Hands on with the VTech InnoPad

Last week we reported on the debut of the VTech InnoPad and this week we got a hands on with the Kids version of a tablet. Because kids just want to be like their parents, VTech is banking on the success of their VTech Reader in hopes of once again encouraging parents to get kids their own version of a tablet versus smacking up and flithing up their much more grown-up, pricier one.

The InnoPad we got to play with was still a prototype but certainly and impressive one for what it can do. The casing is durable and will withstand smacks, drops, and the occasional toss. It’s rounded corners make it easy to hold for little hands as well as big ones. It is also not to heavy and young children can easily carry it along on their travels. It will also come with stylus for drawing games and other activities.

Visually, the 5″ screen is a bit on the small side but children won’t find it to small. However, parents might who are reading stories to their kids at night or trying to play a game together. But I understand why VTech made it this size, besides for obvious price reasons…a bigger device would have been too cumbersome for smaller hands who are 4 to 9 yeas old. It also rotates and locks in place in either landscape or portrait mode.

Viewing angles were pretty decent at best and it certainly does the job to entertain and make kids feel like their adult counterparts. The device can not only play music and videos, it can also operate as a digital picture frame. It has a nice kickstand in the back so when its not being used as a ‘tablet,’ it can sit on a table or desk and shuffle through images that were uploaded to it via an SD card slot or USB port.

When the InnoPad launches, so will a plethora of cartridges from different licenses. You can expect to see ones from Disney and many other popular cartoon characters, pricing for these games will stay competitive and inline with those Apps for the mainstream tablets. Being able to download books and games will really be the sweet spot of this device.

The VTech InnoPad once again proves that VTech wants to be an innovator in kids toys and technology. Keeping ahead of the trends and giving kids tech gear that emulates their parents pricier tech gadgets. Until we really get some time with the InnoPad, we won’t be able to determine if its as engaging as the many other tablets and their apps. But as long as VTech makes sure their catalog of cartridges for the InnoPad stays engaging and fun – kids will forget about that thing called the iPad….The InnoPad will launch in the Fall and will retail for $79.99. Software for the device will retail from $24.99.