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Barbie B-Bright laptop shines for early learners


There's no doubt that Barbie has been an iconic figure for generations of girls.

But with children becoming more technologically astute, Mattel is no longer relying on dolls and accessories for brand presence. Harnessing the power of its blonde beauty, the company is venturing into the education territory as evidenced by the Barbie B-Bright Laptop ($49.99).

The laptop is comparable in size to a netbook, except the B-Bright makes due with a four-inch monochrome LCD screen and a keyboard that spreads out letters in alphabetical order. The buttons are big so that kids can find and pounce on them easily when required. Below those keys are 10 piano keys following the solfege system of musical learning (i.e. do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-re-mi).

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Above the keys lie an array of learning games with a slider to make it easy for kids to switch from one game to another. The games include alphabet exercises, numbers, shapes, word composition, vowel search, counting, memory, as well as piano lessons and a music maker. The laptop also offers basic lessons in Spanish, but not in French, despite the inclusion of a French manual.

Everything the B-Bright offers is aimed at preschool and kindergarten levels, so between ages three and six are the sweet spot for this device. And since kids using it will learn as they go, the 12 learning activities definitely have some replay value.

The Barbie B-Bright Laptop is currently available at Toys R Us and the packaging allows kids to try it because the laptop can be opened from its box.

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