Kurio – Review

Theres no mistaking that the toy world seems to be going a bit app mad at the moment. Practically everything predicted to be big this Christmas has some sort of gadgety app angle attached to it. Character’s AppGear, Jumbo’s iPieces, The Moshi Monsters App Monsters, the new Furby. It seems that some sort of app play is the things to have on your toys at the moment, and more importantly the thing that kids want the most.

The main problem that I can see with all of these App hungry toys is that mum or dad are still going to have to give up their precious iPhone or iPad so they can be played with. Now I know that some lucky tween aged children probably have a smartphone that they can use, but I doubt most have their own Tablet (or maybe I’m just a cruel mother). To me my iPad is a luxury item, I didn’t necessarily need one, but I wanted one and I love it. Point being although I do let the boys play with it sometimes, its highly supervised play and I certainly wouldn’t let them carry it around or take it up to their room with them.

I know Thomas especially would be over the moon if he had an iPad for christmas. He thinks it’s amazing, is always bugging me to use it, and is very well adept at using it (as most kids are). Its stupid I know but I was honestly considering getting him an iPad, seriously! For the sake of having mine back I was going to get him his own. I say going to because now I have seen the light, I’ve seen the Kurio.

The Kurio is a 7inch Android Tablet built specifically for children, but with the kind of reassurances parents want.

For the kids it comes pre-loaded with all of the hottest Apps around:

  • Angry Birds
  • World of Goo
  • Cut The Rope
  • Doodle Jump
  • Where’s My Water
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Aldiko Premium – E-Reader
  • MeeGenius – E-Reader
  • Color & Draw – Painting and colouring book App
  • Toon Goggles – Watch 100’s of cartoons for free

These are full versions of these Apps too, no ads which is great.

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Parental Controls

I got the chance to have a hands on with the Kurio this week and I was really impressed. Not only as a gadget lover, but mostly as a mother. The parental control options available on the Kurio are unparalleled, and with the ability to save up to 8 different profiles, it’s not a one size fits all approach.

Each user can have a myriad of options just for their account. For example a family with Mum, Dad, and 3 children (teenager, 8yr old, and 2yr old) can all have a highly customised tablet experience all using the one device.

The 2 yr old will obviously not need the internet so that can be blocked off all together. Leaving only the Apps and videos which you’ve selected as being available for them to use. You can also limit their play to say 15 minutes a day or 15 minutes at a time.

With the 8yr old you may be ok with certain internet sites such as Moshi Monsters or Club Penguin, but want to block access to social networking sites. This can be done either by blocking certain categories of site, or if you prefer on a site by site basis. You will also probably want to limit the screen time, but obviously give your youngster a bit more time than the babies 15 minutes.

You may be ok with letting your teenager have pretty much free rein over their Kurio with regards to social networking and the like, but will want to block unsavoury sites you don’t want their  young eyes seeing. With regards to curbing screen time, rather than setting a specific amount of time you can always set the user to only be able to use the Kurio within certain timeframes, e.g. 8am-8pm, meaning that at least you know the screen will be turned off at a decent hour at night, and they’ll be no sneaking under the bed covers late night surfing.

Then after all that it’s time for Mum and Dad to get a turn. With the Kurio you can enjoy the full tablet computer experience. Everything you can run on a regular old Android Tablet will work with the Kurio. Even the apps can be parental controlled. All your apps will be available to you when you log on with your user name, and can be blocked from the kids if you don’t want them using them.

I think you’ll agree that the Parental controls system on the Kurio is probably one of its biggest selling points. Being able to systematically one by one restrict any app or website easily for each specific user is a real peace of mind. Plus it’s incredibly quick and simple to do. I tried it out for myself and it’s literally one click and it’s blocked.

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Kurio World from CIDE SEI on Vimeo.

 Multimedia Features

As with any good tablet, it’s not all totally about the Apps, the Kurio has everything covered. Front and Rear cameras plus built-in microphone mean that you’ll have to watch out as the kids will be videoing and snapping all over the place (The drop safe bumper providing peace of mind as they rush about videoing everything).

The built-in video player supports HD video playback. The Kurio handily has a HDMI Video out meaning you can connect it up to your TV screen, enabling you to view all your photos, videos and music on your TV screen as well.

The music player will probably be one of your teenagers most used features. It plays all of the most used formats, MP3, AAC, WMA, AC3 and DTS.

Internal memory is only 4GB but an additional Micro SD card can provide you will up to 32GB of extra memory.

 The thing I like most about the Kurio is the price point! I was surprised to hear that the price for the 7″ version will be £150, and will rise to around £200 for larger versions of the device due to be released towards the end of the year.  In my opinion £150 is a really reasonable price for a device like this, I was expecting at least £200 as a starting point when I first heard about it.

For the £150 your not only getting the Kurio tablet, But also the drop proof bumper which you would have to buy separately if you bought a different tablet. Kid proof covers are dear, take my word for it I’ve looked into it. Plus you’re getting full versions of all the pre-loaded apps and e-books which would set you back at least £20 I guess. Again in my opinion the Kurio is great value for money.

The default cover is a very nice and neutral Lime Green colour, however John Lewis exclusively have a Blue and Pink version available.

All in all I think the Kurio does everything that Kids want in a tablet, plus everything that parents are looking for to help keep kids safe whilst using them. The Kurio gives you peace for mind to let the kids take their tablet off and have fun without worrying about drops, or them seeing inappropriate content.

The Kurio should be available from now, either to pre-order or you may be lucky and be able to pick one up right away.

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