Previously I tried a Onix Kids 7" Tablet (Model Number: ATK1-815) from Aldi for AUD$69.95. The XO feels much heavier than the Onix for around the same price (AUD$73.37 including shipping). That is an advantage as it feels more solid, but the Onix may be easier for small children to hold. Like the Onix the XO has a colorful rubber sleeve. This makes the unit easier to hold and protects it. There is a carry loop on one corner which is useful for orientating the unit. However, the power button is hard to see and it would have been useful if some of the bright blue contrasting rubber used on the back for an XO logo had instead been used to label the power and volume buttons and the ports.
The unit has front and back cameras, an audio socket, micro-USB and, interestingly a mini-HDMI socket. At the MoodlePosium yesterday I was impressed by the use of a mobile device plugged into a large screen. This worked well, as the icons and text of the mobile device were easy to see (the presentations from laptops tended to have small text). The battery is described as high capacity, but only 6 hours is quoted, which is not long for a tablet and may not make it through a day of use (especially in a village relying on solar power).
The XO provides both a kids and full Android interface. Parents can use a password to limit their child's access. Unlike the Onix, I was easily able to access the Android system.
Unlike the Onix, most of the kids applications are stored on the unit and do not require WiFi access to download. But even so, the kids applications do not look extensive, all that exciting, or educationally useful. This is disappointing for a product which is supposedly the end point of a multi-million dollar, multi year project initiated by people at MIT, and endorsed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, for revolutionizing education in developing nations.
The XO appears to have been slightly upgraded since the Engadget review. At half the previous price, it is worth the small premium over the cost of a generic 7 inch tablet. However, is the 7 inch tablet a good size: or is it too big for small kids and too small for big ones? I assume that this size comes from the availability of low cost 7 inch screens made to fit car dashboards, not fit kids hands. A kids computer might be better with a smaller six inch screen, or a larger eight inch one.
|Max Screen Resolution
|1.2 GHz Tablet Processor
|1 GB DDR3
|Average Battery Life (in hours)
|Item Dimensions L x W x H
|7.60 x 0.39 x 4.65 inches
|Rear Webcam Resolution
|Flash Memory Size