Arnova Childpad

How to stop the kids stealing your iPad? Get them their own child-friendly tablet

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Arnova Childpad The Arnova Childpad comes with a range of pre-installed apps.
By Staff Writer Published  June 28, 2012

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Key Specs

Card reader: MicroSD
Display screen: 800x400 capacitive TFT
Internal storage: 4GB
Memory: 1GB RAM
Networking: WiFi 802.11 B/G

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Any one who has both a child and a tablet device will tell you how quickly the one becomes inseparable – kids just love tablet devices. But while it’s generally a good thing to get children engaged with technology, and touchscreen is a very natural interface, there can be issues with letting younger children lose with a tablet. Most tablets can’t withstand rough treatment or sticky fingers, unrestricted web access is a no-no, and most parents don’t always want to share their device with the kids.

Thankfully though, Arnova has the answer, with its new tablet that’s designed specifically for children, the Childpad. The Childpad includes a number of different features, along with software and content that has been specifically tailored to youngsters.

The seven inch screen size is better suited to small hands than some larger tablets, and at only 12mm thick and 324g, its not a heavy device for them to handle.

With a 1GHz ARM A8 processor and open GL 2.0 technology, the 800 x 400 TFT screen gives good performance as a learning tool, for displaying multimedia content, and for other fun activities such as drawing or playing games, even in 3D or high definition.

Other child-friendly features include a bundled-in six months subscription to Editions Profil’s Mobile Parental Filter, which uses an Intelligent Content Evaluation system, to verify websites as you browse, blocking any sites that contain inappropriate content.

The Childpad links to customized version of the AppsLib application market, so that child users can download apps and other content that has already been screened as to whether it is appropriate. Childpad also comes with a number of the most popular applications for children pre-installed, including Angry Birds, Pig Rush and Flight Frenzy, along with drawing and colouring applications.

The tablet runs on Android 4.0, with 1GB RAM, USB 2.0 connectivity, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, 4GB of memory and a Micro SD slot for memory expansion. The Childpad also includes a webcam, although it is only 0.3MP resolution, but it handled video chat well enough.

This version of the device features a capacitive screen, a big improvement over the previous resistive screen, which also means the tablet can take dual touch input. The screen is quite robust too, with a rubber bumper around the edge, so it can take some knocks from usage. Overall build quality is good, so again, it should handle reasonable usage by children.

Some users report low battery life, but other independent tests have shown it can offer about five hours of video playback, which is plenty for young users. The content filter and AppsLib can mean that content is a little bit over restricted – most savvy adults should be able to configure it to add additional apps as required, but out-of-the-box parents can be comfortable that their children shouldn’t be able to access or download anything they shouldn’t be.

The big clincher with the Childpad is the price – at just 499dhs, it costs nowhere near as much as most fully featured tablets, making it ideal for its purpose as a child’s device.

Pros: Great value, robust, and offers safe web surfing.
Cons: Filtering might be a bit too restrictive for some, 4GB memory won't hold lots of films.

A good buy if you are looking to give a child a tablet.

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