Saturday, 14 July 2012

Kurio, the Android Tablet for Families

Kurio, the Android Tablet for Families
I had my first proper play with the Kurio android tablet last Tuesday at the mi-comms PR Christmas Open House and I have to say I was hugely impressed by it. The Kurio from InspirationWorks which is tipped to be "the" hot gift for kids this Christmas really is something special. It is more than just a kids toy to play games on, but a tablet which will appeal to the adults too with it's multimedia and entertainment technologies, not to mention the security features which make it truly safe for kids.

The Kurio is a tablet which the whole family can use and allows up to eight user profiles to be added, each of which can have their own individual time management settings and web filtering. As a result, kids use of the tablet can be restricted to a certain amount of hours and times per day along with restrictions put on their web access with four different internet access points which are complete internet block, Whitelist and Blacklist options or full access. Kurio have worked with CronLab, who are experts in the field of web filtering and security to ensure that it's web filtering system is truly safe. CronLab’s Guy-Edward Waterland, who was at the Open House told us that, “There is no fool-proof option, we’re not sure there ever will be, but we believe this is the best option out there.” As a parent this is massively reassuring to me as I am sure it will be for all the mums and dads out there who are worried about the things which kids can accidentally stumble upon if they have access to the internet.

Kurio, Parental Area
Parental Area
When handed the Kurio, the first thing I did was check out some of the pre-loaded apps which include Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Where's My Water, Doodle Jump and World of Goo and I can verify that they ran just as well as they do on my iPad. I then had a go at loading one of my son's favourite sites, Magic Town and as the Kurio supports Flash I was able to navigate about just as I do on my MacBook Pro. It was responsive and the touch screen reactive so it definitely gets a thumbs up from me.  I was given a demo on setting up a profile which includes specifying the web access and time management controls which are specific to each individual profile, the interface is user friendly and it was quick and easy to do. I love the fact that you can set the times that the Kurio can be used for and the session length, as it takes away the"mean mummy" factor when you want to enforce specific times and usage limits for your child.

The Kurio will be available in two sizes, a 7 inch version which is available now with a RRP of £150 and a 10 inch one which is due to launch in the autumn with a RRP will be £200 and will be stocked in a various retailers including Argos, Debenhams, Early Learning Centre, JD Williams, John Lewis, Shop Direct and Toys R Us. It comes with a drop-safe protective bumper which is great for when the kids are using it but the bumper can be removed if preferred. It has front and rear cameras, an integrated microphone, built-in Wifi, a mini USB drive which allows a camera to be connected and your photos accessed or downloaded easily, a micro SD card slot which enables you to extend the 4GB memory to 32GB, a HDMI connection which means it can be used as a mobile HD video player, a headphone jack and support for multi languages. The Kurio comes with a selection of it’s own built-in apps but any android application for tablets and smartphones can run on it.
Kurio, the Android Tablet for Families
L-R: Speaker, Micro SD Card, DC Input, Mini USB, Mini HDMI, Headphone 3.5mm Jack, Microphone
I am an Apple fan through and through and love my iPad so it was going to take a lot to wow me, but I can honestly say that the Kurio did impress. It is a great choice for families as it will meet both the children and adults requirements alike at an affordable price. The Kurio is definitely one product that is going to be in high demand this Christmas.

Related articles:
A Week With The Kurio: Day One - Unboxing it
A Week With The Kurio: Day Two - Configuring the basic settings and the parental account
A Week With The Kurio: Day Three - User Profiles and Parental Controls
A Week With The Kurio: Day Four - Preloaded apps
A Week With The Kurio: Day Five - Our pick of the preloaded apps
A Week With The Kurio: Day Six - Kurio Store, Browsing and Camera
A Week With The Kurio: Day Seven - My Conclusions


Scottish Mum said...

I'm still living in horror at being left with the totally useless £100 e-touch from Toysrus, and which a lot of those other retailers seemed to have a version of. Toysrus us were useless and refused to refund on a product that wouldn't do what it was advertised to. I know from my blog post on it and the hits and search terms that come across it, that there are many many in the same boat as me.

I'd struggle to trust another one from those sources, so I think it would have to be a trial before I'd buy on it. I suspect there are a lot of us, sadly with tablets of junk at that price range who would struggle to buy another one, just in case it was the same experience.

Mummy's Space said...

I can understand where you are coming from as I, too, have been disappointed by similar products to the one you mentioned in the past. I can assure you though, the Kurio is so much more than just a toy for kids. It is everything it says it is and has capabilities that will meet the requirements of the entire family both young and old. From my experience of trying it out it would make a great alternative to the iPad for families.

frusterated from Herts said...

Hi, have just got one for my 4yr, as she wants to use my 8yr ipad. Where/how can I download apps. Like you can on ipad, peppa pig etc. Thanks

Mummy's Space said...

You can download apps through the Kurio Store and then drag and drop them onto your child's profile. This post might help

From what I have seen the selection of apps available for android devices are beginning to grow with more and more developers creating versions of iPad apps for android. I shall do some investigation and write a post on my recommendations shortly.

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Peter said...

We have just bought the Kurio 10 for our 6 year old - wish we hadn't though!! Although it works fine you cannot buy the protective bumper, and according to Kurio they will not have any until the end of the year! So 6 months without anyform of protection, probably means that we will be buying her another device for Xmas - maybe this is Kurio's cunning, master plan!!

If you thinking of buying one then opt for the 7 inch version.

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