With Jayden on his way to Preschool next year, it’s time that we teach him how to read… words. He’s a numbers guy, naturally (must get it from his Daddy), and loves identifying objects and symbols. VTech offered to send us the V.Reader E-Book System, so I thought we’d give it a go. The V.Reader plays animated stories with story narration, featuring fun sounds, music, and sharp graphics. I love that the V.Reader highlights each word as it is spoken in friendly character voices. Storybook cartridges and E-book downloads allow children to watch the story, play reading games, and browse the story dictionary.
The V.Reader features a 3.5 inch color touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, USB port, and SD memory card slot for expansion. With the SD slot, we will never have to worry about storage space. If we ever run out of space (we put a 2GB card in), all we have to do is download games/activities to a new SD card.
Once turned on, the V.Reader defaults to a screen with two tabs; the Bookshelf and the Playroom. Tapping the items displayed in the Bookshelf and Playroom will take children to their corresponding activities. The Bookshelf tab displays the Backpack (to access SD card saves), Writing (numbers, letters, words), Certificates (achievements), and Book Cartridge. The Playroom displays the Coloring Book, Art Studio, Photo Album, and What’s That Noise?. What’s That Noise? is a story and a suite of various reading games, one of which teaches different languages.
So right out the box V.Reader comes loaded with goodies. Out of all activities, Jayden prefers to color and paint. He’s expressed interest in writing letters and numbers, but he’s having trouble pushing down with the stylus. The touch screen isn’t as sensitive as his MobiGo, so that frustrates him a bit. VTech also provides 3 free E-Book downloads. So far we’ve downloaded Eco-Explorers in Africa, Animal Safari, World of Science, and Spooky Sleep-out loaded on to Jayden’s V.Reader. He’ll be getting the Chuggington cartridge for Christmas.
Because there are so many gadgets out there making it hard to decide which one to purchase, I’ve highlighted some important things to note below.
Important Things to Note About the V.Reader
Story Book Cartridges retail up to $20
Doesn’t come with an SD card
Screen transitions are a tad slow
Touch screen is not as sensitive as the MobiGo
Stylus isn’t attached to V.Reader unit, but kids can use fingers instead
Comes with 3 free downloads via The Learning Lodge
Compatible with any VTech 9-volt Power Wall Adapter
E-Books are about $3-$7 via the Learning Lodge
Despite what seems to be quite a few cons (parents need to know these things), V.Reader is still a great learning tool. You just have to pick and choose what you purchase. Always take advantage of sales. Get the V.Reader unit and cartridges when they’re on sale – the V.Reader was $39.99 at Best Buy on Cyber Monday, and opt to buy downloads instead. And as always, free is better, so be sure to enter for a chance to win a V.Reader below!
BUY V.Reader: $49.96 Amazon
Win a VTech – V.Reader Animated E-Book System!
Giveaway ends on 12/10/2011 at 12:01am EST. Giveaway open to US only. Standard giveaway rules apply. Comments don’t count as entries, just fill out the Rafflecopter widget! Good luck!