The LeapPad 2 from LeapFrog, an educational tablet for children. Photo: AFP
One of last year's biggest toy trends was tablets for younger children. Led by brands such as LeapFrog, this trend took tablets out of the adult domain and transformed them into fun educational objects. This trend looks set to repeat itself this holiday season as techy toys from companies such as Arnova and VTech once again make kids' wish lists; below is a roundup of some of the top tablets for kids as chosen by tech bloggers.
LeapPad 2 from LeapFrog (ages 3+) RRP around $99
The successor to last year's hot kids' tablet, the LeapPad, the LeapPad 2 features front and rear-facing cameras, a video camera, 4GB of memory and access to 325 downloadable educational applications and cartridges from LeapFrog's store. The tablet was selected as one of the "Hot 20" toys for children aged 3-5 years old by specialist website The Toy Insider, received 4/5 stars in PC Advisor's group test of children's tablets and was named the "Top toy of Christmas 2012" by retailer Tesco.
InnoTab 2 from VTech (ages 3-9 years) RRP around $79.99
Another successor to one of last year's favorites tablets, the InnoTab 2 boasts a 1.3 megapixel camera -- with 180-degree rotating design, 2GB of memory -- expandable to 32 GB with an SD or SDHC card, and a 400Mhz processor. The tablet comes complete with 17 pre-loaded apps, including a camera, video recorder, MP3 player and three educational e-books. The tablet is linked to VTech's Learning Lodge Navigator which hosts hundreds of educational apps, games and e-books; games cartridges can also be purchased. The InnoTab 2 was selected as one of the top toys for Christmas 2012 by industry experts the Toy Retailers Association, retailer John Lewis and was named one of the tops toys for Christmas 2012 by renowned retailer Hamleys.
The Kurio 7 from KD Interactive (ages not specified) RRP around $199
Marketed as a "tablet for families" the Kurio 7 boasts a 7-inch touch screen, 0.3 mega pixel front facing and a 2.1 MPX rear facing cameras, built-in WiFi and runs on Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich." The tablet, like the LeapPad 2 and the InnoTab 2 features a custom-designed app store as well as customizable parental control settings for internet browsing, multi-user access, and the ability to connect the tablet to the family television set via a HDMI cable. The tablet was voted one of the "Nine hottest Android tablets for kids and education" by Forbes, and received 2.5 out of 5 on both PC Mag and Laptop Mag.
Nabi 2 from Fuhu (ages 5+) RRp around $199
Like the Kurio 7, the Nabi 2 is a 7-inch kid-friendly tablet running Android (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich). The tablet features a 2mp front facing camera, 1GB of RAM and a very impressive NVIDIA Tegra 3, Super 4-PLUS-1 Quad Core CPU. The tablet features an integrated learning system known as "Fooz Kids University," educational apps, and access to over 9,000 child-friendly tracks via "Spinlets + Music" and kid-friendly TV streamed via "Spinlets + TV". The tablet was awarded "Editor's Choice - Best Tablet for Kids 2012" by Tablet Nation and received 4/5 stars from PC Mag.