Kids Tablets Buying Tips

Education Tablets v. Child-Friendly Tablets

While looking through the new batch of kids tablets, we began to realize it would be rather problematic to simply label all of these options as kids tablets. To simplify things a bit, we decided to split the tablets we’ll be covering into two categories: education tablets and child-friendly tablets.

Education tablets utilize touchscreen technology to promote interactive educational engagement. Last year’s popular LeapPad Explorer is the most well-known example, and their second-generation LeapPad 2 falls in that same category. All compatible content on education tablets will tend to run exclusively through that company’s ecosystem. For example, the LeapPad offers hundreds of different apps, but they’re all created by LeapFrog. With education tabletss, you’re essentially locked into the world of that brand, but you’ll know you can trust that all the content your child consumes will serve an educational purpose.

Conversely, child-friendly tablets function much more like more standard, adult tablets, albeit with lots of built-in parental controls. While these tablets normally have their own app stores, available apps aren’t limited just to content created by a single company. These tablets promote pre-installed kid-friendly apps like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and tend to emphasize learning tools less than educational tablets. The included parental controls limit access to inappropriate apps and content and some even allow you to program and limit usage down to the user. While they don’t come with the same specs (or price tag) as fully equipped tablets, child-friendly tablets will appeal to parents that plan to use the device as well since parental controls can also be fully disabled.

While education tablets have some great content, their downside is that they simply can’t offer the same flexibility as their child-friendly tablet counterparts. Education tablets are built specifically for children. Child-friendly tablets, on the other hand, are still standard tablets at their core, albeit with lots of safeguards to prevent your child from viewing unwanted content.

Now that we’ve mentioned these key differences, let’s look at three major education tablets to look out for this holiday season: LeapFrog’s LeapPad 2 Explorer, Vtech’s InnoTab 2S and Fisher-Price’s iXL.


Next Page - LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer ($100)

November 18, 2012
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