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9 July 2021

REVIEW: Pebble Gear Kids Tablet

Safety Gear

If safety, privacy, and health are all concerns for you when seeing your kids hit the tablets, read on. We've lately been checking out a product that will keep things fun for the kiddies, while keeping parents in control. We review the Pebble Gear Kids Tablet.

Stick a small tablet in a thick, spongey bumper case, and it immediately becomes a kids toy, right? Wrong. A typical tablet, be it Android or iOS, will still be able to access the unrestricted internet, exposing little Jonny or Jane to all manner of adult material - no matter how well the case keeps it safe from bumps.

The Pebble Gear Kids Tablet has been designed to counter that. Yes, it's a relatively inexpensive 7 inch tablet that ships with a bright bumper case. However, this little slate is different as it will not be running the types of software that we of the adult community will be used to running. This thing is almost entirely self contained.

Pebble Gear have released four versions of their Kids Tablets, all with a different Disney-branded theme. There's the yellow for Toy Story 4, light blue for Frozen 2, red for Cars (the movie), and darker blue for Micky Mouse and friends, which is what we received. All four versions have identical internals with 2GB of RAM, 16GB onboard storage (expandable with a Micro SD card), and a 7 inch diagonal 1024 x 600p screen.

As well as the themed bumper cases, the tablets themselves contain content related to their cartoony properties. Ours was packed with games and eBooks about Micky Mouse and Donald Duck et al, and access to Pebble Gear's own app store, GameStore Junior.

The tablet does have WiFi, but understand that this is purely for downloading more games and educational content. There's no web browser, no access to the Play or App stores, and no way to download (without severely invalidating your warranty) apps like TikTok and Instagram. The Pebble Gear Kids Tablet is self-contained. 

So, that said, will your kids get bored? From our experience with kids owning tablets, they tend to be the cheaper (yet still very good) Kindle Fire and other similar Android slates. With those, you get access to an extensive collection of apps and games, including all the ones the kids have heard of, like the aforementioned TikTok. With the Pebble Gear Kids Tablet they are limited to the pre-loaded apps, and all of those are about Micky Mouse (or Toy Story, or Frozen, or Cars...).

How about the GameStore Junior? Boasting more 500 downloadable apps and games, it sounds like it will be the answer to limited content on the Pebble Gear Kids Tablet itself. However, as much as Pebble Gear are pushing this as 'no in-app purchase' sorta thing, their app store is a paid-for service. £4.99 gets you access for a month, or £39.99 gets you in for a year - but we would have preferred the option for the many free games and apps from the likes of the Google Play Store.

Is it a buy? For younger kids, and by that we mean those under four or five, yes. The closed environment will keep your mind at ease, while the wealth of included content should keep them off the GameStore Junior for at least a while. Also, depending on their favourites, the kids will love the branded wallpaper, and the colour-matched bumper (as well as additional extras like screen covers and carry cases).

For older kids, and kids already used to a world of limitless content via Google and Apple, definitely not. We're quite sure it will feel like a step backwards for them. Plus, if your concern is safety and screen time, you can get parental apps to manage that. For free.

So although the Pebble Gear Kids Tablet works well and presents that partner content in a pleasing package, it feels far too limited and restricted to give it a glowing recommendation.

£99

Visit uk.pebble-gear.com

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