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Toys 'R' Us reveals next-gen Tabeo e2 tablet for youngsters

Toys R Us this week launched the new Tabeo e2 — a larger version of its children's tablet.

The next-generation kiddie slate will debut next month, featuring Android Jelly Bean 4.2, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a dual-core 1GHz processor, and a $150 (£95) pricetag.

Available in three colours (blue, pink, clear), the upgraded 8in multi-touch tablet focuses on parental controls and educational applications for users aged six to 11. Tabeo first hit Toys R Us shelves in October 2012 pre-loaded with apps like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, as well as free educational programs, games, and books.

"From the day Tabeo arrived in Toys R Us stores nearly one year ago, we were incredibly pleased by the response from our customers who were excited to bring home a sophisticated, yet affordable, kid-safe tablet for the whole family to enjoy," chief merchandising officer Richard Barry said in a statement.

But the device quickly came under fire when Fuhu, the Los Angeles-based creator of the children's Nabi tablet, accused the toy store chain of copying its design, user-experience, and online services. Fuhu — also an exclusive Toys R Us partner — accused the retailer of neglecting to promote the Nabi and instead spending time stealing details for its own tablet.

Nonetheless, Toys R Us has moved forward with its next-gen tablet. "We are committed to continually evolving our products, and over the past year have spent considerable time talking to parents and children to help us enhance their Tabeo experience," Barry said. "We are delighted to deliver this new and improved tablet to our valued customers just in time for the upcoming holiday season."

The Tabeo e2 comes with a 1,024 x 768-pixel screen, one micro USB cable, and a charging pin for easy connection to a computer or wall outlet. It also boasts 8GB of storage — double its predecessor — and up to 64GB of memory.

Additionally, Toys R Us has applied an extra layer of safety, with customisable parental controls allowing adults to see when new apps are installed, block unwanted apps, and set time and date limits.

Log into the Tabeo app store to find games like Bejeweled 2, Temple Run 2, and Need for Speed Most Wanted, as well as creative learning apps and entertainment brands like Cartoon Network, WWE, and My Little Pony.

An official launch date has not been announced but customers can pre-order the tablet online now.