VTech InnoTab aims at kids

VTech InnoTab

Do children need to be part of the tablet revolution? Maybe not, but if you’re keen to get your child into mobile technology without exposing them (or your credit card!) to the wilds of the Android Market or the iTunes App Store, then VTech hopes you’ll look at the InnoTab, a new “learning app” tablet that aims to provide children aged 4 to 9 access to creative activities, animated ereading, and educational gaming.

The InnoTab features a 5-inch color touchscreen display, integrated tilt-sensors for game control, 64 MB of onboard memory, a USB interface and SD slot for slide loading content and expanding storage, along with a headphone jack for listening to music and a stylus for writing. VTech says the design is durable enough to hold up to youngsters’ enthusiasm, and compact enough for easy portability.

Out of the box, the InnoTab comes with pre-loaded applications including an interactive animated ebook, motion games, unspecified “creative activities,” along with an MP3 music player, photo viewer, and a usual spate of utilities: an address book, an alarm clock, calendar, and calculator. There’s no camera, and, no, we’re not sure what children need with an address book either—maybe for addressing all those thank-you notes they never seem to write. Other apps include an interactive globe and a stylus-driven art studio.

The InnoTab will also feature a “cartridge library” that loads up special characters, including Dora the Explorer, Disney Princesses, and characters from Cars and Toy Story. Customers will also be able to download interactive learning games, additional animated ebooks, and other content from VTech’s Learning Lodge Navigator—the company says more than 100 downloadables will be available by the end of 2011.

The InnoTab is available for pre-order now for $79.99; unspecified “software titles” will run an additional $24.99.