Verizon released the new GizmoTab earlier this month on December 1st but I was able to get an advance look at the kids’ tablet at a Verizon event that was held in late November. While there were gadgets from the 2015 Verizon Tech for Kids and Parents event, the introduction of the new tablet was the most talked about 2016 product. Basically, Verizon took consumer feedback regarding the 2015 Ellipses and made GizmoTab an even better kid-friendly tablet. Personally, I found it hard to believe that the Ellipses was improved upon because my son Sean loves the Ellipses. (We primarily use the “lose what you love” method of discipline in our home and the Ellipses was the #1 thing that Sean gave up for short periods of time this year because it was his favorite thing.) As soon as I came home from the Verizon event with the GizmoTab, Sean started bargaining for a tablet upgrade. 🙂
Anyway, the main improvement and biggest difference seen in the GizmoTab is the content offerings. The Tab has up to 300 educational apps that come with your subscription. Since it is also a full-
Kimberly Verbonitz of Fingerprint Digital, Inc. who was responsible for the content on the new tablet, spoke about the overall value of the GizmoTab at the event. In addition to offering awesome content, it’s a great device with tools for parents to manage their kids’ screen time. She mentioned that (on average) kids spend 1.5 hours a day on tablets. If kids are going to be online that much, it’s important that they actually learn something with “good for you” content. That is why the 300 apps on the tablet were all handpicked with the following three criteria:
- Educational value
- Fun, engaging gameplay
- Fantastic storytelling
In addition to the content upgrades, there are other elements that make the GizmoTab tablet better. One entertaining update is that your child can customize their avatar. There are also themed islands with relevant apps which are segmented by age groups and content focus. Style-wise, the bumper for the GizmoTab has a sleeker look while still maintaining the necessary design for resilience, protection, and comfortability for kids’ grips. Personally, I find the bumper sufficient but parents with younger kids can get additional carrying cases with stylus and stands for $34.99.
The GizmoTab also offers financial value. If you were to go and download all of the apps (that are included with a GizmoTab subscription) on Google Play, it would cost $600 for the apps alone! The retail price for the 8-inch GizmoTab is $249.99 but the tablet is only $79.99 with a 2-year Verizon plan contract. (You can also add the tablet to an existing shared data plan on Verizon if you have one.) Another helpful tidbit: the GizmoTab can be used as a mobile hotspot.
Signing up for a Verizon plan gives your child access to all of the 300 apps. As an alternative, you can just use the tablet on WiFi but that limits the apps that you have access to use. There is a 30- day free trial with access to all the apps for WiFi users. After that, access to only the normally free apps is available.
In any event, I think that the GizmoTab is a great holiday gift idea for kids ages 3-8. It is age-appropriate, educational and entertaining. Those are thing things that both parents and kids alike will love!
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