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Hands-on with the Fuhu Nabi Big Tab HD 24, a tablet for kids that parents can control

Mark Hachman | Oct. 29, 2014
I was forced to put off my review of the Fuhu Nabi BigTab HD 24 by three days because I had taken away my son's gaming privileges.

Although my son would happily spend hours playing video games, that's not going to fly. Fortunately, I was able to limit his play time via a "mommy mode " or "daddy mode" that allowed me to set daily time limits, such as 45 minutes per day. You can also set a chore list and even reward your child for completing it. (When the limit is exceeded, the tablet throws up a "Nap Time!" screen and refuses to do anything else until "Daddy mode" is activated.) There's a related Android app that allows you to log in, monitor the tablet use, and adjust the settings remotely. Finally, the "Nabu Security Agency" stores all of your child's email, chats, and photos for you to review. In all, it's really an excellent solution for keeping tabs on your child's tablet use. 

I was less enamored with Fuhu's virtual currency, Nabi Coins, which allows you to reward your kids by buying them movies or apps. As a rule, my son wants to play whatever his friends are playing, and there's a constant battle to rein that in. I couldn't see myself ever using that, personally.

Behind the scenes, the BigTab is an ordinary Android tablet, with apps like Gmail accessible via the parental menu, And if your child does have a favorite game that Fuhu hasn't included — Angry Birds, for example — you can download the game via the Google Play store. But since you can't add those games to the main menu screens, you're awkwardly forced to leave the Fuhu interface and hunt it down via the "All apps" button in the upper right. 

Every day I've had the Fuhu Nabi BigTab HD 24 on loan, my son has asked to play it. And yes, I've consistently used the management features to remind him that it's time to shift something else. Technology, including computers, will be a part of his life, and the Nabi BigTab HD 24 is a pretty good way to let him start exploring.


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