a table like a picture frame so that it won’t always be held by the kid. The pull-out stand behind the tablet does that and is best used for viewing videos and playing the MP3.
A USB Cable is included when the InnoTab is purchased. Its purpose is to sync it with your computer and the web. Parents will download games and apps through VTech’s Learning Lodge Navigator and download all free and purchased items through the USB cable.
The Vtech InnoTab 2 comes in two great colors which are Blue and Pink. While the InnoTab 2S comes in Gray and Purple variants.
VTech InnoTab 2, 2S Games and Apps
Like any other tablet, the InnoTab 2 and 2S functions because of Apps. And VTech InnoTab 2 and 2S have 16 to 17 built-in apps when you purchase it. These apps are:
- Video recorder
- MP3 player
- Photo viewer with slide show, 3 photos included
- Video player, 1 demo video included
- Face Race motion sensor game
- Friends photo address book
- Notes notepad with onscreen keyboard
- Clock with stopwatch
- Calendar with stickers
The VTech InnoTab 2 and 2S, like their predecessor and VReader have additional educational game themes that come in Software cartridges. They have stories and game activities surrounding a theme. The only included Software cartridge upon purchase is the Read, Play and Create cartridge. It features 3 more Apps:
- What’s the Noise eBook
- Color and Pop Activity
- Alien Rescue motion sensor game.
With the release of the new InnoTab lines, there are also newly released cartridges namely:
- Madagascar 3
- Hello Kitty
- Jake and the Neverland Pirates
- Dora the Explorer – Twins’ Day
- Toy Story 3
All cartridges are compatible with all InnoTab versions. Each cartridge is worth $24.99 and is sold separately.
VTech’s “app store” is the Learning Lodge Navigator. You have to download it from VTech’s website then install in your PC and connect your InnoTab via the USB cable. It actually boasts hundreds of downloadable items such as TV shows, music, eBooks, games, and apps. Each item costs $2.99 to $4.99 each. With the purchase, you get 2 free downloadable apps of your choice. What is best about the Learning Lodge is that it records your kids’ progress whenever you hook their InnoTab in the computer.
The last app that comes with the purchase of the InnoTab 2S is the Wish List Maker. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage if kids learn how to use this app. This app requires the use of the InnoTab 2S’s secure Wi-Fi. We think it is great to actually know what kids want. Through the Wish List Maker, they can add all the apps, music, games, videos, and eBooks which will be sent to the parents’ phone, tablet, or computer. The only disadvantage is that kids might want to get them as soon as possible and could be expensive in turn.
InnoTab 2 and 2S Accessories and Parts
- InnoTab/V.Reader Storage Tote in Blue or Pink, $14.99
- VTech AC Adaptor, $9.99
- VTech Car Adaptor, $9.99
- Rechargeable Battery Kit, $17.99
- SD Card, $8.99
- VTech Headphones, $19.99
- InnoTab 2/2S Folio Case in Blue or Pink, $12.99
- Learning App Download Card, $20
- InnoTab Carry case in Gray or Pink, $14.99
Pros and Cons
- Durable (Kid-proof)
- Great for children ages 3-9
- With rotating camera for still pictures and capturing video
- Can be personalized up to 4 profiles
- Higher memory capacity
- Games and Apps are dedicated for Learning
- Still has the E-reader which encourages children to read more
- The MP3 player is also a nice touch
- Slower than the original, in terms of loading time and start-up
- Looks bulky
- Cartridges and Apps can be pricey
- 4 AA batteries are not yet included
The VTech InnoTab 2 has been rated 4.4 so far out of 5. 60% of the consumers are very satisfied that they actually awarded it as a 5. The InnoTab 2 is also a Best Seller ranking #2 in Handheld Games category, #17 in Electronic Learning Toys & Systems category, and #18 in Educational Computers & Accessories category.
Best Price for VTech InnoTab 2 and 2S
The VTech InnoTab 2 and 2S are priced at $79.99 and $99.99 respectively. Right now, the InnoTab 2 is sold for $79 only over at Amazon. The InnoTab 2S can be preordered also through Amazon.
Overall Impression on the InnoTab 2
For a very high-tech age, kids are way into gadgets, merely because most parents have their set of computers, mobile, and tablets. This of course gives them that liking to play with at least one. Tablets and mobile phones are the first to catch their attention, but these gadgets are way too much for their developing minds. VTech InnoTab 2 is a great learning app-based tablet that is very much suitable for kids aging 3-9 years or older.
As a parent, it is advisable to put boundaries especially on what the kids should be exposed to. The InnoTab 2 is exactly what parents should let their kids have. It is very limited compared to a normal tablet and mobile phones. It has a little range of games and applications that are meant for learning only. The educational features are wide and apt for them. With the additional camera and memory, children will also appreciate taking photos of themselves and have that satisfaction rather than tinkering with your expensive camera.
The VTech InnoTab 2 is entertaining and engaging, both of which are essential for learning while playing. This toy is a must-have and should be in your 2012 Christmas Wish List for your kids.