As tablets have become ubiquitous among adults, so too has the genre grown among youngsters, with a whole range of devices now available for pre-schoolers up to teens. ToyNews takes a look at what's on the shelves.

SECTOR GUIDE: Electronic Learning and Tablets

Leapfrog – 01895 202840

The number one selling children’s tablet in 2012, LeapPad2 (£89.99) currently ranks at number four in the overall toy market, with LeapFrog software listing at number seven.

The LeapPad product as a whole was up by an impressive 86 per cent in March YTD (source: NPD, March 2013).

Representing the next generation of digital learning, LeapPad2 offers hardware features such as a high resolution two megapixel front and back camera and video recorder, and boasts a sizeable 4GB memory, the equivalent to the storage of 10,000 photos.

The bestseller comes with five in-built apps, including Pet Pad, LeapFrog Learning Songs, Cartoon Director, Art Studio and one app of a the user’s choice.

In addition to this, users have access to a library of over 250 learning cartridge games, apps, video, music and eBooks.

Licences available include Disney’s The Hive, Brave and Toy Story, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants and Go Diego Go, plus Thomas & Friends and more.

VTech – 01235 555 545

VTech currently boasts a 78 per cent market share of the ELA market (source: NPD, February 2013). In addition, within the pre-school space, VTech has grown to be the UK’s biggest manufacturer and the fifth top manufacturer overall (source: NPD, January 2013).

The InnoTab 2 is packed with Key Stage one and two curriculum-based learning with particular focus on three areas which have been identified by parents as most important to them: reading, maths and spelling.

Aimed at four to nine year olds, InnoTab 2 has a built in 1.3 mega pixel camera with a rotating ‘self portrait’ lens allowing children to put themselves in the frame. They can take their own picture, use the editing suite to add special effects and then use their photo in various games.

Others features include a video player, art studio, G sensor, learning apps and online benefits via the Learning Lodge Navigator, plus a built-in microphone for enhanced gameplay and video recording.

The content, from the Learning Lodge Navigator, boasts hundreds of downloads including TV shows, music and eBooks – these include licences such as Tree Fu Tom,Doc McStuffins, Peppa Pig and Thomas & Friends, as well as a host of famous artists from the Sony Music catalogue.

Flair – 020 8643 0320

The Appen (£14.99) is the first of a new collection for tech savvy kids under the GP Tech banner, allowing users to enjoy learning, writing and colouring on a tablet.

The patented, pressure-sensitive silicone nib works as a colouring pen, joystick and learning aid when used in conjunction with the dedicated free app.

The nib’s pressure sensitivity feature means that the harder the child presses on the tablet, the thicker the line will be. It doesn’t require batteries – simply plug it in via the headphone socket of any compatible tablet – plus when turned upside down, the device takes on a whole new function as children can use the nib of the pen as a joystick to play a variety of games.

Parents can adapt the app settings depending on their child’s age and ability, upload their creations
to a variety of social media sites and receive updates on their child’s learning progress.

The Appen is aimed at a core target market of three to six years, and it will have a wide range of extension apps and updates to grow with the child in play or learning.

Vivitar –

Under an exclusive licence agreement with One Laptop per Child (OLPC), Vivitar will release the XO Learning Tablet to US retailers beginning with Walmart stores and online.

The seven-inch Android device will feature OLPC’s new XO Learning System, an Android compatible software package for three to 12 year olds.

XO Learning offers a range of parental controls, user IDs for up to three children and a dashboard where the child or parent can review usage, type of content and skills the child is developing.

Separate English and Spanish content will be available, with additional languages added in the tablet’s
future releases.

Vivitar’s Camelio tablet will offer unique add on ‘personality kits’, allowing the seven-inch Android tablet to be customised to the child’s age and favourite licensed properties.

It can be changed as the child moves from pre-school, upwards to the tween/teen stage. Each kit includes a tablet case as well as a card with a code that unlocks branded content such as wallpapers, widgets, music and books.

Finally, Vivitar will introduce three seven-inch branded Android tablets for Hello Kitty, Barbie and Monster High. Each model will include custom home screens, wallpapers, photo editing, contacts and more.

Meroncourt – 01462 680 060

The Clementoni Baby Mickey First Tablet is being distributed by Meroncourt.

Aimed at ages six to 36 months, the lighting button under the screen will involve the child in many learning activities. Children will learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colours in English or Spanish. Songs and nursery rhymes are also included.

In addition, the Friendly Tab (£129.99) is a full tablet PC that has been licensed around Monster High. It features a multi-touch seven-inch display for easy operation, wi-fi capability, a USB connection and is powered by a li-ion battery that enables playback for video of approximately four hours, web browsing for four hours and music for 30 hours.

Extra Monster High content is also included such as season four, a book and video clip exclusive. There is also a parental control filter that can be enabled or disabled at any time.

Inspirationworks – 01727 827 194

The firm will be creating an electronic learning tablet based on Something Special. Mr Tumble’s Tablet will include five games on Discovery, Find, Colours, Quiz and Match. Kids will learn about numbers, observation, colours and more while playing along to the voice of Mr Tumble and other characters.

An additional launch is Disney Princess Touchpad, designed for children aged three plus. The touchpad comes with four game modes to stimulate knowledge of characters, numbers and colours.

Also new to the range is Monsters University Tablet, including six game modes.

The Kurio brand continues to grow with the launch of the Kurio S series.

There are now three sizes, with expanded memory and improved sound. The Kurio 7S and 10S come with Mr Nussbaum’s educational games and applications and School At Home. Other features include the KurioGenius Parental Controls, pre-loaded apps including Disney and eBooks, HD movie player, front and back camera and 8GB internal storage memory.

The newest addition to the line is the Kurio 4S Touch which comes with pre-loaded apps including educational content such as Read Write Phonics Lite, BelugaBloo and Starfox among others.

Entatech – 0333 101 1000

The MobiNote five-inch pocket Android tablet is the ideal portable, personal information and entertainment gadget for children, according to Entatech.

It comes with a wide selection of pre-installed applications including web browsing, internet video phone, music player, eBook reader and live TV and radio. For the bigger kid, the tablet also comes pre-installed with email and social networking applications.

Games include Angry Birds, Nun Attack and Fruit Ninja.

On top of this, it boasts 4GB of internal storage, which can be increased through the installation of an SD-card up to 32GB, and comes with a protective cloth bag and audio earphones.

Also available

Ingo Devices is launching three new tablets featuring the Hello Kitty, Moshi Monsters and Monster High licences. All of the seven-inch LCD touchscreen tablets come with extra pre-loaded content, as well as Ingo Kids software such as parental control, while there are also a number of tablet accessory packs.

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