Reviewed by Kathryn Carr
When the opportunity came up to review a tablet specifically designed for kids, it was of huge interest. Playing games and accessing media online is now very much part of growing up. I’m constantly surprised by how easy my children take to tech and I know it won’t be long before I’m left behind, wondering what on earth they’re tapping and swiping. Of course, there is the debate as to how much Screen Time is acceptable and as a parent who loves the Great Outdoors, playing traditional board games and a good arts and crafts session, I’m always looking to strike a balance. Convincing my little ones that an hour spent staring at a screen, isn’t the best idea might not always be so straightforward and I was hoping the Kurio Tab Connect would help me set boundaries. I want my girls to appreciate the benefits of online access and become media savvy.
The Kurio Tab Connect was relatively easy to set-up, however, I did have an issue when I inputted the Wi-fi password incorrectly and changing it became a bit of a battle. Saying that, the Kurio Tab Connect is almost ready to go straight from the box; after a couple hours of charging of course.
The Kurio Tab Connect is part of a range of Award-Winning 7” 16GB Android Kurio Tablets and has parental controls that allow grown-ups to stay in charge whilst also giving children the freedom to explore what it has to offer. Children’s online and screen time needs to be managed and monitored and the Kurio tablet has plenty of security features including time limit controls; we worked as a family to decide how much daily access was suitable and then let my four-year-old set it so she fully understood how things were going to work. You can create 8 completely different user profiles and manage apps and time limits for each profile, which is a very clever facility but one I’ll probably never get around to setting-up. It’s one for all around here! Likewise, every Kurio Tab Connect makes it possible, via your smartphone, to stay in touch with your child anytime, anywhere. You can send messages, play games with your child, turn down the volume and even turn off the tablet. I prefer to talk to my kids in person, maybe if they were at the age of escaping to their bedrooms, it would be a totally different story.
My little ones are only two and four and the tablet has been created with even the youngest in mind. With such little hands, we liked that it’s lightweight and with the kids’ rather clumsy nature, we’ve been grateful of the anti-shock bumper that protects the device (perfect for tug of war ‘it’s my go’ debates) that also makes it spill-proof. We already have an iPad with a smashed screen, so this comes as a welcome addition to our family.
The Kurio is mainly used by my eldest and its key attraction for her is that it’s preloaded with over 35 apps, including popular games that are both fun and educational. There are apps that introduce children to STEM and Coding but at 4, it’s the Colouring-In App that my daughter is really taken with. The Connect can be clunky, manoeuvring round the built-in apps isn’t always straightforward; finding ‘Home’ can be a challenge and when ‘swiping’ and ‘tapping’ to play the games, my daughter often accidentally ends up somewhere else! Nevertheless, the tablet includes access to over one million apps and content via Google play at no cost. There’s plenty going on here; the controls might just take a bit of getting used to.
My two-year-old will often fall asleep in the car and it’s best not to move her (for everyone’s sake) so the question becomes how do I entertain my four-year-old whilst we’re parked up, with nowhere to go? The Kurio Connect has certainly helped, as the preloaded content doesn’t need an Internet connection.
When I’m asked a question by my eldest and tell her I don’t know the answer, (now she’s started school, it’s happening more and more), her response is, ‘Google it, Mum.’ The Internet is Life and I know that very soon, she’ll be wanting to Google things for herself. I want to protect my girls from the dangers the World Wide Web throws out, but I also want them to marvel at its wonders. This is where the tablet’s exclusive Kurio Genius Parental Software comes into its own. The software filters over 32 billion websites, so you can rest-assured that children can browse the Internet safely. What’s more, the App Management System allows parents to authorise or block apps that they consider not appropriate for their child. Nothing’s foolproof but this is certainly a start.
The Kurio Tab Connect is also great for watching films, however, this tablet does have one major downside – it’s rather poor battery life. I feel as if it’s constantly on charge and even when it’s not in use the battery life dwindles. Fully-charged, the tablet won’t last more than a couple of hours (with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on) and although we’ve programmed it to only be used for an hour at a time, unless you’re mega organised, you’re going to find the Kurio isn’t always up to the job of entertaining your little one. Bad Mum.
My opinions are really divided on this one. The Kurio Tab Connect has some fabulous Internet safety features, being able to manage it from my phone is great, and it offers access to all sorts of entertaining and educational content. But, and it’s a BIG but, the battery, seriously lets it down.
Kurio Tab Connect Specifications:
- 7” Screen
- Android 6.0 OS
- Quadcore Processor
- 16GB Onboard Memory (expandable with a 32GB Micro SD Card)
- Micro SD Slot
- Wi-Fi b/g/n
- Front & rear camera
- Mono Speaker
- Battery 2580mAh