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CES 2011: Hands on with Crayola ColorStudio HD for iPad

Sections: Apple News, Conferences, Features, Hands On / First Looks, iDevice Accessories, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Originals

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Admit it, you never really stopped enjoying coloring books. That’s a big reason why I think Griffin’s partnership with Crayola for ColorStudio HD is going to be a huge hit not only with kids, but their parents and adult friends too. It’s a glowing stylus that interacts with Crayola’s ColorStudio HD app, a fancy, modern coloring book that animates and reacts to motion.

Let’s start with the hardware. Griffin makes the stylus part of this combo that I’ve affectionately nicknamed the electric crayon.  It’s a large stylus that has a nice big button on the top to turn it on and off.  You know it’s on when it starts glowing.  It actually cycles through a rainbow of colors.  I was hoping the guys at Griffin were going to tell me the color of the light represented the specific color crayon you had selected in the app, but it’s not quite that sophisticated.

Crayola ColorStudio HD

The electric crayon is very necessary to make any use out of Crayola’s ColorStudio HD app.  Without it, the app won’t allow you to color.  Seriously, I can’t figure out how it works exactly, but the app will only respond to the electric crayon.  Why?  Well, little kids tend to put there hands on just about everything, so this prevents them from having problems coloring.  So you don’t need to worry about placing your palm on the screen, nor a second hand.  And it really does work amazingly well, because I tried moving a finger around on the screen while using the stylus and the app was not phased whatsoever.

Crayola ColorStudio HD

The app itself gives you numerous coloring options.  The main thing you can do is pick a scene from the clothesline of pages and color it.  Scenes are essentially pages from a futuristic coloring book.  Characters on the page move and react to your interactions with them.  If you color certain objects, they may start to animate.  If you turn the iPad on its side, you might get a door to open.  If you shake it, you might get stuff to fall down.  Touch something else and it might open.

Crayola ColorStudio HD

They’re really encouraging you to explore, and I think that’s great.  Oh, and if you’re not so great at coloring, you can turn on the “in the lines” setting.

Crayola ColorStudio HD

If you’re more ambitious than just coloring, you can pick a blank canvas and use all of the included materials to make your own original art.  You can use crayons, markers, pencils and more.  There are currently 64 different colors to pick from.  No word on whether there will be 128 next year.  You can even create your own scenes with clip-art-like objects.  Just assemble them on a page and you have your own scene to color.

Griffin and Crayola’s ColorStudio HD really seems to be the perfect accessory and app for the youngsters in your life.  But the real secret is that this app makes you feel like you’re a little kid again.  So don’t feel like you have to buy this for a five year old, because you’re likely to have just as much fun with it yourself.

Product [Crayola ColorStudio HD]

See Appletell’s full CES 2011 coverage.

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