The techTAB from Discovery Kids is a 7 inch Android tablet designed especially for children ages 3 to 9 years of age. Available just in time for the holidays, this tablet has a cleverly designed protection system which employs the 'Grow with Me' bumper system of 2 rubber bumpers that help protect the tablet if dropped. They also provide a better grip for small fingers holding the tablet. The bumpers include cutouts for easy insertion of cables, SD cards and access to the built-in camera. The power button and the volume controls are marked on the outside of the bumper and may be operated by firmly pressing the appropriate spot on the bumper.
The design allows you to use both bumpers when your children are smaller and still learning to use and respect a piece of quality technology equipment. Later on, you can remove one or even both of the protective bumpers as they are no longer needed.
- High-resolution 7-inch capacitive touch screen
- Android 4.1 Operating System
- Built-in 4GB flash memory
- 1GB RAM
- WiFi enabled (802.11 b/g/n)
- A Micro SD card slot can expand your storage capacity up to 32GB.
- Grow with Me bumpers help protect the tablet and provide a better grip for kids of all ages.
- Front and rear cameras with kid friendly companion applications
- Micro USB port for connection to a PC
- Rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Built-in microphone, speaker and volume control buttons on the side of the tablet..
- 3.5" Stereo headphone jack
The techTAB comes with a USB cable and a USB AC adapter. You can charge the tablet from a USB hub or port on your PC using the USB cable or you can use the same cable to connect the tablet to the AC adapter that includes a USB port. Charging times will be much faster using the adapter. An optional desktop charger was not available in time for this review but should be available soon and will provide the most convenient way to recharge the techTAB.
When you open the box, the first thing you should look for is the manual. Do not lose it. You will need to refer to it as you set up usernames and passwords for the children who will be using the techTAB Before you can setup the credentials for the kids, you need to find the default parents' password in the manual and setup the Parents' account. Every time you turn on the techTAB, you will need to login first. Every time you make any change, or access certain settings, you will be asked for your password. This can be a bit annoying at times but is designed to protect your children from accessing settings and functions that are beyond their capabilities.
When you set up each child's account, you may assign a password for your child to use or not. That's up to you. Using the parental account on the techTAB, you can select the software and features each child may access and even set time limits for usage. You are in control. Enjoy it now while you can.
When you login, you will be taken to a screen that displays all the avatars and usernames of registered users. This page also provides a calculator, a clock, and access to the Settings options which are password protected. The techTAB comes with 60 Apps and Activities pre-installed in the following categories.
- Books - Audio books and books that a child can read by him/her self.
- Creativity - Coloring App, Creative Zoo, Galaxy Puzzle, Kid's Puzzles: Holiday, Tangrams, and a fun Xylophone to play.
- Math - Includes 11 applications that make learning numbers and Math fun.
- Music - Press the Refresh button on the screen and your SD card will be scanned for music titles to play.
- Games - Includes a dozen pre-installed games to keep your children entertained for hours.
- Artist Menu holds the Camera and Video controls plus a Photo Viewer, Photo Editor, a digital coloring book
- Writing - A selection of applications and games to teach little ones how to write and spell.
- Science - Connect the Dots, Puzzles, Hidden Object games and some Educational Puzzles.
- Box - The Box is the access point for other icons for Music, Email, and the Explorer area with storage, network, application settings and more.
The Music was a slight hiccup in an other wise good experience with the techTAB I put some music files on my SD card in a folder labeled Music but the techTAB search never found it. I moved one of those files out of the folder to the root area of the card but it still couldn't see it. Finding the file with the file explorer was easy enough and then I could play it manually. I'm not sure that would be so easy for a little kid. On a brighter note, the sound quality is spectacular and the volume controls on the side of the tablet are a real plus.
Download the techTAB Assistant application and then follow the instructions in the manual to get any software updates that are available for your techTAB. The techTAB Assistant is also password protected but the password is in the manual. When you connect the tablet to your computer and activate the techTAB Assistant software, it automatically updates your tablet if any updates are available. The techTAB Assistant Software is also supposed to help you transfer music, photos, and other files between your PC and the techTAB but I confess that I found it confusing and not at all intuitive to use. Your computer will see the internal drive on the tablet and an SD card, if there is one, as hard drives and assign drive letters but unlike other Android tablets, you cannot access those drives from your computer to add, remove and manipulate files. My attempts to move files from my computer to the tablet using the Assistant failed every time. Happily it is a lot easier to take the SD card from the techTAB and put it in the SD card slot or a card reader on your computer and just copy the files you need to the card. Then use the File Explorer on the tablet to install or move the files where you want them.
This is all about giving your children or grandchildren a safe computing environment where they can learn and play without stumbling upon any dangerous or questionable material.
A future modification may allow easier access to files between the PC and techTAB but for now this is designed to keep little ones for accessing and causing problems with root files. That's a good thing. The Discovery Kids techTAB is available at Shopko, Fingerhut, and Gettington online with either the blue or pink bumpers for a boy or girl.
techTAB Carrying Case - The Discover Kids techTAB will probably be your child's favorite gift this Christmas but you should also check out the beautifully made techTAB Carrying Case to go with the tablet. This fabric carrying case is designed exclusively to fit the techTAB It comes in a cute backpack style in soft grey and blue and a shoulder bag in grey and pink. Each has adjustable nylon straps, an outside zip pocket and top zip compartment with another inside pocket. There's plenty of room for the techTAB charging cable, manual and more. Each is perfectly sized for little ones to wear or carry and is the perfect companion for their new tablet computer. The backpack in blue is available at Shopko online for about $20
techTAB Stereo Headphones - Add a pair of techTAB Stereo Headphones Model KSD5073 and your little one will be able to listen to audio books and music privately, just like the big kids or mom and dad. The headphones are adjustable and sized just right for a small child's head and ears with just the right amount of ear padding to be comfortable but not heavy. They are available in either purple or green at Gettington online.
If you have any product questions or concerns, contact Kids Station Toys at (888) 321-7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.