I was most interested in trying out the creativity suite, Dream Pro Studio, but I couldn’t find it in Nabi Mode, and it wasn’t showing up in my apps list in Mommy Mode. I called Nabi’s customer service for assistance, and the rep was patient and helpful—and initially baffled, as well. After being talked through a factory reset, I was able to find Dream Pro Studio, all the way to the right as I scrolled through the apps in Nabi Mode. You then have to download each tool individually, which explains why it wasn’t in my apps list in Mommy mode. Regardless, major kudos to Nabi’s customer service for helping me get there.
I really liked Dream Pro Studio, which includes a basic video creation/editing tool, a drawing tool, and an animation tool. You can use the included stylus for detailed drawing. I particularly enjoyed the rather magical animation tool, which makes it easy to create a simple cartoon. This additional content adds to the value of the DreamTab.
As for the Internet, the Maxthon Kid-Safe Browser lets you add only the sites you want your kid to access. But be aware that older and/or tech-savvy kids can easily get around the password requirement for adding sites.
One of the major draws for parents thinking of buying a kid-specific tablet is the included child-appropriate content—apps, games, e-books, videos, and so on. The Nabi DreamTab has incorporated DreamWorks' appealing movie characters nicely, and the Dream Pro Studio tools are a notch above most creativity apps on kid tablets. The parental controls work well, too—with the possible exception of the easy-to-fool Maxthon browser.
At $270, the DreamTab is a little expensive compared with other Nabi tablets and their competitors—but the DreamWorks content and numerous other apps, videos, and games definitely add some value.
We’ll be testing the DreamTab in our lab: For display quality, we measure screen brightness and size, and our experts judge color accuracy, viewing angle, and readability in sunlight. For battery life, we time the length of operation on fully charged batteries, using continuous Web-browsing activity. And the touch screen interfaces are graded on responsiveness, required pressure, dragging accuracy and speed, and use of multitouch functions, such as pinch-to-zoom. Look for our results here soon.