http://brainchild.com ¦ Retail price: $299.99
By MaryAnn Karre
The Kineo is a low-cost tablet designed for educational
use whose features help students focus on learning safely
Quality and Effectiveness
Brainchild’s Kineo is a seven-inch Android 2.1 tablet
designed to support educational apps while discouraging
students from accessing undesirable sites. It features an
800-megahertz dual core processor, 256 megabytes of
RAM, and a 4,500-milliampere-hour battery that charges
quickly and can hold a charge for 12 hours, so learning is
not slowed or interrupted by bandwidth problems, freezing
screens, or dead batteries.
Ease of Use
The Kineo is no lightweight tablet in any sense of the word;
it holds a long-lasting battery, and it is sturdily built to stand
up to handling by youngsters. Still, it fits easily in small
hands and features a prop that angles it conveniently on a
desktop. The touch screen is quite resistant, so the stylus
that stores in the prop door comes in handy. Along the top
are convenient ports for USB, headphone, and HDMI highdefinition
video/audio out as well as an SD card slot.
Setting up the Kineo is straightforward; icons that students
can access are easily moved to the desktop with
the touch of a finger but are protected by a password so
that students cannot add or delete applications. It is a little
more difficult to add Web sites, but software that will allow
applications to be installed remotely, via USB or Wi-Fi, is
ready for release. Brainchild can even diagnose and service
Kineos remotely. The Kineo is used most effectively
with Brainchild’s Achiever! Web-based assessment and
standards-based instruction program.
Creative Use of Technology
The Kineo features a Flash Player and MP4 Movie Player,
so it plays many multimedia and video files crisply and
realistically on the small screen. Not all multimedia sites
display properly, however, and a Flash Player upgrade may
be required. The Kineo’s ability to sync student data quickly
and easily from the Achiever! software is this handheld’s
Suitability for Use in a School Environment
The Kineo’s features are designed to focus attention on
learning by removing the ability to send messages, add
and delete applications, or cruise the Internet randomly.
Teachers can limit the Web sites and apps that are directly
accessible, but students can still follow links to other sites.
The additional Achiever! and Mechanics programs permit
self-paced instruction and mobile learning with data-driven
instruction. The tablet connects to Brainchild’s Achiever!
instruction program, which was created for the seven-inch
screen. (Note: Achiever! is included in packages of 10 or
¦ The Kineo keeps students focused
by removing the ability to text, take
pictures, or add non-approved apps.
¦ The Kineo is built to withstand
classroom use, and its battery will last
longer than a school day.
¦ With the Kineo and the companion
Achiever! software, students can learn
independently yet with guidance, and
teachers can monitor and direct learning.
The Kineo is no trim and lightweight, glamorous e-reader;
it is a real worker, built for the rough treatment that
handhelds have to withstand in schools.