This Christmas a lot of my friends have been looking at buying their children a tablet. Some have gone down the route of buying the top end tablets (more aimed at adults in my opinion both in cost and design) and others have opted for tablets aimed at young children in particular the InnoTab 3 and the InnoTab 3S but they are very much undecided as to which one is best as they are unsure of the differences between the two and which one was more suitable for their child. So I hope that the information that I am about to give helps them and others out a little bit.
One of the main differences that you may notice between the two tablets is the size of the screen. The InnoTab 3S has a 5″ screen (the same size as last years InnoTab2). Whereas the InnoTab 3 has a smaller 4.3″ touch screen, allowing for it to be a smaller, lighter and less expensive tablet. The InnoTab 3 is priced from £59.99 and the InnoTab 3S around £79.99 but this price will differ depending on where you buy your tablet from.
Both tablets can download apps but another big difference between them is that the InnoTab 3S allows you to download apps and sync content wirelessly whereas the InnoTab 3 does not have Wifi and must be connected to a computer via USB to download content.
The Innotab 3S also has an app that the InnoTab 3 doesn’t. This is a text-messaging app that enables your child to communicate with their parents on their smart phone or other kids on their InnoTab 3S tablets. I downloaded the app on my phone and now callum and I message each other from time to time.
It also has a web browser that allows access to the Internet to child-safe websites approved by VTech or parents. I think that this tablet is great for introducing the Internet as you can decide which web pages are allowed, if your child tries to look for anything else it wont allow them to access anything so no accidentally wondering on to pages that they shouldn’t.
Another thing you should think about is how the tablets are powered. The InnoTab 3 uses 4 AA batteries. Whereas the InnoTab 3S comes with a rechargeable battery pack and adapter. But you can also buy a separate rechargeable battery pack for the InnoTab 3 but the extra outlay would bring it close to the same price as the InnoTab 3s.
Another difference between the two is that the InnoTab 3 has 2GB of built in storage whereas the InnoTab 3S has 4GB. This storage is used for downloaded apps, games and eBooks as well as photos and videos. Both tablets support the use of a micro SD card for additional storage so the on device memory is less critical. If you want to load lots of videos for your child to watch on either device then the SD card is definitely needed. Neither device comes with an SD card so this is an additional cost but you can pick them up for a couple of pound.
Both tablets have a touch screen, microphone, tilt sensor and a D-Pad. The design of the D-Pad is different on each tablet but they both introduce physical arrow controls which are useful for some games and navigation functions.
VTech recommends that both devices are for children aged 3-9 years old. I think that children may outgrow the InnoTab 3 sooner as it doesn’t have the web browsing facilities of the 3S as I think this would keep older children using the tablet but having said that some parents may prefer their children to not have this anyway and stay focused on the educational apps and not have the distraction of the Internet. It really is a personal choice. Callum loves using the 3S and he is 9 in April whereas Nathan has just turned 6 and loves the 3.
They both have different things and very similar things to offer. I think the InnoTab 3S offers better value for money overall with its Wifi features, larger screen, more storage and rechargeable battery. But, if you can’t afford the InnoTab 3S or you can’t justify spending as much money, the InnoTab 3 still offers a lot.
*I did not receive a financial payment for writing this review. However, I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this piece are my own*