According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Toy ‘R Us has made an announcement today pertaining to the release of it’s own Android-powered tablet geared specifically towards children. The tablet, titled the ‘Tabeo’, will be a 7-inch device priced at $150, and will be available at all retail locations starting on October 21st. Currently pre-orders are already being accepted through Toysrus.com. The company plans to announce more details later today, but pictures on the site indicate it will be more conventional in design and not kid friendly as the toy store’s previous offering, the Nabi.
Technical specs include 4GB of flash memory (expandable to 32GB via microSD), 1GB of RAM, a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, USB 2.0, Mini HDMI out, a built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, and front-facing camera. Toys ‘R Us said the display is a 7-inch capacitive, TFT LCD with 16 million colors and a resolution of 800 x 480. The battery life is said to be in the 10 hour range for normal usage, 6-7 hours for video. Parental controls include filters to “block 27 predetermined categories of content, and parents can choose additional sites to block and can select specific online content to unblock.” From a content standpoint, it will come with 50 pre-loaded apps and in a surprising move – it’s own native app store offering around 6,000 more. Toys ‘R Us has indicated that this tablet will be aimed at older kids than the previous tablet’s six-year old and up target. As many have already pointed out, this looks very much like an Archos Child Pad with different colors and $20 added to the asking price.
The report noted Toys ‘R Us, which is in its second year of profit declines, already has stiff competition in the tablet for children market. Some of the leading tablets for kids such as Kurio 7, Meep and Lexibook have all recently been discounted to $150 to match the price of the upcoming Toys ‘R Us Tabeo. However, Toys ‘R Us appears to be aiming at a tablet experience closer to the Kindle Fire than the LeapPad. They are hoping that with the holiday season quickly approaching this will be able to right the company’s current sales performance. What are your thoughts? Is this an option for a budget minded Android device or is this something you would consider for younger members of the family?