Many parents are familiar with the dilemma: their children grow up in the world of smartphones and tablets and should of course be able to find their way around it in the future.
Only letting the youngsters have their own device to play with is not possible.
Especially not if you have to worry that the child might penetrate into areas of the Internet that they are not yet able to cope with in their development.
The solution to the problem is to provide the children with their own devices, which on the one hand give them playful access to the digital world and on the other hand reduce and contain this world to an educationally reasonable level.
There are especially special tablets for small users, of which there are already a number on the market.
The kids tablet from Pebble Gear is new.
The British company developed an Android device for three to eight year olds and selected the appropriate content.
The young customers will hardly get to know the computer under the name Pebble.
But rather as an “ice queen” or “toy story” tablet.
The devices are designed as licensed products for Disney animated films - and not just externally.
After the starter products "Eiskönigin II" and "Toy Story 4", versions with "Mickey & Friends" and "Cars" will follow.
In the tested variant “Frozen II”, the characters from the children's film populate the user interface, and the children can choose avatars from the story for their own user accounts.
A few simple games, apps and e-books for the respective film are also included - and offer, so to speak, the starting equipment for the digital world.
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The tablet shows the dilemma of children's devices
Externally, the device is quite robust.
It is packed in a thick, light blue plastic sleeve that smells so plastic when you unpack it for the first time that one hopes that the child would rather not put the device in their mouth.
The touchscreen feels uncomfortably dull at first, but becomes smoother over time.
Inside, the child can expect a colorful Anna and Elsa world with corresponding games and content.
For example, a kind of Candy Crush with film symbols or a simple search game in which the little user has to find objects in Elsa's room.
The dilemma of children's devices is already evident in these games: the games are too difficult for very young users, the candy-crush version too fast, the search game too confusing.
Larger children at the upper age limit, on the other hand, will tend to get bored with the basic game selection.
Fortunately, the manufacturer promises its own gamestore with more than 500 apps and games, which is not yet fully filled at the start.
The games that have been available there up to now appear comparatively simple and are in part reminiscent of simple free mobile phone games.
The advantage of the system is also its greatest disadvantage: it is closed.
The children cannot lose themselves in the vastness of the Internet, they do not see any advertisements and do not get into malicious in-app purchases.
Parents don't have to pay extra for the content either, at least not in the first twelve months after purchase.
At the same time, there is also a lack of good content from the Internet, such as videos from Amazon, Netflix or YouTube.
Amazons Fire 8 Kids offers more technically
With this tablet you are left out - in favor of full parental control and maximum safety for the children on the device.
The legal guardians set how long what type of software may be used in the system.
A usage time of one hour per weekday and two hours on the weekend is preprogrammed.
The whole thing between eight and eight o'clock.
Technically, the Android system with its 1.3 GHz chip and 16 GB of memory is similar to average competing products.
Compared to the first two-megapixel camera, the second lens is extremely weak with only 0.3 megapixels.
But a lot of selfie photography or video chats are not to be expected with the target group anyway.
The seven-inch screen isn't exactly brilliant at 1024 by 600 pixels either, but it does the job.
For 120 euros, buyers of the device get roughly the equipment of a Fire 7 Kids tablet from Amazon, which is 20 euros cheaper.
The popular version from Amazon, the Fire 8 Kids, comes with an eight-inch screen for 125 euros, plus 32 gigabytes of memory and ten hours of battery life.
It also offers access to the entire Amazon children's world and parts of the Internet.
For older children, the Amazon devices are probably a better choice.
Because the sheer abundance of content guarantees that it won't get boring anytime soon.
Smaller first-time users could also be satisfied with the Pebble.
Especially if they are big Anna and Elsa fans.
This article was first published in May 2020.
This article was first published in May 2020.