20 Nov 2012

If you have kids and you have modern gadgets such as iOS and Android tablets and phones, then you know how kids love to play games such as Angry Birds on these devices.  However, like most parents you are probably a little apprehensive about handing over your gadgets to your kids and walking away due to the lack of default parental controls.  This is where a device like the Nabi 2 really shines, as it has a kid-safe interface which you as a parent have full control over.  For the price of around $199 its very competitive and it gives you the best of both an "adult" tablet and a kid-safe interface for your children to use.

The Nabi 2 can also help your kids learn responsibility through the chores interface and receive rewards and unlock games by achieving goals.  It also has educational software built in for areas like math, English, and reading.  Since the device is a quad core and packs a Tegra 3 processor it can really shine in standard gaming as well.

The good:

  • Nvidia Tegra 3 cpu
  • Kid-safe interface and applications
  • Full Android interface in Mommy/Daddy mode
  • Protective rubber bumper

The bad:

  • Out of the box no Google Play App (this can be achieved with some doing however)
  • Battery life is so-so
  • No rear-facing camera
  • Kids mode lacks a battery life indicator
  • Can't just use the Micro-USB to charge

Design and Technical Specs

 

Overall, the design on the Nabi 2 is very well done.  For starters it has the rubber padding which is a great shock absorber for the banging around that happens as kids use the device.  It feels right in your hands, easy to hold and use and the ports are easily accessible on the side of the unit for things like the Micro-SD slot and charging port.  On the backside you have the attachments for things like car mounts and other future accessories.

The downside to the charging on this device is that despite it having a 5V, 0.5MA microUSB port, you have to use the supplied charging cable, which goes into the charging port to charge.  That cable can either go to a PC usb port or use the adapter and plug it into an AC outlet, but you can't just charge via the microUSB to a PC port.

Technical Specs

  • 7" 1024x600 capacitive display
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage and a MicroSD slot (up to 32GB in size)
  • 2 MP main camera with 720p recording
  • 3850 maH battery capacity
  • Micro USB 2.0, mini HDMI, 3.5 mm audio out
  • WiFi B/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0
  • 153.7x220.8x29.08mm and 596g

Apps and Games

Gaming wise the Tegra 3 chip helps power games and they run quite well.  In our review video we tested Riptide GP and the game is quite fun and engrossing, utilizing the tilt feature of the tablet.  Many games come preloaded on the device such as Angry Birds, Burn the Rope and Fruit Ninja.

There are many other learning and educational applications that come preloaded on the device.  Your kids can enjoy Spinlets+TV which is streaming cartoons as well as other built in videos such as a wide collection of Sesame Street videos.  There are learning apps such as Math and Reading.  Kids will have to pass tests in order to unlock higher levels.  The educational applications start at the Pre-K level and work their way up to Grade 5 in many cases.  It is designed for the ages of 4-10 specifically, but this doesn't mean if your child is older that the device wouldn't be useful, especially given the vast amount of Android apps that exist currently, coupled with parental control.

By default, all apps are installed through the Nabi branded app store.  If you hunt around on the internet you can find ways to install the Amazon app (to install Netflix and other apps) or you can install what are called apk files, directly off the SD card.  There are guides on how to do this out there.  If you are brave and don't mind possibly voiding your warranty, you can do what is called rooting the Nabi 2.  Rooting is basically giving super admin rights to applications, allowing some apps which cant normally be installed, to be installed.  By rooting you can add the Google Play app so that you can install apps directly from Google Play and install other apps like YouTube.  Again, if you choose to root the device, be warned of the possible warranty issue and even bricking the device if not careful.  If you are brave you can check out our own rooting guide located here.

Parental Controls

The biggest selling point for the Nabi 2 is the parental control.  This is unparalleled on any other device, given the power and flexibility of the Nabi.  The web browser comes with a pre-defined set of websites that are blocked.  As a parent you can add more to this list.  Parents can add and remove apps that their kids can see on the Nabi kid interface side.  You can also receive progress reports on how your child is doing and set up chores with reward systems.

Conclusion

The Nabi 2 is one of the most powerful kid-safe tablets on the market as of now.  It gives you complete parental control over the device while giving your kids a fun experience that they can't get anywhere else.  The Nabi 2 is also very good for adult use, on the Android side of the device.  You can find cheaper alternatives, but not with this type of flexibility or power and the ability to control what your children are using and see how they progress over time.

Check out our video below, which outlines most of the highlights of the Nabi 2 Tablet.


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