"What the Heck is a Nabi?" A Nabi Jr. Review

Nabi Jr. compared to InnoTab 3s and LeapPad Ultra! What the heck is a Nabi? You will soon know!

I am sure you have seen the comericals; it seems tablets are slowly moving toward children, and why the heck not? I won't lie: my two- and three-year-olds love to play around on my Galaxy Tab. But the sad truth of this? I get tired of having PB&J smeared on it. So, around my son's third birthday, I started to search the Interwebs for the best bang for my buck. 

The issue was that there are so many of them to choose from. I started to, of course, look at the big names -- InnoTab and the LeapPad. I bounced around those two for a good bit, adding up costs and comparing features. That's when I found the Nabi Jr. 

I have started to see commercials on the various channels my children force me to watch because, you know, I own a 55" LED TV so that they can enjoy their shows. After three months, I'm increasingly impressed with that little Nabi Jr., and my Galaxy Tab is food and spit (and scratch, and crack, and itty-bitty, teeny-tiny fingerprint) free.

Let's start by stacking up the competition side-by-side:

InnoTab 3S:

  • Price: $99
  • CPU: 360-MHZ
  • Display: 5 inches
  • Resolution: 480 x 272
  • Tilting Camera 2mp
  • Battery Pack
  • Wifi
  • 20 Apps
  • 4GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: Yes (MicroSD)

LeapPad Ultra:

  • Price: $140
  • CPU: 800-MHz 
  • Display: 7 inches
  • Resolution: 1,024 x 600
  • Front and Back Camera 2mp
  • Built-In Battery
  • Wifi
  • 11 Apps
  • 8GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: No

Nabi Jr 16GB (there's also an older 4GB model):

  • Price: $140
  • CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core @ 1.0GHz
  • Display: 5 inches
  • Resolution: 800×480
  • Tilting Camera 2mp
  • Built-In Battery
  • Wifi
  • 30+ Apps
  • 16GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: Yes (MicroSD)

The biggest selling point for me was the crushing difference in specs (more for my satisfaction than theirs, I admit).  The resolution is about the same between the three. The ability to load his movies on to an SD Card and let him watch, as it and the InnoTab both use Andriod while LeapPad uses a propitery OS, is a huge plus. 

How does it hold up?

This is chief among concerns that any parent or gift-giver will have: Nabi Jr. versus the wrath of a toddler. The verdict? Amazingly well! It has been knocked off, thrown, suffered the fate of a peanut butter & jelly sacrifice and a merciless 2-year-old sister. It is still ticking. The Nabi Jr. comes outfitted with cushy, an effective bumper that serve as a durable case. The large bumper protects the delicate electronic bits inside, and the ports outside, from the attacking PB&J horde.

The interface is seamless and simple enough that my wee ones take less time navigating, and more time getting to the good stuff. I was surprised at how well they handled it and how quickly my boy figured out how to take pictures. Ever wondered how your little one sees things? Judging from his stock of photos, a toddler's world is pretty interesting.

The Daddy/Mommy mode is easy to use and I like the ability to load and monitor what and how the kiddos are exploring the device.

The company is developing neat accessories for the kids' device. I like the KINABIs -- little squares that you can use to customize the back of the Nabi Jr. My son is proud of his name and football on the back of his orange and white wonder. 

The one thing that annoyed me at first was the proprietary port to charge the device. Then I found out it is designed in a way to be used with future accessories, like a karaoke-capable peripheral. I would definitely recommend the Nabi brand to folks interested in buying their kids tablets. They have different models for different age groups, so be assured that my kiddos will be getting another when they outgrow this one. 

All in all, if you are scrambling for a last-minute Christmas tablet or one for an upcoming special day, I recommend taking a look at Nabi. You won't be  disappointed.The Nabi Jr. will grow with your kid and provide a positive learning experience. 

Correspondent

Marco Bishop... a man? A Legend? No just a man. Who happens to be a father, and freelance writer. His focus? Gaming with Children from the perspective of a Dad. Also anything that he thinks is spiffy and filled with awesome sauce. He is based in El Paso, Texas.

Published Dec. 26th 2013

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