Child's play


  • TECH
  • Monday, 17 Mar 2014

Here’s a tablet that’s designed to delight children.

Samsung has given its popular Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 a makeover. It now comes in a brightly coloured ­bumper case and specialised software for kids, making it one of the first few Android tablets for the young ones.

It definitely made an impression with my daughters — both my four- and six-year-olds squealed in delight at the sight of the device. Our Grip Cover came in green but you can also opt for an orange one.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids
NICE FEATURE: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids features a handle for easy portability.

The case features a handle to allow your kids to carry it easily without ­dropping the tablet and my daughters loved this as they could lug it around like a handbag. And the handle can be rotated to turn into a stand so that your kids can easily prop it up.

Included in the package is a C Pen, the biggest stylus we have ever seen for a tablet. The size and the soft material it is made of makes it easy for kids to hold comfortably for tapping, writing and drawing on the tablet.

When not in use, it can be safely stored in a slot next to the handle’s hinge.

Kid-friendly apps

The preloaded applications are listed like a deck of cards, which are big and colourful to grab the child’s attention. The tablet comes with a number of kid-friendly games like Toca Hair Salon and Train, as well as education and ­entertainment apps.

However, most of the apps are free-to-play which means you will have to fork out more cash if you want additional ­features or content.

Double duty: The Grip Cover's handle can be turned into a stand.
Double duty: The Grip Cover's handle can be turned into a stand.

The tablet also has a Kid’s Store which the company says has over 600 exclusive apps designed for children. But don’t worry, the tablet has a password to ­prevent your kids from buying apps and racking up a bill.

You can also control how much time they have with the tablet or set a specific time, say, after school or before bed.

It’s worth noting that the 7in screen only offers a resolution of 1, 024 x 600-pixels. That’s not very sharp or even HD but my kids had no issue with it.

It’s a tablet for kids but that doesn’t mean parents can’t have fun with it too. It only takes a few clicks to switch from “Kid’s mode” to normal ­where you will get Samsung’s standard TouchWiz ­interface layered on top of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.

It has 8GB of internal storage which should be enough for your kids, but if you intend to store more stuff you will have to invest in a microSD card.

As for video playback, it can handle 720p and 1080p videos in a number of formats including MPEG4, WMV and DivX.

The large 4,000mAh battery lasted about six to eight hours on a single charge.

Conclusion

Both the hardware and software of this Android tablet has been optimised well for the young ones.

The bumper case is eye-catching and can easily handle hard knocks. The ­interface is easy for kids to use, as the card-like apps are big and colourful. None of my kids had trouble navigating the tablet or needed much help.

On top of that, the parental control options will allow you to monitor and manage how much time your kids spend with the tablet.

About the only thing we don’t like about the tablet are the preinstalled apps which are mosly free-to-play, and will require extra cash if you want to continue keeping your kids happy. But then again, don’t we all do that on our phones?

Also, the camera could have been ­better — it’s only 3-megapixel, so the images turned out quite soft.

Overall, if you are looking for a tablet for your children then the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 7.0 is worth checking out.

Pros: Hardy bumper case; ­attractive and colourful interface; extensive ­parental control options.

Cons: Free-to-play apps will require you to spend more; camera is only 3-megapixel.


GALAXY TAB 3 KIDS 7.0
(Samsung)
Android tablet
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
PROCESSOR: 1.2GHz Marvell Armada PXA986 dual-core
DISPLAY: 7.0in display (1,024 x 600-pixels)
CAMERA: 3-megapixel with ­autofocus (rear); 1.3-megapixel (front)
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, wireless 802.11abgn, DLNA, WiFi Direct, WiFi hotspot, micro USB 2.0
MEMORY: 8GB internal memory
EXPANSION SLOT: MicroSD (up to 32GB supported)
FEATURES: Child mode, kid-friendly apps, accelerometer, geo-magnetic sensor, light detector
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 111 x 188 x 9.9mm
WEIGHT: 302g
WEBSITE: www.samsung.com.my
PRICE: RM799
RATING: 3 stars
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) Sdn Bhd, 1800-88-9999


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