For the last month we have been testing out the HP Sprout. I did an overview post last month of the computer, that covered my initial thoughts on the HP Sprout, in this post I wanted to show putting some of the apps to the test as a family. So here’s what we have been up to :
Throughout the years children have always loved to play on pianos whenever they see one. Truth be told, it’s the same for lots of adults too. Pianotime is a great way for children to do this using the Sprout’s large mat, as a virtual keyboard is displayed onto the mat, and the keys are clearly marked with the note’s letter. You can also record and save any masterpieces that you create. Other great features include a “duet mode” which splits the keyboard enabling 2 players to play, thus avoiding potential arguments.
Crayola Color, Draw and Sing
This is a great colouring app that utilised the Sprout’s large mat excellently. You choose the picture that you would like to colour in, and then also choose a song that plays in the background whilst you are colouring. The selection of colouring options are great, and also caters for all different ages. The paint option is great for younger children as the colours stay within the lines of the picture and gives the child great confidence. Another nice touch is the ability to remove/add individual instruments from the background music.
Origami is an art that all children are fascinated by. This app uses the mat very effectively and clearly shows how to create the different paper shapes. Miss A took great pleasure in following the instructions and created a boat and an angelfish. Tall Dad had to help with the creation of the lily, which was then gleefully presented to Mummy by Miss A.
This is the more grown up version of a DJ app. Tall Dad’s brother used to be a DJ in Nottingham, so the family have grown up with “double decks” always being in the house. This is a great and clearly laid out version of a mix deck, and every one including the 13 year old Nia got in on the action.
Miss A really loves this app (as does Tall Dad!). It is a highly colourful DJ mixing application especially for children, which uses basic backing tracks and sounds effects (rather than actual songs) to create funky music . The tutorial is brilliant and clearly introduces the features to the user. Two virtual decks appear on the mat together with all the controls needed to change the sounds, pitch and volume of the music. The main screen displays a lightshow that changes in time to the music. It really gets your feet tapping and head bobbing.
Power Director Touch
Tall Dad recently used the PC version of Power Director to create a video for a friend’s wedding. This version is the Touch version and again utilises the mat very well, although has fewer features than the full version. It makes dragging content to the timeline very easy, and although it does contain fewer features, it does contain enough for the average user.
Have you ever wanted to try to replicate “Wallace and Gromit” or create your very own animated comic strip? Stop Motion could be your answer! The software uses frame grabbing (which can be set at any speed) to either capture items from the mat, or you can drag in items from your gallery that you have previously captured. You can change the background to any image you choose, and can also resize/reverse any of the assets you use in order to create perspective. In a short 10 minute session, Miss A and Tall Dad managed to create an alien landing in our very own back garden, complete with audio.
Here is the completed video :
The only person in the family I’ve not mentioned is me. Well I’ve been busy on my own craft project which I will be revealing in the next post, so watch this space.
To find out more details about purchasing the HP, please follow THIS LINK.
This post is in collaboration with HP.