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Kidding with Eddy: A Tablet takes Fun Learning Seriously
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Forged in a durable shell the 7 inch Eddy mates some intuitive applications with its modified Operating System to make learning a playful experience for children ages 2 and up. And it's just a mode in its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean based interface.

How can one make a smart device smarter? If not smarter, Metis Learning Solutions has made a tablet much more fun to use and learning experience. I bet if your kid uses a tablet, it would most probably be for playing games. And you cant really stop them. Add a password and they would know it- sooner or later (and if they cant, God protect that heavy investment of yours from his/her wrath); forbid playing games and you might see the dinner plate getting returned as it is.

We got our hands on Eddy- a tablet built with two interface platforms, if you will- the Athena OS and the Android Jelly Bean. Athena is actually Android based interface for kids with big colorful menus and pictographical options. It runs inside the stock Android 4.2 that you can exit out into; but Athena maintains control over the tablet to provide restricted access and you can password protect the exit to the main Android interface.

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The access limitation doesnt stop there. Inside the "Eddy zone" (or the Athena interface), is the password protected parent's zone to create child profiles, set time limits to using the tablet, see a report of everything accessed on the tablet by all the users and restrict access subject wise as well. So if you want the tablet to be accessed only within 4pm to 8pm, say after school and for not more than 1 hour in total, then the tablet will work accordingly in that time frame and will be locked automatically afterwards.

Apart from Play Store apps, the tablet is filled with games based on mathematics, earth science, English words and grammar and general knowledge from IntelliJoy, iStoryBook and Booksy. It might sound overly bookish but the games that teach fruit and vegetable names, animal names and sounds and helps tag kids almost everything he sees in the real world wouldnt be a bit less interesting and educative.

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Eddy is preloaded with around a hundred and fifty apps of this kind; but having a pure Android-based system means you have access to thousands more on Play Store. And since you can add or restrict apps in the Eddy mode, it will be under your supervision whether the app makes it to the Eddy zone or not. Just for the record, the one fifty curated apps that the tablet has are very interesting and quite enough to keep kids busy discovering for quite some time.

Another interesting restriction is to the Internet access. You can totally cutoff the Internet for a kid's account. But if you think that would be tightening the noose too much, then you can make use of the Maxthon Kid Safe Browser. It runs nothing other than some preselected kids websites like NatGeo kids, wemakestories, starfall, etc.

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It should be mentioned here that though the tablet is tough, its touch response is not very smooth. While adults would notice it, kids don't really bother about the touch response when they are busy playing. For the price of Rs 8,499 we expected better sound output. But its innards are fit and fine with Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB of inbuilt storage. The tablet supports expandable storage of upto 32GB, Dongle via OTG cable and consequently any OTG pen drive.

Just to mimic an overzealous child's behavior, we banged the tablet on the table (with the cover on) several times-screen side and dropped it from around 4ft. It was running perfectly. The tablet is not very elegantly made but it's tough and when covered with the food-grade bumper, it's apparently indestructible. Eddy is available exclusively on Amazon and is one of the very few great options that are able to playfully and effectively impart education through the electronic medium, keeping parents the sole proprietor.

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