The Batman Laptop the Brave and the Bold from Oregon Scientific is a great kids laptop that we recently purchased for our son during the holiday season. It came packaged in the exciting Batman the Brave and the Bold comic book style drawing, and the upper lid of the laptop has a holographic image of the same style.
With the target audience of children ages 5 to 8 years old in mind, The Batman laptop comes with a real QUERTY keyboard and includes 26 activities in English with the same number of activities in Spanish. This is the laptop’s best feature since many of the games are highly educational and include activities from simple word recognition to more progressively advanced learning from addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Further, this laptop for kids includes shapes, memory, music, colors, spelling, numbers and vocabulary activities.
The overall dimensions are 8.5 by 11 inches weighing in at 2.7 pounds. Though the “screen” size is eight inches, the actual LCD screen is about 2 by 4 inches at the center surrounded by the Batman comic image. This is my least favorite feature since it is a black and white image with rather big square pixels, but it is balanced by the adjustable green back light that improves the visual experience. The adjustable volume control further adds to the laptop’s customization.
Although Oregon Scientific makes several Batman laptops, this one appeared to most visually resemble an actual laptop. Since our 3.5 year old would occasionally sneak and use my laptop whenever he could, we thought this would be a good distraction option.
It turns out that even though this is for kids 5 and up, our boy immediately began looking through the functions and participating with much success, as well as much challenge. At its essence, it really is a machine for five year olds, but our boy was able to type in the passwords necessary to initiate an activity, and he was also able to recognize some of the words he was already familiar with - he even began learning to read some new words!
I really liked that it had mathematics including the very important addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These skills are of course essential and I could see how this would be a highly valuable toy for kids to learn after school and in the proper setting. Our boy is very young in terms of his addition capabilities, but he can add 1 plus 1 and 2 plus 1, even 10 or 11 plus one and has memorized the occasional 4 plus five. But this Batman laptop, even at its simplest stage starts of challenging and progresses with increasing difficulty. Our boy would type in the answer as I gave it to him, and that alone taught him how to piece together numbers in the two and three digit categories as well as provide him with the satisfaction and excitement of a right answer.
When getting answers wrong, Batman can be a little aggressive with his response, “No, that’s not it.” But he is Batman, a complex and generally stern character. And when the answers are correct, his responses are equally strong, promoting a positive response with our boy.
In addition to this Batman laptop, Oregon Scientific makes several laptops of this style with characters from Star Wars, Barbie and Tinkerbell to attract children with different tastes while keeping the format similar.
We see a lot of potential educational value with this laptop for kids. And while our 3.5 year old son is having fun with it now, we’ll probably put it away when he begins to lose interest and regift it (as we often do) on his fourth birthday and following holiday. This will hopefully keep his interest in the Batman laptop fresh while introducing him to more advanced concepts as his young mind develops.