From Fisher Price, maker of all things toy and learning-related for young children, comes the iXL, a touch-screen education station with 6 pre-loaded apps.
The device has been described by many as an “iPad” for children, but in truth that’s a little bit off the mark. While it does have a touch screen, it uses a stylus rather than finger control to make applications work, and so falls more in line with gadgets like the Nintendo DS than a true iPad. Still, the device is more versatile than a standard DS, coming with applications for music playback, book reading, and photo storage in addition to games.
Fisher Price’s new electronic gadget looks like a book when closed, and flips open to reveal a screen on one side and a set of controls and a speaker on the other. Available in a variety of colors, the iXL features sturdy Fisher Price construction along with a stylus holder, and the whole system takes 4 AA batteries to run.
iXL learning system: sturdy and fun!
Using an iXL does require that you have a computer with Windows XP or better or a Mac with OS 4.0 or higher. In addition, this computer must be connected to the Internet, have a CD-ROM drive for the device’s Media Manager CD, and a USB port to connect it. All of these are standard items on any computer and shouldn’t be a problem for a tech-savvy family, but it is worth knowing that the device will not work without at least a one-time connection to a computer port.
While the device is marketed to pre-schoolers, it does seem a bit clunky and heavy for them to hold and/or carry in their rapidly developing hands, but we’re willing to bet that Fisher Price did some testing on this and the construction is more for “it won’t break” reasons than pure comfort ones.
Available for $72.99 at Amazon, the iXL has the potential to be one of the hottest toys for kids this Christmas.
Source: Fisher Price