Thursday, 21 June 2012

Crayola colorstudio hd+

The Crayola Colorstudio HD+ is a big chunky pen designed to work with the ColorStudio HD app available for free from the app store. A number of users complain that the pen isn't responsive enough, and to be honest, from my first attempt, I found that was true as well. The pen takes a single AA battery and has a button at the end. I also thought the switch was faulty as it doesn't 'click' like it looks like it should, (like the click on the pen) however, when it's turned on, the light on the side illuminates, and if you hold it to your ears, you can hear it making a strange electrical sound. To prove you haven't just downloaded the free crayola app to use with your finger, you have to unlock it, using the magic pen. However, this is where you find out how to use the pen. Despite having a lovely round end. It only really registers if it's pretty much perpendicular with the surface of the iPad. You also have to press quite hard for it to register. After loading a couple of pictures, I started colouring in. It doesn't take much getting used to, and within a couple of minutes I was colouring like a 5 year old. There's a crayons box at the bottom and brush sizes to chose from. When the crayon palette opens, you can whizz the crayons round on a wheel to choose different ones. Although the felt pens only have a few colours to chose from. (Crayons has the most and there are plenty). What I do find odd is that there is an option to upload your creations to Facebook, bearing in mind the target market for this is probably not above the 13 year limit placed on Facebook users. What is quite cool, that I guess younger kids will really like about this, is that the pictures themselves are animated. They also have music and sound effects, but fortunately they can be turned off. You can also set it to 'stay within the lines' so if you're not that good at staying in the lines, your pictures will still look respectable, as it won't allow your scribble to go over. Overall, I'd say this is a fairly good product, I couldn't imagine, young kids having too much trouble using it, but I doubt my 7 year old daughter would be entertained by it for longer than an hour, at best. Really it's for younger kids, and to be honest. I'm not sure I'd be too happy to let my young kid press hard on my iPad screen with a rubber tipped pen. I dread to think what would happen if a small amount of grit got under the nib! It does what it promises though, although it could be easier to use. The app works much better (as the iPad was designed) with your finger. There are also free colouring apps, that are easy enough to find (sort by customer rating and free) that do the same thing for nothing.

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