The Public Broadcasting Services (PBS), an American public broadcaster and Television program distributor, announced its first ever own branded tablet for kids on 17 October 2016. The kid tablet named Playtime Pad is made for grownups as it comes with colorful customized wallpapers and themes, age (2-4 years) appropriated content and there’s also handgrip added on the sides to make it feel comfortable for the kids.
However, there are several things to distinguish about PBS Kids Playtime Pad. So, I have written down some points that might be considered important to parents.
#1- PBS Network
Before talking about the Kids Playtime Pad features and specifications it would be better to briefly discuss about the PBS itself. It may help us to understand how the PBS is different from other Kids Tablet makers.
The Public Broadcasting Service is the one of the largest American public broadcasters and television program distributors. It is an independently operated non-profit organization funded by member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, government agencies, corporations, foundations, and as well as individual citizens. While any of the funding source can’t influence within the organization. For more info on funding head over to PBS Website.
PBS also has a separate department for kids named PBS Kids which focuses on children’s development programs. While according to PBS its website is the number one in the kids category for the videos watched as well as total minutes spent viewing desktop video.
In near future, PBS projected to launch a 24 hours channel and livestream delivered by PBS member stations specifically for kids, which will also be accessible on Playtime Pad. So the launch of a tablet for the kids seems a meaningful step after considering facts about PBS.
Now, when we compare PBS with well-known kids tablet producers, PBS has some significant unique characteristics which include the exclusive work on Kids related content and being a non-profit organization. If your kids love PBS content related to their age group then surely Playtime Pad is the better choice as compared to other kids tablets.
PBS Kids posses a good record of providing content, especially for the age group between 2 to 5 years. Amazon fire tablet kids edition is one of the top kids tablets but in comparison surely they are not more devoted to kids content particularly for grownups as compared to PBS. Mattel’s Nabi tablet is also one of the most sold kids tablet but the manufacturer is not more popular in grownups content as compared to PBS.
However, it is not easily possible to ignore that Nabi tablet brand has a wide range of kids tablets according to different age categories (for more info check their Website). While Playtime Pad is the first ever PBS branded tablet.
#2- KidSAFE Coppa-Certified
One of the more significant thing to mention here is that Playtime Pad is KidSAFE Coppa certified. COPPA is derivation of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a United States Federal law. It is made for providing protection to underage children from using any harmful online services. You can checkout WiKipedia for more info.
#3- Apps, Games, Media and Parental Controls
The subject which matters to kids is the content, so what PBS Playtime Pad brings?
The tablet comes preloaded with 120 video clips, songs and music videos cohered with age-appropriateness. Kids can also get entertained with 25 pre-installed educational games. The popular PBS kids apps include PBS KIDS Video app, PBS Parents Play and Learn, PBS KIDS ScratchJr, Paint Box and Vice Versa.
PBS KIDS Video app has 100+ hours of videos, which is indeed a substantial amount of data for the Kids. While PBS KIDS ScratchJr and Paint Box are great to help out kids creativity.
As it’s an android based tablet with custom version of Marshmallow, users can access millions of downloadable games and apps via Google Play Store.
However Parents can control the access to content and features available in tablet including Google Play Store. It comes with easy-to-use parental controls. Parents can easily customize the experience like they can approve or block streaming videos, online games and installed apps, setting up time limit for daily usage and even the hours when the tablet can be used. It comes with controls that enable parents to customize the device for each of users and set limits on screen time using play timer.
So, you can manage what kids can access.
The kids tablet has 7 inch HD display with 1024×600 resolution. It comes with 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory, Front and back cameras, MicroSD slot and have USB connection. The 7 inch screen is best size for grownups and preschool kids.
The performance supported by 1.3GHz quad-core processor outweighs the cheap price tag of tablet.
Google Play Store access is the plus point for the PBS tablet as compared to Amazon Fire Kids Tablet which stays under Amazon ecosystem. However, Playtime Pad doesn’t has any preloaded book for kids, probably due to the focus on 2 to 5 years age. But you can buy or download free books from Google Books Store and Amazon store. Like one of the best way is downloading the Kindle books for kids and load them on kindle reader android app.
The PBS Playtime Pad costs $80 which is same price tag for the Kids Fire Tablet and Nabi Jr. But we can easily assume that the PBS’s first ever kids tablet can become a great competitor to already existed kids tablets when comparing some PBS unique values which are backbone of Playtime Pad.