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Consumer Reports Rates Tablet Computers For Kids

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — To test tablet computers made just for kids, Consumer Reports brought in the “experts.”

More than a dozen young testers played with tablets from Fisher-Price, LeapFrog and Vinci, which most resembles an adult tablet.

The kids read books, took pictures and played with the tablets for several days.

“They do mimic tablet computers, but they don’t have nearly as many features and they also don’t have access to the Internet,” Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports said.

“Now, that’s a good thing because they’re for such young children. But that means parents will have to help with downloading content.”

Back in the lab, testers got serious with their evaluation. They used a device to make the tablets stay on in order to measure battery life.

They also evaluated display quality and how easy a tablet is to use.

The Vinci, for ages four and younger, has the best display, touch-screen interface and the largest hard drive at 8GB.

But that’s not the only reason it stood out.

“The Vinci has a large screen, and it did well in our tests,” Mangis said. “But our model cost $480! That’s a lot of money to spend on a device for a toddler!”

For far less, testers recommend the $80 Innotab by V-Tech for ages four to nine. It has a smaller screen and hard drive, but it’s loaded with features like an art studio, e-reader and mp3 player.

The crowd pleaser with the children turned out to be the $100 Leap Pad Explorer, also for ages four to nine.

Its camera, photo-editing feature and art studio had kids beaming.

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