Wednesday, February 15, 2012

VINCI Tablet Review [and how you can win one!]



If you are a regular Eco-Babyz reader you probably know about our technology phobia. Maybe that's too harsh of a term - I'm a blogger after all! I'm good with many programs, AutoCAD, Revit, Photoshop, SketchUp, etc. But I don't even own a smartphone. I don't even have my own cell phone as a matter of fact. Ever since my migraines vanished after I ditched my cell phone, I look at wireless technology very differently.


(Playing a color and shape game)


Needless to say, I'm very careful about anything wireless and screen time with my kids. Okay, so the screen time has loosened up for baby E a bit after our second was born, that's true. At least she doesn't mindlessly watch videos all day, she loves and knows how to play, but I really wanted something interactive for her - yet something without wireless signals. She loves my mother's smartphone. This is where VINCI comes in, a tablet made specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. It is perfect for baby E's age at 3 years old, but it's suitable for even younger babies (not that I advise using it younger than two years old).




The VINCI tablet came in very handy this winter. We could not get outside every day with temperatures below zero and with a three month old. While I'm sure we would have been fine without it, it has made the transition to two kids a little easier! Baby E has quickly learned her way around the interface and loves playing the educational games, watching music videos (nursery rhymes with cute dancing babies), and taking photos/video with it. There are so many things that we personally love about it:

  • No wireless signal! Kids don't need that and I don't have to worry about her getting on the internet (or getting a tumor for that matter).
  • Easy to hold with the red silicone/food grade band surrounding the tablet
  • A huge variety of games and content, for several weeks of playing my toddler kept discovering new games, I was surprised at how many there were
  • Learning is cleverly disguised as play, I certainly advocate for letting kids play!
  • It teaches language. My toddler's first language is Russian and she is fluent in it, now she has been picking up a little more English from the games. 
  • It teaches geography. While I wish it went beyond the U.S. and Africa (I'm sure it will in the future), at least 
  • She loves taking photos, so the camera is a plus even though it is only 3 megapixels
  • It is age specific, in my opinion perfect for 2 to 4 year olds

In terms of downsides, there are few. Somehow baby E managed to break one of the black supports that hold the tablet around the edge. We promptly received a replacement. I thought she understood that computers are fragile and we play carefully with them, well at least now she does. I told her if she breaks this one we're not getting another one, that teaches her to take care of her belongings. It is a tad hard to access the ports for USB/charger because of the red band, but not impossible (just hard for me with an infant in one arm, you need two hands). Lastly, it seems there are a few bugs that need to be worked out. Sometimes the sound keeps on playing after I've turned it off, other times it gets stuck on something - pretty much like any smart phone would (it is built on the Android platform). It also isn't cheap and down the road you will be paying extra do download content appropriate for challenging your child as he or she grows. The 4 GB VINCI tablet is $389 and the 8 GB VINCI is $479.


It has also helped us teach baby E moderation. She isn't very good at that, she's an all or nothing type of girl. But now she knows when it is meal time, she has two minutes to finish playing and turn it off. She is quite attached to it, she loves having a 'computer of her own' like mommy and daddy. So turning it off when I ask is a big deal, I'm happy with the progress. She has also learned patience since many times we forgot to charge the tablet overnight and she couldn't play with it when she wanted to. I'm happy that when I put it away, she usually doesn't remember it. That way she doesn't play with it every day, I think technology is good in small doses! I look forward to having this during times we would find it particularly helpful like long road trips.

You can actually win a VINCI Tablet! Submit tips on how your child learns in their discussion forum!


Disclaimer: I did not receive any payment for this review. I was provided a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are solely my own and your experience may differ. May contain affiliate links (please buy through these if you like our product recommendations).     

2 comments:

  1. When i tried to click on this link it says page not found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Luda, I can't find that page now, I'll ask them to see what's up.

      Delete

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