We love this versatile tablet computer suitable for all the family - The Robin from EE

I am almost embarrassed to admit how many gadgets we have in this house, but to be fair 7 children, a tech-mad mum and a dad who has finally mastered more than solitaire on his phone means there are never enough charging points available.

Out and about and on holiday we obviously limit what we take but I would be lying if I didn't admit to making the most of electronic babysitters every now and again, and hypocritical if I banned my children from gadgets when I have a bit of a panic attack if I realise I have come out without my trusty smartphone.

Trouble is they all want to take their own tech, installed with their favourite apps and games and the gadget bag can become somewhat crowded with fragile devices and those darn chargers. (I swear someone gets up in the night and hides them.)

If only there was one gadget which could switch seamlessly between users, with age appropriate content and a built in "parent" to enforce limits on screen use....

children sharing the Robin tablet from EE

Prepare to be amazed - there is indeed such a gadget - the kid, no, family friendly Robin tablet from EE which comes preloaded with more than 40 game apps, ebooks, educational fun and Hopster, a children's TV streaming service.

I'd not heard of Hopster but basically kids can watch their favourite shows like Postman Pat,  Thomas and Friends and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom and access educational games based on the EYFS curriculum, all in an ad-free environment.

Oh and you get 500mb of free data per month for a year and the ability to access super fast 4G mobile connectivity comes included so the device can work straight out of the box even if you have no wifi (as long as there's a mobile phone signal of course!)

Extra data can be added - but more about that in a bit. Let me tell you the best bits about this fab little tablet.

The Robin comes pre-fitted with a specially designed child-proof bumper which is curved for big and little hands and feels nice and secure. It features the Android 5.1 OS, a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory plus you can add up to 32GB using a card (sold separately) in the Micro SD card slot. Extra apps can be added via the Google Play store.

It has a front and rear facing camera, a crisp responsive 7 inch screen and best of all, is preloaded with the Kurio operating system, a child friendly interface layered over the Android OS which does a great job of keeping children safe online.

children reviewing the Robin tablet from EE

So - parents can create bespoke user profiles for each member of the household. Parents can use the tablet like a regular device, accessing email, apps, online content, messages etc with no limits but can set age, time limits and web filtering individually adapted for each extra user.

For example, I created one account for Grumpy, typed in his date of birth which automatically set quite a number of limits on what he could view. Then I could go through the features available and customise his profile to the Nth degree.

child tests 4g Robin Android Tablet from EE

For instance, I could allow him access to only educational games and ebooks, Monday to Friday, 4pm-5pm, then allow TV streaming and regular (age appropriate) games at weekends. I could set a time so the tablet locks him out after (for instance) 30 minutes of screen time for five minutes before allowing him in for another 30 minutes, enforcing a screen break.

I can block YouTube or other sites I don't want him to view and because of the kid-friendly Google search engine on his profile I know he will not stumble across something grim by accident.

If I want to allow my 9 & 10 year old children to use the Robin for researching homework I can block Wikipedia (left to their own devices they would be lazy and just copy entries out from the site verbatim!) or only allow sites I have pre-approved.

I can allow my 15 year-old to watch videos of baby monkeys riding pigs while ensuring there will be no-under the cover viewing through the night with an automatic closedown at 9pm.

Maybe you can already do a lot of these things via apps or programmes but using the system on the Robin is so simple. I even love that I can set it to force them to take turns - after 30 minutes Grumpy's profile can switch off and his sister can take her turn on her own profile.

Obviously there is no substitute for actual supervision but the Robin takes a lot of the strain off parents worrying too much about the children's online activity as long as they set up the profiles correctly.

It's very easy to do this though, and using the pattern-based pass-lock all members of the family should be able to stop the wrong person (apart from the administrator) from viewing their content, or playing their games
gift guide - Robin 4G Android tablet for kids and adults

OK so back to the cost. We have previously owned tablets which only work on wifi which is fine if you can find free wifi. Trains, cars, airports, granny's house - not always the best places for free wifi.

The Robin comes preloaded (as I mentioned earlier) with 500mb of date per month free for one year. It's available from selected EE stores, online and through EE telesales on a range of pay monthly plans starting from £15 per month.

There's no upfront cost for many existing EE customers and it's just £29.99 for non EE pay monthly customers) on a £15 per month 24 month plan which gives 10GB date and 24 months access to Hopster.

There are even sheets of stickers in the box so children can customise their tablets - very handy for instant identification if you own more than one!

customise the Robin 4g Android tablet from EE

The Robin is also available for £129.99 PAYG which includes Hopster TV free for three months.

I think these prices are very reasonable considering this tablet can be used by the entire family for work, banking, shopping, playing, watching TV etc. Of course there's nothing to stop you all having one, which would avoid the cries we currently have in our house of "when is it MY turn to have the Robin?"

Yes - I was given a free one to review but believe me this is not entirely what has  prompted my enthusiasm. My children already had low-cost tablets, and I have two (wifi only)  high cost ones and yet the Robin is most in demand as it feels nice to hold, loads quickly (even in church - I tested it there as I can barely get a phone signal and was amazed when it worked!) and is so user friendly.

The 4G mobile data puts this above all our other tablets in my view and I think it's well worth the money when you think how versatile this makes it.

I reckon it would make a fantastic Christmas present for any age and I predict it will fly out of the shops so if you are in the market for a tablet make sure you check this one out fast before Santa gets his hands on all available stock!

kids sharing tablet from EE - The Robin

Disclaimer: I was given a free Robin Tablet by EE for the purposes of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.