Tablet Computers for Kids

More than a dozen young testers played with tablets from Fisher-Price … LeapFrog … VTech, and this one from Vinci, which most resembles an adult tablet.

The kids read books …

"Rufus and his family."

"Say, 'Cheese.'"

… took pictures …

… and played with the tablets for several days.

Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports says, "They do mimic tablet computers, but they don't have nearly as many features. And they also don't have access to the Internet. Now, that's a good thing because they're for such young children. But that means parents will have to help with downloading content."

Back in the lab, testers got serious with their evaluation. They used this device to make the tablets stay on in order to measure battery life.

They also evaluated display quality and how easy a tablet is to use.

The Vinci - for ages four and younger - has the best display … touch-screen interface … and the largest hard drive at eight gigabytes. But that's not the only reason it stood out.

Carol explains, "The Vinci has a large screen, and it did well in our tests. But our model cost 480 dollars! That's a lot of money to spend on a device for a toddler!"

For far less, testers recommend the 80-dollar InnoTab by V-Tech for ages four to nine. It has a smaller screen and hard drive, but it's loaded with features like an art studio … e-Reader … and M-P-3 player.

Joe says, "Whoa!"

The crowd pleaser with the children turned out to be the $100 LeapPad Explorer … also for ages four to nine.

Its camera, photo-editing feature, and art studio had kids beaming.

The fourth tablet tested, the $80 Fisher-Price i-X-L Learning System, didn't have as many fans, but one aspect of it was a standout.

Consumer Reports says it had an especially long battery life - 13 hours. That's longer than even most tablets for adults. The battery life for the other three kids' tablets was three to seven hours.

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