By now most tablet consumers have heard at least one of the many anecdotes describing some toddler picking up an iPad and immediately operating it like she was born to use it. Today Toys "R" Us, the leading toy retailer in the US, announced plans to attempt to capture part of that growing market with its own proprietary tablet called the Tabeo.
The tablet is set to go on sale for $149.99 (£94) at Toys "R" Us retail outlets nationwide and on its website on 21 October. Using the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system, the tablet features a 7in capacitive multi-touch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, 4GB of expandable memory, Wi-Fi access, and an HDMI port, essentially putting it on the same level as other adult tablets on the market. Where the child-friendly aspect comes in is in the device's focus on robust parental controls, as well as software and content specifically targeting the children's market.
"Over the past year, we've spent considerable time talking to parents and children to determine what features and functions they really want in a kids' tablet, resulting in Tabeo," Toys "R" Us vice president, Troy Peterson, said in a statement. "We are proud that Tabeo offers robust and flexible parental controls that can help protect children as they surf the Internet, and we are pleased to offer the tabeo App Store, which features only kid-safe content carefully curated by the Toys 'R' Us team."
The tablet will come pre-loaded with over 50 apps, including Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, as well as over 6,000 free educational programs, games, and books available in the Tabeo app store. The Tabeo also promises a robust battery life - 10 hours for Internet use and 6-7 hours for video content.
The Tabeo is not the first tablet to be sold at Toys "R" Us. Last year, Fuhu released the Nabi, which sold for $199 (£124) at the toy retailer. In March, meanwhile, Archos unveiled the $129 (£81) Child Pad, which also runs ICS. Another child-friendly option to consider is the Vinci Tab, though that tablet carries a significantly larger $389 (£243) price tag.