Whether we like it or not our society has become one reliant on technology. Specifically in the area of handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets. Every year that passes these devices become faster and more technologically advanced. The processors that were once only found in large desktop computers are now phone in smart phones that can fit inside your pocket. Being someone that grew up with the first video game systems and computers I have become pretty adept at with these devices, as they have changed over the years. What concerns me now, as a parent is how my children will be using this technology. One of my biggest worries is keeping my children safe on the Internet.
We recently were introduced to a kid friendly device called the XO Tablet and it’s made by Vivitar. I first learned about the device at International Toy Fair 2014.
The name Vivitar may be familiar to some of you. They got their name in the area or cameras, binoculars, lens, and other photographic equipment. Well they have partnered up with the organization called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to create this kid and parent friendly tablet. This organization’s goal is to empower poor children from around the world with technology by providing them with free laptops.
The XO Tablet that we recently received is quite impressive. It is a regular tablet with a 7” high-resolution screen, dual core processor and the android operating system.
The tablet itself is surrounded with a removable green rubber protection bumper with handle. This is great for kids who are prone to dropping things.
The tablet comes pre-loaded with good education apps and software from Oxford University and Discovery Communication. Additionally the XO Tablet is fully bilingual between English and Spanish. The thing that I like the best is the easy to use parental controls.
The easy to use parental dashboard allows you to track the usage and learning styles of your children as well as block them from using the Internet.
There is a main password lock for the parents and the children get there own user name and password as well. That way your children don’t argue with each other over who messed up the others screen or deleted someone’s apps. The parental controls have an option to only turn on the Internet for app usage rather than giving the kids full access to the web.
Tech wise the tablet has front and rear cameras which are good for fooling around but not great when it comes to picture quality. It has a 1.6 GHZ dual processor and 1GB of RAM. It has an HDMI port as well as a USB port. You can also add up to 8GB of additional storage by using an SD card in its flash drive. There is an external speak on the back with so-so quality and a headphone jack on the side as well. This tablet is very easy to use and the android operating system flows seamlessly through the pages and apps.
At first when we received the tablet I was worried that it would just be another gaming device for my kids. However after seeing them use it for a couple of days I realize that the educational games and software are very compelling to children. The software and apps pre-installed on the tablet make learning very interesting. On the children’s home page it says, “I want to be an…” Below that statement 15 areas of interest that they can chose from.
They are: artist, doctor, musician, writer, mathematician, astronaut, scientist, green, engineer, photographer, programmer, chef, traveler, teacher, and athlete. When you click on each icon it brings you to a page of tutorials, lessons, and interactive learning games. For example if you click on mathematician it you can learn about Pythagoras or play beginner, intermediate or advanced math learning games. If you clicked on the music icon you could learn about Mozart and Beethoven and then click on another icon and learn about reading and writing music. One of the beginner games teaches kids about rhythm using a cute sheep game. The app plays rhythms with various beats and you have to repeat the rhythm back. After trying out the music app myself I then had to check out the scientist icon. Having a background in science I was curious to see how interesting the XO tablet could make science interesting. There was one section, which teaches kids about different science topics using video lessons. Some of the other apps included a genetics lab that allows kids to create their own creatures.
Overall I think the XO tablet is an excellent device for education children. There are so many kid friendly educational apps on the device that your children may never get bored of learning. The tablet is very sturdy and easy to hold. The battery life is good for about 8 hours and my husband and I are really happy with the easy to use parental controls. My kids can still use the apps without getting on the web, which is great for us. The XO Tablet is available to purchase at major retailers such as Target and Toys R Us and Amazon. The retail price is from $119 – $140.
Vivitar has agreed to have a giveaway of one of their 7″ Kids XO Kids Tablet for FREE to one of my lucky fan! Want a chance to win? All you need to do to enter is fill out the easy and short Rafflecopter form below!
The winner is
- Giveaway is open to US + Canada residents.
- This giveaway end at 11:59 pm est on 3/25/14.
- Prize fulfillment will be handled by Vivitar
- The winner has 24 hours to respond or we’ll pick a new winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a product sample from Vivitar. I was not paid for this post and all opinions about the XO Kids Tablet are my own.