My little testers got their hands on a Busbi 7 tablet for review**. You should have seen their eyes pop when I unveiled the package. ‘An iPad for us!’ they yelled.
It didn’t take my tech-savvy eldest long to work out this wasn’t an iPad Mini, but that didn’t stop the babes clamouring to have a go.
Busbi 7 is a budget tablet that’s not actually made for children but at around £79 is definitely more suitable for young ‘uns than a £300+ device.
It has a kid-friendly look right from the bright and cheery bees (buzz bee… geddit) on the screensaver to its curvy frame that’s easy for chunkier fingers to grip.
That said, it’s on the heavy side for a 7-inch tablet, weighing in about the same or more than my first-gen iPad. The boys are used to lugging mine about so the Busbi 7 wasn’t a problem for either one to carry, whether they were playing games or watching video.
Busbi 7 scored high points for having Angry Birds preloaded onto the app folder and within seconds of starting up, Jed was swiping away happily. We found the Busbi 7 interface slightly less intuitive to use than the Apple system, however we soon found our way to the Google Play store.
One thing that bothered me was that some of the free apps on Google Play come with ads that are inappropriate for younger ones — so do stay vigilant if you’re downloading apps. I did discover later that there are parental controls you can select from the Google Play store.
I also had to keep remembering to logout of my Gmail account otherwise the babes could have run up a pretty hefty bill! Busbi also has its own in-built app store and there’s another Android store called SlideMe offering even more options.
The boys got frustrated that a couple of the apps kept crashing although the others we loaded were stable. What they enjoyed most was having a good-sized screen to watch YouTube videos and BBC iPlayer.
The battery life is around 5 hours although the battery did seem to run out quickly. We had a slight issue with our power cord but this was quickly sorted as the Busbi 7 will work with any similar USB/plug adapter.
The tablet runs on the tastily named Android Ice Cream Sandwich and comes with built-in Wi Fi and 4GB storage although there’s a MicroSD card slot if you want to ramp this up.
Busbi 7 costs around the same as a LeapPad Explorer. I would favour the latter for younger children, because of its wide range of tailor-made educational and entertainment apps and more robust casing.
But overall Busbi 7 offers fuller functionality and is essentially a tablet that all the family could use, without blowing the budget.
You can buy Busbi 7 at a variety of stores including Amazon, Play, Argos, Currys and more.
**Busbi 7 was loaned to us for the purpose of this review