A tablet computer for babies?

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Giggle, wail, beep, bop, boop.

Hear that? It’s the sound of technologically advanced babyhood.

This month two new tablets aimed at children under 10 hit the market. Last week my colleague reported on educational toy maker LeapFrog’s new LeapPad, a $99, 5-inch tablet designed with 4- to 9-year-olds in mind. And Friday Amazon started taking preorders for the Vinci, a tablet aimed at little ones as young as zero months old.


Talk about the infant stages of technology!

The Vinci, which will be available later this month, is a 7-inch touch pad that lies suspended in a protective soft-cornered case that is easy for tiny hands to grip and will protect the tablet from some serious baby banging around. Like the LeapPad, it does not have Wi-Fi functionality, so parents don’t have to worry about what their 2-year-old might download.

But don’t be deceived by the soft baby-proof packaging; the Vinci is packing some serious power. As the company’s website says: ‘The Vinci is not an imitation -- it is a real touch-screen Android-based product, bringing the most advanced technology to the benefit of our youngest citizens.’

Maybe that explains the hefty price tag: It’s selling for $389.

As with all tablets, the possibilities for what this product can actually do are infinite. For now, the company has created an interactive storybook, a game and music videos. And the Vinci website is full of additional apps ‘coming soon.’

I’m curious what my fellow parents think about this new development in baby computers. Are you glad to see tablets built with baby in mind, or do you think we’re poisoning our kids with too much screen time too early?


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-- Deborah Netburn