Posted on May 25th, 2014
The battle rages on between the Innotab 3S and the Fuhu Nabi JR kids tablets. Both are 5 inch wifi tablets that come with educational apps and games. However, they vary greatly in price:
Price of the Innotab 3S: $65 on Amazon
Price of the Nabi JR: $105 on Amazon
Of course, a decision based on price is not always wise for an electronics, as many vary in quality. As always, the decision must be based on the particular features and performance you are interested in. Thus, I will give you a synopsis of both tablets…
Vtech Innotab 3S
The Innotab 3S was made for kids ages 3-9 years of age. It is preloaded with 16 educational apps, and more can be downloaded from the VTech Learning Lodge. Like the Nabi JR, it has a 5 inch display, and a rechargeable battery.
One change VTech has made was add a landscape option to this tablet. This makes it easier for kids to use in different orientations. Behind the chassis is a stylus for use with the learn to draw app. Kids can also use the 180 rotatable camera to take photos and edit them in the photo editing suite called WonderCam featuring 60+ photo effects. The chassis also includes a Disney motif featuring MIckey Mouse or Fairies on its pink or blue protective rubber bumper.
Another great feature of the Innotab 3S is the instant messaging capability between it and other tablets and phones. This way, your kids can keep in touch with you wherever you are. For a $65 tablet, this feature stands out as being one of the rare kids tablets of this price with a messaging system.
This tablet has surprisingly awesome sound with a thumping bass. When kids select an app, a voiceover comes on dictating the name of the app, and gives an explanation of how to app is used. This helps them use the app on their own instead of needing help from parents.
The Innotab 3S has a cool virtual pet app called Magic Beanstalk. Now, kids can learn to take care of a pet wherever they are, without needing a wifi connection, and watch it grow. And with the Kids Connect Basic app, which allows kids to text message, there is also the Friends List app with which they can keep a list of contacts.
Kids can choose from over 500 educational games from the VTech Learning Lodge. Games cover topics such as reading/writing, logic, math, science, and creativity. Kids will find popular characters within the apps such as Disney and Spongebob Squarepants. And some of them are free! With the Wish List Maker, kids can request access to apps, which will be sent to their parents’ email. The Learning Lodge will keep track of your kids achievements and put them in a pie chart for you to see.
– Great software
– High quality sound
– Storage can be expanded to 32GB
– Weighs only 2.1 pounds
– A bit sluggish
– Dim display
Fuhu Nabi Jr
The Nabi Jr is another 5 inch tablet with wifi. This tablet was specifically designed for durability and cleanability. Fuhu has said that this tablet can be dropped 7 feet without breaking. However, it is not waterproof, so care must still be taken to not get it wet.
The software on this tablet is far more extensive than that of the Innotab 3S. In ‘mommy-mode’, the Nabi Jr gives access to Google Play and the Amazon App Store. Both of these platforms host 1000’s of apps and games. In addition, the Nabi Jr comes preloaded with 1000’s of educational lessons with 1500 core concepts. This uses the Wings System that is integrated with the tablet, covering basic topics like reading/writing, logic, math, and science.
One of the great things about this tablet’s software is the gaming theme that allows kids to progress through their games while earning coins and rewards for every achievement. These coins can be exchanged for additional apps and games from the Nabi ‘treasure box’. The games also adapt themselves to your kids’ aptitudes using the ‘N-Site Reports’ system.
Although this tablet costs twice as much as the Innotab 3S, it only has 4Gb of storage, which is not expandable with a microSD card. It also has a proprietary charger, which tends to have some issues and can malfunction. It has been said that customer service for Fuhu leaves much to be desired. Regardless, for $105, this tablet has some great software options. You may also be surprised by the fact that its battery lasts 7 hours, which is pretty good for the price.
– Many software options
– Good battery life
– Very durable
– Limited storage capacity
– Proprietary charger
– Bad customer service
As always, we let you decide which tablet is best for you. As you can see from the tablet summaries, The Innotab 3S has preloaded educational software, but the Nabi Jr has a bit more. The Nabi Jr also can be connected to Google Play and the Amazon Store for more options in ‘mommy-mode’. But it only has 4GB of storage as opposed to the Innotab 3S, which is expandable up to 32GB. The Innotab 3S is also lighter, weighing only 2.1 pounds, while the Nabi Jr weighs a hefty 3.2 pounds.
Another point of concern about the Nabi Jr is the customer service and its proprietary charger. If it were to ever malfunction, you may be waiting a long time to get a new one.
While you pay $105 for the Nabi Jr, you only pay $65 for the Innotab 3S on Amazon. Granted the Innotab 3S has been known to be a bit sluggish. It is simply a matter of weighing out the pros and cons according to what is most important to you.