When Today's Parent asked if my family would test out the ViNCi Tab II 7" Learning Tablet, we were so game (pun intended). After all, I have three school-aged girls who love technology and I'm always on the hunt for the next best handheld devices. My attraction is a mix of fun, education and also distraction—for appointments or when traveling.
While we have a variety of devices from iPad to Android, I was interested to see what ViNCi had to offer. I hadn't heard much about them and, after asking friends who are also parents, many weren't familiar with the product. Was ViNCi the lesser-known gem in the crowd, deserving of some attention? I couldn't wait to find out.
When our ViNCi Tab II 7" Learning Tablet arrived, the first thing I noticed was that it was surrounded by rubber, protecting the device and making it easy for little hands to hold. Most of the time, when my kids have dropped the tablet, it's while carrying them around. Alas, this non-slip rubber lessens that chance considerably. Yet, if it does fall on the face of the device, I'm not certain it will be entirely safe. To be honest, I hope I don't encounter such an experience this, yet I'll be sure to update you if it does happen.
When you first turn the ViNCi Tab II on, it's ready to play. No need to connect, upload, sync or input a ton of information. This was really nice since it arrived just before we left for a weekend getaway. From the box to the kids hands, not having to jump through hoops to set it up was most welcome.
The ViNCi Tab II 7" Learning Tablet apps are separated into three levels. Intended for ages one-and-a-half to nine, the levels of difficulty are bang on. My five-year-old twins stick to levels one and two while my nine-year-old does all levels with ease. The apps in the third level are harder for my twins, but not so much that they don't try them.
Preloaded with many apps already, ViNCi is all about curriculums. This is awesome because they are so educational and touch all categories: Thinking Skills, Emotional & Social Skills, Language and Literacy, Math & Logical Reasoning, General Knowledge, and Science.
The curriculums for ViNCi range from $50-$90, yet you can buy single apps if you so wish. I see a Levers and Measurement app for $8.99, a subject which my daughter just took in grade four. I had a "doh!" moment and made a mental note to check for apps when I hear of a new upcoming unit in school. It's a small price to pay especially since I do have three kids!
The preloaded apps for my kindergarteners, though, are incredible. They play one in particular that tells a story and then you have to arrange stills of the story in the correct chronological order. This is exactly what they do in their class and, yep, they do need the practice. So, when they open this app and claim how fun it is, this parent cannot help but smile.
I'm in the habit of charging my devices after every use, so I've never had an issue with the ViNCi. Startup is quick compared to some other devices and the screen is a generous size and colourful enough for them.
The ViNCi Tab II 7" Learning Tablet is WiFi-capable (I turn have this turned off, my preference) and has a 3mp camera. The photos taken indoors are less than desirable, yet the kids don't mind and still click away.
Overall, ViNCi has fun apps and my kids love playing it. In my eyes, the curriculums rock and really facilitate learning. While the cost is high for the tablet and added curriculums, I do think you get what you pay for here.
In fact, the twins need to work on numbers, letters and reading over the summer for when they start grade one in the fall. If they consider the ViNCi "games" fun, they can't wait to "play" and the apps and curriculum's are amazingly coordinated with our education system... well, than there it is.
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