Sunday, 23 December 2012

Binatone KidzStar eReader review

While I love the Slow Toy movement, which aims to get kids away from electronic all-singing-all-dancing toys and back to the more traditional playthings that rely on imagination and creativity rather than batteries, I do also appreciate just how enthusiastic most kids (not to mention adults !) get when faced with a new gadget. While sometimes the noises and flashing lights seem totally superfluous, not to mention irritating, you can also get some really good educational electronic toys and gadgets. Binatone's KidzStar eReader is one that I would definitely place in that category.

The official write-up says : "If you want to encourage your child to read, Binatone’s KidzStar e-reader is the perfect fun and educational device for any budding young genius! Available exclusively at Argos, the crystal clear 7” colour screen allows easy access to your library of e-books, audiobooks, videos and photos. The in-built zoom option allows younger children to enlarge text for easy reading!"

When I saw the 3+ recommended age on the box, I must admit I did a bit of a double-take - an eReader for a 3-year-old ? If Pierre is anything to go by, most 3-year-olds can't yet read so surely not ?! But the fact that you can also download picture books and audiobooks does open it up to young pre-readers. They've thought about creating something chunky and resistant too - the eReader has a funky orange rubber bumper to provide some protection, although you do still need to be careful about damage to the screen. It's quite heavy, especially for younger users, so it's probably best placed on a table if you're planning on using it for a longish period of time.

Navigating around the eReader is quite simple, even for a child. You have a visually appealing, illustrated bookcase allowing you to access your current book, favourites, history and the library. It supports most file formats, including txt and pdf, and a USB cable is provided so you can very easily upload books on to the eReader from your computer.

This is a gadget that can grow with your children too. Once they've got to an age where they think the orange bumper is uncool and babyish, you can take it off, leaving a very grown-up looking gadget that I'd actually be quite happy to use myself on the bus on the way to work. You get 2GB of internal memory but there is also a slot for a micro-SD card, should you need extra space.

The screen measures 7 inches which is fairly large and it can be used day or night because it is backlit. It comes with a rechargeable battery which is great news for your pocket and the environment, but I would have liked the charge to last for a bit longer. Unlike many other products on the market, the KidzStar can be used as a portable full colour video player, MP3 music player and photo viewer too.

An accessory pack, including additional bumpers in blue and pink, a mains charger and 
headphones, is available for half price when bought with the e-Reader (so you pay £24.99 instead of £49.99). That still seems quite expensive to me but the add-ons are quite worthwhile, so you may want to think about it at the time of purchase.

I haven't got a grown-up Kindle so I can't compare but this kid-friendly alternative does offer everything I would want in an eReader and more.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £69.99 but currently half price at £34.99

available exclusively from Argos

for more information :

Disclosure : We received a Binatone KidzStar eReader in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Talking Tom Superstar toy review

Mattel UNO Roboto review


  1. this looks good, i reckon my son would make good use f this if he was older x

  2. My little girl would really love this!

  3. I really like the look of these, I think maybe I will get one for my sons birthday in March.

  4. I bought this 4 my 9 year old son but having trouble downloading ebooks to it if any1 could advise me on how to do this I would appreciate it thanks

    1. You need to download them to your computer first then transfer them to the ereader with the cable