Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tablets R Us: Major US Toy Retailer Introduces Tabeo

Photo Credit: Toys "R" Us

With September barely two weeks old, the month has featured a greatest rollout of tablet computer hardware for a last time. Started with the new Sony Xperia tablet, Kobo and Amazon also revealed some major improvements to delivering mobile content to consumers. Much of the focus placed on the teen and adult market of portable technology, major retailer Toys “R” Us has announced the Tabeo as a young kid-centric tablet.

Not the first concept in kid-friendly tablets, the Toys “R” Us backed Tabeo is a high functioning device. Controlled through a 7-inch touch screen, the Wi-Fi enabled Tabeo is equipped with a built-in speaker, microphone and camera. Running on the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system, a child is actually interacting with a tablet similar to want parents utilize in more adult-like computing. In the case of the Tabeo, a range of parental controls is built into the software to restrict online access. Standard equipped with a 4-gigabyte internal hardware, the Tabeo’s memory is expandable up to 32 gigabytes using micro SDHC cards. While unclear by the photos, it would be desirable that some kind of childproofing would be put into place in order to prevent a young boy or girl from coming into contact alone with the tiny memory card.

Through 50 preloaded apps and the ability to upload over 7,000 free child appropriate programs through an App Store, Tabeo is capable is providing a wide span of educational and entertainment solutions to a child. Games such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and Tiki Golf are some of the more carefree playing experiences preloaded on the Tabeo. As a more educationally engaging interaction, the Tabeo provides several apps to help children gain familiarity with counting and the alphabet. Kids can also explore their inspiring shutterbug abilities with the Camera App and built-in photo editing capabilities of the tablet. The Tabeo has the ability to view several formats of still as well as video files including those presented at 1080p. The tablet also functions as an ereader with iStorybooks, Candy Factory and Little Red Riding Hood included as an introductory library ideal for bedtime.
Photo Credit: Toys "R" Us

When this announcement came for this latest tablet for children, the moment caused me to recall my childhood spent with a Whiz Kid computer. Less than sophisticated than any computer device any age group is used to more than 20 years later, I did remember spending quite a bit of time with the educational cards containing various programs. Another thing I recalled about my Whiz Kid was my constant dependence on my parents to get me more batteries. In the case of the Tabeo, a lithium ion battery can provide up to 7 hours of enjoyment for a child (more than enough for extended Car rides). The device is rechargeable by a USB power adapter.

Set to hit United States based Toys “R” Us stores for October 21st, parents can pre-order the device right now for $149.99. There appears to be no plans to introduce the Tabeo tablet to Canadian stores.

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