Laser Kids Tablet MID780 Review

The Laser Kids Tablet MID780 is a simple, kid-friendly Android device with a variety of colourful bumper cases. It’s cute, but it’s also woefully underpowered even at a bargain price point.
The upcoming generation is one that’s absolutely familiar with touchscreen interfaces and inputs.
Don’t believe me? Take a walk around any shopping centre, school playground or sporting event, and the chances aren’t just high that you’ll see somebody using a smartphone or tablet to keep their kids entertained (read: quiet) while they perform other tasks, whether that’s paying the insurance or chatting about Auntie Beryl’s gall bladder replacement surgery. It happens a lot.
That’s presumably the market that Laser’s targeting the $129 Kids Tablet MID780 at, because there’s a couple of inherent risks with handing over a Galaxy Note 3 or iPad Air to a two year old. Straight away you have the challenge of what happens when junior decides to bravely experiment with what happens when you dunk the corner of the Note 3 into an ice cream, or exactly how many hits an iPad Air can take against the concrete before it shatters.
Before that, however, you may be up for an expensive apps bill when they buy all ten billion smurf berries, or up for an “interesting” conversation about why those ladies didn’t seem to have their clothes on but were smiling so very much.
The inexpensive 7″ Laser Kids Tablet MID780 offers a heavily controlled approach based on what is actually just a very plain Android tablet. It’s running Android 4.2.2 on what emerges — not that it’s stated specifically — as a 1.01Ghz ARM RK30board processor with a scant 399MB of RAM. Not fast, in other words by any stretch of the imagination.

It's a very simple and plain design for a tablet.
It’s a very simple and plain design for a tablet.

Not that the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 sells itself as a high-end bit of kit, or indeed figures you’ll bother go looking, as its launcher very tightly locks down the experience to a set of six icons, covering games, e-challenge, education, tv, books and ‘navigate’, which is its heavily locked down browser.
The entire thing is built around the MoFing platform. No, I’m not making that name up, even though it does sound like the kind of kid’s tablet platform that Samuel L Jackson would develop.

MoFing but that aside, it’s entirely populated with large friendly icons and limited app opportunities. The MoFing approach mixes web-based applications with an educational bent alongside its own Android app store populated with apps at price points (as far as I can see) no greater than $2 each. That’s some relief to parents in theory, as while it’s entirely feasible to populate an existing Android tablet with loads of applications for free, the MoFing apps state upfront whether or not they’re ad-supported, and amusingly, whether they’re virus free. I suspect everything is stated to be virus free, as that rather skips over the point.
While I appreciate the idea of a kid-centric environment for tablets, the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 is rather uneven in many areas. Some game options point simply to HTML5 websites, which means you’re both back in advertising territory, but also prone to screen resolution issues, and potentially all kinds of nasty domain squatting or worse if those sites vanish in the future. There’s a section for teenagers, but while I’m no longer a teen, I can’t imagine they’ll be thrilled with episodes of Pocoyo for all that long, no matter how charming Stephen Fry is.
The hardware underlying the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 is nothing special, and it quickly shows. Screen resolution is low, which means every video you watch has the grainy kind of quality I haven’t seen since the days of the Telstra T-Touch Tab. Actual response is likewise slow, so it’s probably a good thing that you’re not meant to install other, more intensive applications on the Laser Kids Tablet MID780.
Android 4.2.2 is accessible however — and rather alarmingly while you can set a password to lock it down this isn’t done as a default — so you could also use the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 as an adult. Although based on the benchmark scores I was able to drag out of the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 you almost certainly wouldn’t want to. It scored a very simple 303 in the single core and 516 in the multi-core sections of Geekbench 3, making it the slowest tablet I’ve ever tested with that particular benchmark. It shows in day to day use too, as you’ll often find it hanging just waiting to go back to its launcher, let alone launch an actual app.
The Laser Kids Tablet MID780 other claim to kid-friendliness is that it comes with three simple rubberised cases to protect against simple drops. They’re not the most robust tablet cases I’ve ever seen, especially at the back, but I’m rather taken with the four corner rubber spheres that make for easy hold points while also hopefully absorbing a few drop shocks. Mind you, if you’re after just a kid-friendly case, there are tougher alternatives such as the Wallee Clumsy Case.
The supplied cases are colourful and fun.
The supplied cases are colourful and fun.

The Laser Kids Tablet MID780 is, as much in the way of “kid-centric” technology tends to be, rather inexpensive, with an RRP of only $129. That’s the crux on which its value stands, because the reality is that not that much more money can buy you a significantly more powerful Android device, and there are many kid-friendly launchers out there if you wanted to roll your own.
As a hard technology fan that’s the approach, along with some mentoring of my own kids, that I’d recommend, because the limiations of the Laser Kids Tablet MID780 do become apparent very quickly indeed. If you’ve got the disposable cash and just want a heavily mentored children’s approach to tablet computing it functions, but don’t expect your kids to be too happy with it for all that long. They’ll be clamouring to grab your iPad back quite quickly, I suspect.





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