VINCI Tab II M 5" Touch Learning Tablet (WIFI, 8 GB)
|Price:||CDN$ 102.01 FREE SHIPPING.|
- The only tablet powered by a developmentally-designed digital learning Curriculum1, with monthly learning subjects and assessment tools
- Age: the only tablet designed, tested and certified for children ages 18 months and older Mobility: the only tablet with a patented handle that keeps your child mobile
- VINCI Diary2: the only tablet offering the Age Norm reference guide to track your child's progress and to compose your child's personal story book Child Safety
- 3 megapixel back-facing and 2 megapixel Front Facing camera/camcorder: allows parents to capture their children's special milestones with ease
- VINCI Kids Library: access to hundreds of VINCI approved and age relevant apps and music videos from "Sid the Science Kid" and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and many others
From the Manufacturer
VINCI Tab II M
The perfect gift for that special child--VINCI Tab was created as a new category of fun learning tools with the goal to engage, empower and educate children. By using a scaffolding teaching method designed by developmental psychologists, parents encourage their children to participate in constructive play and promote early learning. Unlike any other electronic toy or tablet, VINCI grows with the child by offering VINCI Curriculum, a step-by-step learning structure comprised of 43 learning subjects and 3 levels of assessment, and covers all 6 aspects of a child's developing mind: Thinking Skills; Emotional & Social Skills; Language and Literacy; Math & Logical Reasoning; General Knowledge; and Science.
VINCI Tab is the only technology platform that helps parents clearly visualize the path of their children's future success.
With WIFI and Parent Login, VINCI Tab II M instantly switches from a child's tablet to a regular tablet that offers high quality web browsing, email and social networks access as well as entertainment with HD video and music support.
- Content¹: Powered by VINCI Curriculum, VINCI Tab II M provides a step-by-step learning structure to help parents prepare children for school success.
- Child Safety: All VINCI tablets are designed and tested to comply with FDA safety standards for children 18 months and older.
- Mobility: With VINCI's signature handle, weighing just half a pound, VINCI Tab II M keeps your child mobile, turning every moment into a learning opportunity.
- VINCI Diary²: Offering the Age Norm reference guide to track your child's progress and to compose your child's personal storybook.
- Multilanguage Support³: The only Android tablet supporting VINCI Curriculum apps with a language selection option--English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
- Social Learning: Children can share their learning experience with friends and family by networking up to 4 VINCI Tab II M tablets together to play games, build puzzles and enjoy social interaction.
- Appeals to adults: Standard WIFI and full Android features for web surfing and entertainment, front and back dual camera, pocket size and graphic acceleration engine for 3D gaming. VINCI Tab II M is also designed for adults to enjoy.
|Item||VINCI Tab II M Model VS-1001 |
|Age Begins||18 Months|
|Age Ends||9 Years|
|Skill Set||With VINCI Curriculum: Thinking, Social, Language, Math, Knowledge, Science|
|Language||Android OS language settings and/or. |
VINCI Curriculum language options
|Screen size||5 inch (diagonal)|
|Processor||Cortex A8 1.2GHz|
|Expansion Slot||MicroSD Card up to 32 GB|
|Battery||1800 mAH battery (2-3 hours depending on use), rechargeable|
|Pre-loaded||Google Play, Gmail, Skype, Adobe Reader, QuickOffice, Web Browser|
|Pre-loaded Kids||6 learning apps, 3 Storybooks, 20 VINCI award-winning Music Videos. Free VINCI Diary after registration|
|Parent Mode||Yes, password protected|
|Child Safety||Certified for FDA standard ASTM F963|
|Camera||Front Webcam, Back 3MP|
|Warranty||12 months parts and labor with normal use|
- VINCI Curriculum SD card packages are to be purchased separately
- Download the VINCI Diary for free after registering the purchase
- Parents can select to run any of the 4 languages via the option button for any VINCI Curriculum apps
Top Customer Reviews
I was looking for an alternative to the more video game oriented leapfrogs and vtech innotabs. A few things appealed to me about the Vinci Tab right away; can also be used as an android tablet, website have review of amazing customer service, apps seemed plentiful and well thought out. I liked the idea of "curriculum" and graduated learning. When I receive the tablets I was initially impressed, the packaging was top notch. This is a weak product, and way overpriced. The tablet is extremely sluggish (5 minutes to boot up the device and ~30 seconds to boot apps and the apps constantly crash before starting and also during play. The apps that when played look and run like they are made by high school students learning how to make an app. As well, the free "Vinci Diary" app that you can download when you register does not automatically track your child's progress as the website leads a person to believe. All tracking needs to be manually entered by the parent of the child. I felt scammed again. The brand website states that the product was developed through research and apps developed with the help of educators..what a joke. You can find the similar quality apps on other tablets for much cheaper. I contacted the company to ask about new apps being developed as they are very few additional apps to purchased and after about 15minutes on hold I was told that there are no plans for new apps. In my mind that means the company is just looking to make quick money and disappear. I don't expect this company to survive, so don't expect any warranty. In my opinion, this is definitely a product and a company you want to stay away from.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm sorry to say that, as an Android tablet, the VINCI fails on almost every level.
SPEED: Despite the decent processor, it's slow. I swear I could hear a hard disk drive whirring inside of it, but that had to be my imagination, right? Well, I'm not going to tear it down, but it sure seems like this little device is hurting in the speed category. Tests with a few games were very disheartening. Angry Birds Star Wars crashed without running. Great Little War Game was choppy and slow. Monopoly was equally choppy. If you're thinking of getting this for yourself as a little gaming tablet, think again.
FEATURES: There is a camera, and the Menu, Back and Home buttons are actual, physical buttons. The camera is okay-- About comparable to most low-end cell phone cameras or cheap Vivitar cameras. However, there is no Bluetooth, and while I could live with that, I cannot live with the lack of an accelerometer or gyroscope. Why? Because the lack of this feature means the VINCI Tab II M is permanently stuck in landscape mode. No portrait mode. No tilting to get different views. No anything that would require a sensor to do it. There's not even an option to check to turn the feature on or off. It's just... Not there. Without portrait mode, typing on the Android keyboard is a pain, and arranging apps is unpleasant. If you don't get the app EXACTLY in the spot where it's supposed to go, it just disappears from your main screen and you have to go back to the app drawer (which you must access by hitting Menu, then All Apps, each time) to get the app again and drag it back out. Tedious.
OPERATING SYSTEM: I was surprised to see that this tablet did have the Google Play Store installed, along with Google Services. However, when I went to download my apps I found that the Play Store only listed a handful as being compatible, which really limited the usefulness of Android on this device. The stripped-down, customized version they use here is missing many items from Settings that would allow deeper customization, and requires several button-presses and sub-menus to get anywhere. There's no App Drawer button, which means you have to take the roundabout route I listed above. Also customized are some of the app icons. Most notably the Gallery Icon, which is made cute to be more appealing to children. All in all, this is Android, but in many ways, only barely.
BUILD QUALITY: As I stated before, the VINCI has physical buttons, which is a nice surprise. The rest of the device feels solid enough, which is probably the goal with a device that is meant to be handled by young children. The red rubber case is seemingly glued to the black plastic shell of the tablet, and it feels like with a little effort you could rip it right off. I wasn't willing to drop the device on hard floors to see if the rubber case did anything, though. It doesn't feel THAT solid. The screen feels fine, though swiping and touching isn't as responsive as it could be. The back is not covered by the red rubberized case- It's exposed black plastic, and it seems like it could be a bit vulnerable if mishandled. The plastic feels decidedly low-end, and I question the durability under stress.
SOFTWARE: The VINCI apps that grace the main screen are, for lack of a better word, childish. And I don't mean that in the way they mean it. They're clearly aimed at kids, and they do seem to have some developmental potential for young children, but they're so cheap-looking, simple, and trite. I played around with them and felt like they were aiming too low with some of the activities. For example, one of the higher-level activities was to watch a short (badly CG animated) video of a monkey as he walks to a tree, picks a banana, peels it, eats it, tosses the peel, and then slips on the peel. After this short video, your child is given a series of four pictures-- stills from the video-- and asked to put them in order. Once they do it, they're told they did it right and asked if they want to do another one like that. I can't imagine a kid finding this interesting for long... Not when alternatives like the MEEP! and Leapster offer much more compelling content at a comparable (or lower) price.
As for "adult mode", there's nothing amazing here. Basic Android apps, really. Google Play doesn't seem to like the VINCI very much, and in my tests I had problems getting my previously-purchased Android apps to download, or even show up as downloadable. This makes me think that "adult mode" is going to be nearly useless for an adult user who wants to use this as an Android tablet, and again, that lack of portrait mode is frustrating and annoying. The early Android tendency to refer to every device as a "phone" is also present, but that's not VINCI's fault.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
If I judge the VINCI Tab II M as an Android device, it falls into a category much lower than anything on the mainstream market due to its glaring omissions and corner-cutting. You would be better off getting a Kindle Fire-- even the first gen version-- or any other basic Android tablet. In fact, I'd recommend picking up a pre-paid cell phone, not activating it, and simply using it as WiFi only if you want something with more to offer than the VINCI Tab II M. You'll pay less and get more.
If I step out of my review parameters for a moment and judge this as a child's early development "Learning Tablet", what I'm left with is the impression that they took a REALLY cheap, limited Android tablet and put some very simple educational games on it. The stuff on LeapPad is better, if you ask me, and if you want to use Android for a kids' tablet, then you'd be better off dropping your hundred-and-fifty bucks on the MEEP! Tablet, which at least comes with fifty apps and has better hardware. The VINCI feels like something bought in a cheap Chinese shop, altered with a small suite of very limited apps, and released with a red rubber handle to make it stand out.
And I hate saying this, because I like what they're trying to do here. I think the market for tablets aimed at kids should be much bigger, and more people should be working on getting tablets into kids' hands for educational purposes... But this ain't it. It's been done better, faster, more efficiently, and with better content and hardware, and all for less than VINCI costs.
I rarely give bad reviews, but in this case I have little choice but to hit VINCI with two stars. If the device offered portrait mode, it would get three stars. If the version of Android included weren't neutered even in "parent mode", I'd consider a better rating, too. However, as it stands this is a rather expensive choice in a market that doesn't need to be this expensive anymore. VINCI seems to be charging a premium for their software, and I'm here to say that it's not worth the mark-up.
I consider this bad review to be a call to VINCI to step things up. Improve the hardware. Invest a little into the software (better animation would be a great start). Bring the price down. Anything would be a step in the right direction. As-is, this device isn't worth the asking price because there are better choices out there. The MEEP!, Galaxy Tab, Zeki and Kindle Fire can accomplish the same things, but with far greater efficiency and at around the same price. With that kind of competition out there, you can't get away with selling a severely-crippled, cheap Android device for this price.
Improvements are needed, both for the sake of kids, and for the parents who will be paying for the device. I wish I could rave about this device because I like what they're trying to do, but it just falls short of my expectations.
She loved the few sample games pre-installed on the tablet, and played cheerfully with them for as long as I would let her. She is at the beginning of the top level (3) but I noticed that she really enjoyed the easier games of level 2, particularly the animal racing game. The other game of level 2 is a puzzle-matching type game, and I think it would be frustrating for little kids. I could see just how it should be, but it was hard to know how to manipulate the image so it would go to the right place.
I think it's important to note that this is really a platform but does not come installed with enough games to last very long. You really will want to buy the separately available curriculum to really get the most out of this. If your child is close to the age range of two levels, perhaps select the lower level instead of the higher level, to avoid frustration.
For me, the biggest draw to this over the Nintendo DS is that all the games stay in the tablet. My daughter is constantly taking out (and losing) the DS games, and we can never find the cartridge she wants. Yes, the "curriculum" is more expensive for Vinci, but on the other hand, all the apps are then installed on the tablet and can't vanish under a couch.
The parent mode is cool, I guess, but I already have a phone so I'm not planning to use it much. It's nice to have the option, but I find it very difficult to type in (case sensitive) MyVINCI every.single.time I want to access Parent Mode. You can't change the password, either. Total hassle, and absolutely not worth it when I can use my own phone.
The tablet comes with some learning apps for children that are more or less trial versions. To get the full versions you will have to buy them. Funnily enough, it comes with full version apps in the parent mode. Office suite , google play store, calculator, dictionary, skype a web browser are just a few of the fully loaded apps in the parent mode. Even my Kindle fire HD 8'9 did not come with a fully loaded Office Suite app!
Not only that, this "learning tablet" comes with both a front and back camera, has capacity to play MP3 and Mp4 and games.As mentioned earlier it comes with google play installed so you can log in to your google account and download apps via Wifi. This is a full tablet for children.
* Dated technology. This feels like a tablet that is a couple of years too old. It runs Android 2.3.5, Gingerbread. The screen is functional and bright, but nowhere near the current standard. There is one speaker and what it has in volume it lacks in quality. The camera is at best mediocre. The unit also randomly turns off when apps are playing. Also you have to power off, a full power off or the power will almost completely drain overnight even with a full charge when going to sleep. This is not the case with my iPad where it loses a couple of percentage of power in sleep rather than power off mode.
* Some market Apps simply will not run. I downloaded angry birds Star Wars. It did download and install it. But every time you try and run it, it will not run. Even some of the Vinci preloaded software samples take about 3 or 4 times opening before they run. It just simply is not up to the `Tablet experience' of other options in the price range.
* Very expensive software. I do urge anyone considering either of the Vinci II tablets go to the vincigenius dot com website. There are sample of each of the programs in each of the curriculum. A curriculum consists of a number of apps covering different categories of learning such as math and science. You get 2 preloaded light versions to sample for each level. On the website you can see YouTube videos of the various apps. I actually do like them. They are simple but very concept oriented and executed pretty well. Our 2 year old daughter enjoys them. But they are pricey. For instance the level 2 has 12 apps essentially. So whatever price you find divide by 12 and that would be the price per app. At the current list price of $140 you can see how pricey the software is.I have seen recently the curriculum selling for less than the list price, but still very pricey. I am an iOS user. I have many wonderful educational apps for my daughter ranging in price from free to a few dollars for the majority per app.
* Bumper and handle. Much like its larger cousin the bumper and handle are a very nice addition. Whereas the larger Vinci II is very hard and very heavy, this bumper is softer and the unit itself is pretty light.
* Access to the Vinci library. There are many free apps available for the device. Go to the vincigenius website and go to the Kids Library tab. You will see many free apps. You choose them and check out under an account you create there. On the Vinci tablet you open a software program called Vinci Kids Library. You enter the same email and password from the Vinci account you created and your choices are ready to download. Most of these apps are not as interactive or educational as the curriculum apps. But they are all add free and it does make the device much more useful.
* Preloaded software has some gems. The samples are nice but you only get 2 per level. But there are some songs that our daughter just loves. 12 songs that are high energy and just plain fun.
I entitled my review of the Vinci II larger tablet as between a Fire and market place. You have competition from `adult tablets' and also from all the educational apps on the market place. But the idea of a children's tablet designed with kid friendly features (bumper, handle, parents mode) is a good one. And these are all executed well on the Vinci M. Well enough that I would give it 4 stars. Except the technology is dated. And not only dated but some Android apps simply will not run. I'd have given 3 stars overall, but with some Android apps not running at all, and even the Vinci's own software not that stable, those are significant problems. These shortcomings deserves a couple of stars off. This is especially true as tablets in this price range just keep getting better and better. Then the software is just too pricey in my opinion.
I also must still let you know that this product is way too expensive to own in the long run (Even more expensive than Dad's own toy) as the included software is stripped down versions of the VINCI Curriculum for kids. If you were to follow the VINCI Curriculum then you need to seriously invest in their software thereby losing one star from a nearly four star product.
Here are the software that you need to purchase for your toddler or young child:
VINCI Curriculum Level 1: The Curious (Price $44.99)
VINCI Curriculum Level 2: The Confident (Price $82.88)
VINCI Curriculum Level 3: The Capable (Price $86.81)
As you can see, They do not come cheap but for people who want quality education for their kids I think the price is better than buying a Game-boy games. Having said, This is not for everyone especially for adults. Adults will be disappointed in the features and functions as it was not designed for them.
[+] Creative concept in learning for kids!
[+] Well protected by rubberized Red bumper from accidental drops
[+] Micro-SD card for expandable memory to load movies or songs
[+] Plays 1080p/720p Mp4 video effortlessly.
[+] Connects to Wi-Fi 802.11n networks!
[+] Mono Speaker is loud and clear at medium volume.
[+] Front facing and rear facing cameras but see CON:
[-] Expensive software apps - Built-in ones are stripped down demo versions!
[-] Headphone jack is Mono but sound is limited to be kids safe!
[-] Bottom of the tablet gets warm but still safe for kids.
[-] Some Bugs in the demo apps - Hangs and force closes too often and automatically reboots.
[-] No tilt sensor or accelerometer hence cannot auto rotate landscape to portrait
[-] No GPS for precise location data
[-] Frustrating touch screen keyboard which barely registers your touches properly
[-] Very poor quality front & rear facing camera takes terrible pictures and videos
[-] Below average battery life!
EDIT Nov 30, 2012 - Losing one star!
The battery on this tablet is terrible. I initially thought that after couple of full charges it will improve but to my dismay it is getting worse. The last time I fully charged it and started to use it died in less than 45 minutes. Also the screen keeps turning off at random and I must keep pressing the power button often to resume.
The hardware is very temperamental and I have to downgrade my review from 3 stars to 2 stars! - Sorry about that!
My review unit (Demo) had defective Microphone so I cannot really say how good the audio recording would be. My review unit also had issues with the USB Mass storage devices which kept on saying "unrecognized USB device" or at times said this device is capable of running at USB 2.0 but settled at USB 1.1 due to some odd reason. I was able to transfer files but at times it would unexpectedly eject the drive and windows explorer would hang.
My observation is that while it may be good experience for others I have been having some headache with my unit. The hardware build is somewhat iffy in my opinion.
I can understand programming for kids does not come cheap as it involves a lot of original hard work from developers but in this competitive world of tablets wherein 'Google' and 'Amazon' are literally giving away high quality hardware for fraction of the price to get you into their ecosystem - I see no hesitation to grab one of those high quality devices instead and side-load some cool Android apps for kids.
As it stands until VINCI lowers their price of their apps most of the customers will simply buy a high quality tablet like Kindle Fire HD 7" and or Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-Inch, Wi-Fi) and load good quality kids apps and give them to their young child. I agree while these mainstream tablets do not have the rubber ring for protection but is whole lot better in all respects.