Adults aren't the only ones who are looking forward to finding fun high-tech gadgets under the Christmas tree. Kid-friendly tablets, available for ages 3 and up, are bound to be among the best-selling gifts this holiday season. Designed to be both entertaining and educational, these five tablets give children an ideal introduction to personal computers.
LeapFrog - LeapPad Ultra
The latest version of the LeapPad, released this summer, features a 7-inch screen that works as a touch screen or with a stylus, wifi connectivity, and a special kid-safe browser -- LeapSearch. Like all the LeapPads, it comes with pre-installed games and content, while additional content can be purchased through the LeapFrog Connect app. Recommended for children aged 4-9, the tablet includes two cameras (front and back) and a new rechargeable battery.
Polaroid - Kids Tablet 2
Polaroid's new 7-inch slate comes with pre-installed content from Disney, Marvel and Cartoon Network and runs a version of Android 4.2 that has been adapted for children. Featuring front and rear cameras, as well as an accelerometer, the device is made for young gamers and budding photographers. Parents can control access to certain apps as well as a mode that locks down buttons if it's to be used only for watching a video at a particular time. The Kids Tablet 2 has built-in wifi, 1GB of RAM and an SD card slot for expanding storage.
VTech - InnoTab 3S
VTech, one of the leaders in the kid's tablet market, has presented its InnoTab 3S in time for the 2013 holiday season. Made for children aged 3 to 9, the sturdy tablet with a 5-inch display includes 20 pre-installed applications and a wide selection of content available online. The battery pack and charger are included, and the device has a photo editing software with a number of special effects. With its integrated wifi connection, the InnoTab 3S is able to connect with parents' device easily.
Oregon Scientific - Meep! X2
Oregon Scientific has made waves with its Meep! X2, which runs on the Android OS with a custom skin. The robust 7-inch tablet is designed for children over the age of 6. Like most of its competitors, the Meep! X2 is wifi compatible and has parental safety controls. The device offers access to a broad marketplace of games, e-books, photos, music and videos and is compatible with a wide range of accessories (helmet, car kit, joystick, driving wheel).
The Meep! X2. Photo: AFP
Samsung - Galaxy Tab 3 Kids
A leading name in the world of tablets for adults, Samsung has prepared a version of its famous Galaxy Tab for the next generation of consumers. The 7-inch device offers access to dedicated applications in a safe environment adapted for use by children. Parents have access to a number of useful control settings, allowing them to decide which applications are placed in the spotlight and how long a child is allowed to play with the tablet. The device can also be used as a regular tablet, as parents can switch from kids mode to standard mode at any time.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids. Photo: AFP