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Release Date: 12/07/2011

Consumer Reports Puts Toy Tablets to the Test

LeapFrog LeapPad is Rated Most Fun Overall, Vtech InnoTab Has Best Games

YONKERS, NY — Toy tablets, like their adult-oriented counterparts, figure to be a popular gift item this holiday season. Fourteen percent of Americans plan to give a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet ($100) as a present, according to a recent Consumer Reports poll. In addition to the LeapPad, Consumer Reports tested three other tablet-like toys: the Fisher Price iXL 6-in-1 Learning System ($80), and the Vtech InnoTab Interactive Learning Tablet ($80). CR also tested the Vinci Tab ($480), an Android tablet that’s geared toward kids. The full report is available for free online at http://www.ConsumerReports.org.

“Toy tablets don’t have all the bells and whistles that standard tablets do, but their learning apps and kid-friendly content make them ideal for children,” said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor, Consumer Reports.

The tablets were tested both in the Consumer Reports lab to see how well they performed, and by children within the manufacturer-recommended age ranges to see how much kids liked them. Each table features a color touchscreen display, at least a few preloaded learning games and apps, and the ability to connect to a PC for new content downloads and software upgrades. All except the rechargeable Vinci Tab are powered by AA batteries.

The LeapFrog LeapPad was the most fun overall, as judged by Consumer Reports’ kid panelists. Eight in 10 children said that they would like to own it. The Fisher Price iXL was popular with younger kids and had the longest battery life in lab testing; as for the Vtech InnoTab, the kid testers thought its games were the most fun.  The Vinci Tab had the best display and touch-screen interface of the toy tablets, but was otherwise not a standout performer in lab tests and it costs much more than the other tested tablets.

For more information on electronics for kids and for buying advice and Ratings of regular tablets, please visit www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.   Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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