Review: Ctroniq Kindertab K9

Review: Ctroniq Kindertab K9
The Kindertab K9 is well-protected against bumps and some falls.

Dubai - Device is first Google Mobile Service-certified kids' tablet in the region.

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Sun 23 Dec 2018, 7:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 24 Dec 2018, 2:48 PM

Kids are becoming more tech-savvy, and in as much as we'd like to let them keep in step with the times, it's best to do this step-by-step - especially with the really young ones. So Ctroniq would like to help you with that potential first step; it's back at it with its latest device designed especially for the little critters, the Kindertab K9.
Its naming is a bit weird, though: while indeed called the K9, it is actually the official successor the Kindertab K10 (you may figure out why I pointed this out). Nevertheless, we go as per the brand's official statement, and it was explained to me that this naming convention was by choice. In fact, there are certain brands that don't use incremental numbering, and Ctroniq went ahead with this.
Again, we have little rubbery edges all around the K9, meant to allow children to grip it properly and prevent shock when it falls around (given that kids are its target audience, 'when' is definitely more appropriate than 'if' there).
Anyway, go into the tablet and you'll find some familiar stuff. There are two modes: grown-ups and, of course, kids mode. There's also a Child Lock that prevents unauthorised app installation, as well as ensuring that kids mode will be the default screen when the tab reboots.
The kids mode is called iWawa; within it, you'll find iWawa Games. There are 31 apps in it, two of which are already installed, 14 ready to be downloaded and 15 that you need to pay for (40 per cent discount if you unlock all of them, BTW). The games range from ABCs to pictograms and animals to memory challenges, so this can play a nice role in sharpening up your little ones' brains. And don't forget that cutesy tune playing while iWawa is active.
Battery life, meanwhile, is a drag. Our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness test showed that - gasp - 42 per cent of juice was sucked out. Yikes.
But perhaps the highlight of this device is that it is the first kids' tablet that is certified for Google Mobile Services (GMS), a collection of apps and APIs that support functionality across devices, working together seamlessly for better experience. Extending GMS to the K9 means that it will give such access to children.
And speaking of Google, the K9 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo, a huge leap from the K10's 5.1 Lollipop.
And while it has double the K10's RAM at 1GB, the K9 is still slow - there's no other way to put it. Its CPU was changed from a MediaTek chipset to one from Rockchip, and it doesn't make quite a difference. The biggest beef I had with the K9 is that the virtual keyboard takes seconds before it pops up in the event you need to type something.
There are also back and front cameras, and both are very sensitive to light; the brighter the light is, the more it obstructs the rest of the view surrounding it.
The Ctroniq Kindertab K9 is another good attempt at a very budget-friendly children's tablet that's available online and at an exclusive in-store partner. It still doesn't tick some boxes, yet it is good enough for your kids to keep up with it. And while it does give what you'd expect at its price point, maybe a little bump-ups - to RAM, storage and chipset, specifically - can do the trick. Prepare to pay a little more, though.

 Chipset Rockchip 3126C, quad-core 1.2GHz
 Platform Android 8.1 Oreo; iWawa for kids mode
 Storage 8GB; up to 8GB microSD
 Display 7" LCD
 Connectivty Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1; USB-B, 3.5mm audio; microSIM
 Battery 2560mAh
 Camera Main - 2MP; front - 0.3MP
 Price Dh229 (promo @ Dh199)
GOODIES - Sturdy build, affordable, Android Oreo
GOOFIES - Slow overall, short battery life, very limited RAM/storage

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