WIN: V.Smile Cyber Pocket

My son, niece and nephew all own educational handheld gaming devices, and I love them. They definitely make learning fun and I can see my son picking up on new things from them. One of my favorite handheld devices is one that VTECH introduced to me - the V.Smile Cyber Pocket. It's for ages 4 to 7, but my 3 year old is amazing with it.

About the V.Smile Cyber Pocket:

The V.Smile Cyber Pocket is a great way for young kids to get their game on and tap into online gameplay! Kids can extend their play with a new online connection to unlock bonus play using the VTech V.Link (USB drive). The V.Smile Cyber Pocket features a compact, flip-up high resolution screen and touchable writing pad for fun, wireless video gaming on-the-go or at home.

  • Kids can easily connect the handheld to the TV to play on the big screen. And, when it's time to go, kids can disconnect Cyber Pocket and play on the system’s flip-up screen without disrupting their game.
  • Cyber Pocket players can capture their scores and connect to a safe online site with their V.Link to share and compare their scores with other gaming enthusiasts.
  • Parents can use the V.Link to track time spent on the Cyber Pocket, results and scores.
  • A built-in microphone encourages kids to participate and sing along to activities, and the adaptable buttons for right- and left-handed players, make it easy for anyone to play.
  • V.Smile Cyber Pocket is compatible with the current V.Smile Smartridge library and new licensed titles, including Kung Fu Panda and WALL•E.
One thing that took both him and I some time in figuring out was how to work the "touch screen". We finally worked out that it had no "touch screen". The screen was simply high resolution (and I mean HIGH) - and we had to use the "easy-touch pad" instead. But it was so ingrained in us from other systems to try to use the pen on the flip top high resolution screen. Once I figured it out, it was easy for me to play, but it involves some spatial capability that my three year old hasn't quite mastered yet (remember this is for ages 4+). But lucky for us, it comes with a joystick control! That is easier for him to use and he can still play.

TOUCH PAD VS TOUCH SCREEN
I want to chat more in-depth about the touch screen of some systems and the touch pad/high resolution screen of the V.Smile Cyber Pocket. At first I thought the touch screen was better, since it was easier for my three year old to manipulate. But then I realized that the touch pad is more like a lap top touch pad - and it is a necessary skill. Plus, the touch screen of our other gaming device is ALL SCRATCHED UP. I am guessing that touch pad screens need extra special care? But the V.Smile high resolution screen ... not one scratch. It's more durable for preschoolers and young children to play with. Plus, it helps that the high resolution screen flips down when not in use, for added protection. Our other gaming system does not. They used to sell it with a cover, but now you have to pay extra for the "accessory". So, at this point I prefer the touch pad/high resolution screen of the V.Smile Cyber Pocket.

Oh - and that high resolution screen is AWESOME. The definition is amazing (320 x 240 resolution) and the colors are so bright. It's a lot cooler than the game systems I played when I was younger!

LEFTY OR RIGHTY
Cyber Pocket adjusts to both right and left-handed players. My son seems to be right-handed at the moment. But my nephew is a lefty, so this would be wonderful for him.

BIG SCREEN
The V.Smile comes with a cord that attaches to your television so your kids can play on the big screen! It's neat that I don't need to purchase a separate system to do this! The only problem is we can only do this when the Littlest One is sleeping - otherwise he runs into the cord.

V.LINK
The Cyber Pocket includes the new V.Link that lets kids track their scores and play bonus games on-line. A secure website shows kids how their game scores stack up as well as provide them with bonus games to reward their progress. It’s easy to use and encourages them to keep up the good work! If you want something similar from other gaming systems - you have to buy an "upgraded" version for an extra $10.

GAMES
We currently only own the game that came with the system, which was Zayzoo: An Earth Adventure. But there are over 40 other games available - with characters my son is sure to love. The games tell you what age group they are meant for - which is interesting since some games are meant for ages 3+! So they must know there are parents like me that give their kids these systems a tad early. The games are affordably priced - $19.99. And each game tells you what lessons it is providing. For example, the one I am eyeing now on Vtech Kids teaches sorting, colors, shapes, matching, puzzles, number order, following directions, and patterns. Cool! I have to add it to my Christmas List. PLUS, Games have one or two player modes!

FEATURES AT-A-GLANCE:
  • Flip-up hi res LCD screen with 320 x 240 resolution
  • Touchable writing pad and stylus
  • Switchable lefty-righty joystick controls
  • Plays all V.Smile Smartridges
  • Includes V.Link to connect to online game zone
  • TV connection cord for Big Screen play
  • Big buttons designed for a smaller child`s hands
To let you really see all the features, I found this video on YouTube!


COMPARISON: LEAPSTER VS V.SMILE CYBER POCKET

AGE: Leapster is for ages 4 - 10; V.SMILE is for ages 4 - 7

COLORS: Leapster comes in Green or Pink; V.Smile is available in Blue or Pink

READY-TO-PLAY: Leapster has some built in games; V.Smile does not have a built in game but does come with a game cartridge

PRICE: Leapster is available for $49 - $59 dollars; V.Smile is available for $60 - $70.

SCREENS: Leapster has a touch-screen; V.Smile has a high resolution screen, but you use a touch pad to direct movement.

LEFTY/RIGHTY: The Leapster is best suited for righty players; V.Smile can be adapted for left or right handed play.

GAMES: Currently, Leapster has over 40 games available; V.Smile Cyber Pocket also has over 40 games available.

GAME PRICES: Leapster games cost $24.99 - I scour stores for sales of $19.99 or less; V.Smile Smartridges cost $19.99.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

So at a difference of $5 a game, the Leapster is actually the more expensive system. Plus, the V.Tech is designed in a way that the system/screen looks better longer. The games are just as fun with similar characters. But the V.Tech lets you get online, play on a big TV, play with up to 2 players...it seems as if the benefits go on! When it comes time to buy my second son a system, I would definitely turn to the V.Smile Cyber Pocket.

About V-Tech:
VTech, the creator of the Electronic Learning Products (ELP) Category and the award-winning V.Smile TV Learning System, is a world leader of age-appropriate learning toys. Since 1976, VTech has been developing high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children’s development, from birth to preteen, through fun and smart play. For more information on VTech’s additional product lines, visit www.vtechkids.com.

WIN WIN WIN
VTECH KIDS is giving one Buzz reader the opportunity to win the V.SMILE CYBERPOCKET!

To enter, visit vtechkids.com and sign up for the Club VTech newsletter.


Remember to leave a comment here as an official entry. Club VTech membership gives you more than just news and information about VTech products; with Club VTech, you can check order history for purchases through our online store, track your child's progress on select VTech products and receive promotions and special offers redeemable through our online store!


EXTRA ENTRIES:
To receive these extra opportunities for entries, you must fulfill the first REQUIRED entry. But for extra entries, you can:
Contest Ends June 5th. Please refer to complete contest rules.

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This is solely the opinion of the Mom Buzz. Other people may have different experiences with the product.