So you’ve finally decided to buy your child a tablet of their own. Now you just need to decide on which tablet to buy. You could simply buy a them an iPad or one of the many Android tablets available, but you’re probably be concerned about giving them unsupervised access to the internet and the App store. Well, you’re not alone, many parents face this same dilemma. Fortunately there are many kids tablet options available to you. One of those is a newcomer, the Discovery Kids techTAB.
What makes it different from an ordinary tablet? The regular OS has been augmented with special software limiting your child’s access. But in particular, Discovery Kids has done a very nice job preparing the user interface to help you, as the parent, to manage your child’s usage.
Each user will have their own password. First of all, the parent sets up their own personal account and from there you can setup accounts for your children. This is where the techTAB excels, they realize that you may not want to buy a separate device for all your kids, so this one tablet can be shared amongst several children, and you can monitor each one’s usage separately.
For example, you may give your son access to a number of the included applications, but you can give your daughter access to different different applications altogether. Then you can you can look at the usage statistics and see how much time each child has been using, as well as the different types of apps. You can then set a time limit for them to use the tablet, with a mandatory “break time” before the counter will begin again. There are actually quite a few options that you can tweak in order to make it just right for your family members.
There are over 60 apps included. Many of these are aimed at younger children, making this ideal as a beginner tablet. The apps are divided into sections such as: Books, Creativity, Math, Music, Games, Artist, Writing and Science. There is also an internet browser which can be severely limited through the protection settings, which also allow you to grant younger users only access to specific websites.
But perhaps what makes the TechTab really stand out is that this is not just a glorified toy like some other tablets made for kids. Instead, it packs in a 7” capacitive screen running Android 4.1, it has a 1GHz processor with 4GB memory and 1GB of RAM, and it also has a camera, microphone, Wi-Fi and Micro SD expansion slots. And alhough it uses the Android OS, it seems that you cannot directly use the Google Play store. Instead you can download apps from the Opera Mobile Store.
Being that is an actual Android tablet, you may be concerned that your child can access the core settings and cause some damage. And with some other kid friendly tablets that is possible, but not with the techTAB. In order to access the core settings you must enter your master password, so no worries there.
But while the techTAB has many strengths, it also has some weak points. One is the screen. Now it’s not a bad screen for a kids tablet, but it has rather limited viewing angles and it’s very low res. That having been said, it is much lighter than other comparable kids tablets. Overall, these drawbacks are not so substantial when you consider that this is meant to be an entry level tablet for your kids.
Overall Discovery Kids has done a solid job with the techTAB, making it a great choice for getting your child an early start in computing. And the parental controls really make the techTAB stand out from the rest. At $150 it’s a fair price for all of the value that you get. Go order one today and make your kid’s day.
The Good: Excellent parental controls. Lots and lots of included apps. Good price. Easy to grip. Pretty good system performance. Capable hardware includes built-in wi-fi and cameras. Comes with a two layer rubber case to protect it from inevitable drops.
The Bad: Low res screen with poor viewing angles. Poor battery life of a little less than 4 hours. No access to the Google Play store.