VTech brings teacher-endorsed Android games to its InnoTab Max tablet for kids
By Simon Crisp
June 8, 2014
VTech has revealed its upcoming lineup of tablet computers for children, including an Android-powered top-of-the-range model. The InnoTab Max features a 7-in touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi, and the Android 4.2 operating system. In addition to VTech's own apps and learning software, it will also boast access to a selection of more than 200 educator-endorsed Android learning games.
The new tablet has been designed to appeal to parents who want to get their child a kid-specific tablet, but are worried that their little one won't be happy with the VTech app offering. With the InnoTab Max, children who are used to playing on their parents' mobile devices might be able to download some of the same games on their own kid-friendly tablet. At the same time, they'll still have access to all of the VTech educational titles, which will make Mom and Dad happy.
The InnoTab Max has the robustness that you would expect from a product aimed at three to nine year-olds, and the sort of simple operation and parental controls that we've come to expect from the likes of the InnoTab 3 or LeapPad Ultra. Much like previous models, the InnoTab Max will ship with 18 installed apps – including MP3 and video players, a camera and a kid-safe browser.
However, where the Max differs to previous VTech offerings is that it will also have access to more than 200 hand-picked and educator-endorsed Android learning games. These educator-vetted games will sit alongside a library of more than 650 software and app titles in VTech's Learning Lodge app store. The InnoTab Max will also be compatible with a number of VTech's library of cartridges. VTech has not yet revealed which Android games will be available on the tablet.
In terms of technical specifications, VTech is not revealing too much at the moment. However, we do know that the 7-in touchscreen will have a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, its camera will be of the 2 megapixel variety and there will be 8 GB of internal storage. It also gives you the option of popping in a microSD card (up to 32 GB). VTech isn't saying much about the processor, only that it will be an upgraded multi-core CPU (in other words, don't expect a Snapdragon 801 in this puppy).
The built-in Wi-Fi of the InnoTab Max can be used to download apps or browse the internet using a kid-safe browser. It is also compatible with an enhanced version of VTech Premium Kid Connect which allows users to send and receive text and voice messages, photos and drawings with family members who have installed the app for their iOS or Android smart-device.
In addition to introducing the InnoTab Max, VTech has also revealed relatively minor updates to previous InnoTab models in the form of the InnoTab 3S Plus and the InnoTab 3 Plus. The 3S Plus is a mid-range model with Wi-Fi, while the Wi-Fi-lacking InnoTab 3 Plus becomes the new base-level offering.
The VTech InnoTab Max will go on sale in October, while the InnoTab 3S Plus and the InnoTab 3 Plus will be available in August. There's currently no word on pricing.