nabi Elev-8The nabi Elev-8 from Fuhu is an 8″ children’s tablet from nabi. It has an 8″ multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and it comes with a protective bumper, in nabi’s signature red, intended to reduce the chance of the tablet being broken or damaged if it is dropped. The bumper covers the back and sides with cut-outs for the various ports and cameras. The tablet is an Android tablet which runs 5.1 Lollipop out of the box, although the Android operating system has been modified with nabi’s Blue Morpho OS overlay.

The Elev-8 comes with a substantial 32 gigabytes (GB) in internal memory and has a memory card slot capable of taking memory cards up to 32 GB in size, increasing the available storage. As with all tablets, this external storage is mostly suited to storing content on; the internal storage is much more significant than external when it comes to what the tablet is capable of. The tablet has two cameras, a front facing 2.0 megapixel (MP) resolution one and a 5.0 MP resolution rear facing.

The nabi tablet comes with WiFi, which is essential, Bluetooth, which is substantially more uncommon in children’s tablets and can be used to connect wirelessly to items such as Bluetooth-enabled external speakers, and the exceedingly rare in kid’s tablets Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC allows two devices which have it to wirelessly communicate without Bluetooth or WiFi at a very short range – 4 cm – and without a physical connection. This short range makes it much more secure than either WiFi or Bluetooth.

Rather than having a standard micro USB port for charging and connecting to such as desktop and laptop computers that is seen in almost all Android devices, which therefore have interchangeable cables, the Elev-8 comes with a custom port, the nabi Connector. It has stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Elev-8 comes with 64 bit octo core processor, rather unusual to say the least. Most comparable tablets come with a quad core processor at best, some even still coming with a dual core. It has 1 GB of RAM, which is pretty standard.

The tablet comes with, at present, a six month subscription to nabi Pass, which costs $4.99 a month. It can also access Google Play, in Parent Mode, giving it access to the vast range of Android content available from there.

The screen resolution at 1280×800 pixels is fairly typical for the majority of children’s tablets, although the screen is itself larger in size, and some tablets do come with a higher resolution. Currently, many come with a lower resolution. The internal memory, at 32 GB, is well above average. 8 GB is a fairly common memory capacity for a child’s tablet with some of the more advanced ones having 16 GB. 32 GB is very unusual. The storage can be expanded with a memory card slot with another 32 GB, which is typical of any tablet with such a capability. External memory is most suited to storing such as videos and photographs on and a higher internal memory is definitely more useful.

The front facing camera with a 2.0 MP resolution is fairly typical; a few tablets do still have front facing cameras with a lower resolution, but the majority are now at this point or slightly higher. The rear facing camera, at 5.0 MP resolution, is very unusual; most children’s tablets rarely have a resolution much over 2.0 MP for this camera. The custom nabi Connector instead of the practically standard micro USB port is a bit of a concern. The battery life is stated as being quite high, under test conditions, but this is of course variable in real life as some activities put more of a drain on the battery than others.

What is the Blue Morpho OS Overlay?

Although the Elev-8 is an Android tablet, it also comes with nabi’s Blue Morpho OS overlay. This is an addition to the standard Android system that provides, according to the manufacturer, over 400 features intended be to both kid friendly and parent approved. Included in the overlay are the parental controls, educational functions, nabi Pass, nabi Coins, Chore List, Treasure Chest, nabi Konnect and nabi Friends, nabi Pass, utilities, an art program for drawing, animation and movie creation and a Wishlist, which allows children to add items that they would like to a list, which may also be purchased with nabi Coins.

Does the Elev-8 Have Any Educational Uses?

Education is often stated as being a major reason why parents buy tablets for their children. Although the nabi Elev-8 isn’t a dedicated educational tablet, it does come with a substantial amount of educational uses. It comes with the Wings Learning System as part of the Blue Morpho OS overlay. This is described as being an adaptive learning system with over 300,000 questions from pre-kindergarten through to 6th grade on maths, reading and writing. The questions are aligned with the U.S.’s Common Core Standards. The questions adjust automatically to a child’s skill level. Integration with nabi Coins means that children can be rewarded for studying.

As well as the Wings Learning System, parents can also download educational apps from Google Play and use these as well. These may not be as integrated with the rest of the tablet, but this does broaden the available educational uses.

What is nabi Pass?

nabi Pass is a subscription based content service from nabi. At this time, it costs $4.99 per month and the Elev-8 comes with six months worth of subscription included. With the subscription, children get unlimited access to the included content, which include games, movies, TV, music, ebooks, apps, music and videos.

Does the Elev-8 Have Any Parental Controls?

The Elev-8 comes with nabi’s own parental controls integrated into it. In the password-protected Parent Mode, the tablet functions like a regular Android tablet. In nabi Mode, which is the children’s mode, children only have access to content and sites that parents approve.

The Elev-8 does have access to Google Play, but only in Parent Mode. Parents can select and download apps for their children and then enable these apps to be used in nabi Mode. Children themselves do not have access to the Google Play store.

Parents can also control the amount of time that a child spends on a tablet, and, indeed, on specific apps. They may therefore reward a child with more time on recreational apps if they spend more time on educational ones.

Does the nabi Elev-8 Support Streaming Video?

Parents may or may not want their children to access sites such as YouTube or streaming services such as Netflix. As parents can control what content their children see, they can allow them to use or watch streaming content. Some is included in the nabi Pass subscription but more content from other sources can be enabled or purchased for children if desired.

What are nabi Konnect and nabi Friends?

These allow children to send and receive text messages and emails to and from parent-approved friends.

What are nabi Coins, Chore List and Treasure Chest?

nabi Coins are a digital currency that can be purchased by parents and then given to children. They can be awarded through the Chore List when children do specified tasks and then spent in the Treasure Chest. The Treasure Chest is a child-friendly curated app store that only has content suitable for children. nabi Coins may also be spent on items in the Wishlist, allowing children to buy real items, not just virtual ones.

Summing up the nabi Elev-8

Both the screen size and the memory of the Elev-8 are above average for a children’s tablet; the screen only slightly but the internal memory double many of the better competitor tablets and four times as much as many others. Similarly, the rear facing camera is superior to most, if not all, of its competitors whilst the front-facing camera is fairly typical in its resolution. The screen size is slightly larger than most children’s tablets, which may or may not be a concern. The octo core processor is also more powerful than many processors seen in tablets. This is one of the most powerful children’s tablets around in terms of its specifications – it may even be the most powerful at the time of writing – and the technical specifications are better than those of many adult tablets. The tablet comes with the standard nabi Warranty, rather than a more extensive one such as Amazon’s “worry-free” warranty, which only covers fairly standard problems rather than such as accidental damage.

Perhaps the single largest disadvantage of the tablet is that it uses the custom nabi Connector, rather than the standard micro USB port seen in the vast majority of, non-Apple, products. This means that if the charger breaks, or there is any problem with the connection wire, one specific to nabi will need getting, rather than a generic one – which many nowadays have lying around, given how common they are. The recommended age range for the tablet is from age 6 to age 9, although it can certainly be used outside those ages – the Wings Learning System covers a far greater range of ages for instance.

Overall, the nabi Elev-8 is one of the more powerful and fully-featured children’s tablets around, but it is also more expensive as a result.

You can find all the official product details here.