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the indian express
New Eddy tablet review: Ideal learning tool for kids
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As the father of a tech savvy three-year-old, I have my job cut out keeping him off the seamy side of the Internet and also ensuring he does not have an overdose of technology. My son has been using tablets and smartphone since he was one and the devices have worked wonders on him. He is still in play school, but can already write three and four letter words. While he started out on my iPad, earlier this year he got hooked to the Eddy tablet from Metis Learning. The good thing about the Eddy was that you can limit the time your child spends on the tablet. Now, Metis has tied up with Intel to bring a second version of the tablet. What's new: The tablet is now powered by an Intel Atom Processor Z2520 and runs Android 4.2.2 OS overlaid by the proprietary Athena OS. The scratch-proof and impact resistant 7-inch multi touch capacitive IPS screen now comes with UV-ray protective layer. The tablet has an internal storage of 16 GB and can be expanded up to 32 GB.

Price: Rs 9,999 (available only on Amazon)

Performance: My son has been using the first version for well over eight months and never once has he come to me complaining about the tab not working, or getting stuck somewhere. Being a digital native and having spoilt by Apple, he is much more impatient than me when it comes to technology. I gave him the new Eddy to see his reaction. While he didn't realise that this was the same as his Green iPad (the first Eddy came with a green bumper to protect it from kids) he did not bat an eyelid before plunging right into the apps. There were a lot of apps he was familiar with, as well as a lot of new ones. He was switching between the apps seamlessly. At least from a child's point of view there is nothing to complain about the performance of the tablet and I don't want to bring a dad's point of view here. That is irrelevant.

Software: Eddy has a customised OS layer called Athena. This is a child-friendly, icon heavy interface where there is no learning involved. The apps are segregated into Language, Reference, Our World, Creativity & Fun as well as Maths. Each section carries over a dozen apps and you can easily add more. When you open an app, you get the regular Android navigation panel below.

The good things

Customisation: The best thing about Eddy is that it can be customised per child. So you can have multiple accounts if there are multiple children in the house. Each of these accounts can have specific settings, where you can limit the use of a certain type of apps and push the use of others. Parent zone: The parent zone is the business end of this tablet and lets you take control of how your child uses technology. I could easily add and remove apps from each of the different sections. It also gives a good report card of what your child has been up to. Plus, there is the option to block or promote subjects.

Android Zone: For those who think spending Rs 9,999 to buy a tablet just for the toddler might be an extravagance, the Eddy comes with an Android mode that lets you use it like any other 7-inch tablet. Here you might have issues with the older Android version of the tablet. But just remember this tab is not about the OS or the spec sheet, but about your child.

Charge: The first eddy had a pin charger, which has now been replaced by a micro-USB charger. So you don't need to take your charger along anymore. The not so good In its bid to make the screen stronger, Metis seems to have made it a little bit less responsive. While children might not have a problem dragging the alphabets a little bit harder, you might feel frustrated doing so. Strictly looking at the device from a child's angle, I don't think there is any need for a camera in this tablet. It might be a good idea to take the camera out and make it cheaper so that more children get to use this device.

Verdict: If you want to be a responsible parent who offers you child more than a free run with Temple Run, then you should invest in a device that is a learning tool as well as fun companion for children. As of now, Eddy is among the best options available in India in this segment. The company claims the first version was sold out and we think the second version could also be headed the same way.

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