Toys R Us has a new proprietary tablet advertised on its website for pre-order. It’s called the Tabeo and it retails for $149. The tablet won’t actually hit store shelves until October 21st. The specs at this point are a little sketchy.
The Tabeo is a seven inch tablet that will have a 1.0 GHz processor,1 GB RAM, 4 GB storage and a front facing camera. Toys R Us has not posted the screen resolution or what type of processor or proprietary overlay this tablet might have. Since the other tablets marketed for children use Android 4.0, Tabeo will need to have that base operating system as a minimum.
It will come with 50 preloaded games, books and “educational” apps for a variety of ages so how many of them will be appropriate for your particular child is unknown. The tablet will come with Parental Controls to prevent your child from straying into forbidden online territory. It also looks like app store access might be limited to the Tabeo app store which means that your access to other books, and educational materials will be severely limited.
The site says that you can access “over 6,000 free downloadable apps available in the Tabeo Store.” According to AppBrain as of September 9, 2012 there are 509,071 on the market. Almost 30,000 of those apps are categorized as educational. Not all of those apps are free or even decent but Tabeo’s 6,000 certainly pales in comparison.
How does the Tabeo stack up against other child centered devices? Well depending on the screen resolution and processor type, it might or might night compare favorably. According to Engadget, the ARNOVA Child Pad is being sold as the Archos Child Pad. The ARNOVA Child Pad has very similar specs. It has a last generation ARM Cortex A8 1 GHz processor with 4 GB of storage. It’s a seven inch tablet with a screen resolution of 800 X 480 which is pretty bad compared to tablets like the Nexus 7 that has a 1280 X 800 screen resolution. The tablet runs Android 4.0 and presumably has access to the AppsLib store. The AppsLib store filters its apps so the only ones available are child appropriate. Both free and paid apps are included in the store.
Like the Tabeo, Child Pad comes with Parental Controls. Unlike the Tabeo, those Parental Controls are only good for 6 months but presumably can be renewed for a price. The Child Pad does come preloaded with a variety of different apps like games and learning apps. It also comes with exclusive Alvin and the Chipmunks material. The Archos Child Pad retails for $129.99
The Fuhu Nabi 2 Tablet is currently the most sophisticated child’s tablet with top of the line specs like a 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 quad core processor, 8 GB storage on device storage and 2 GB online storage. The screen resolution is 1024 X 600 which doesn’t equal the Nexus 7 but does beat the Child Pad. Of course, you pay for these improved specs with a $199 retail price. Like the other two it comes with a front facing camera and 1 GB of RAM. All three have slots for extra memory and HDMI output capabilities.
The Nabi 2 has Android 4.0 like Child Pad and an app store, App Zone 2.0, just for kids. It also includes Fooz Kids University and special features that are supposed to help children make good decisions like a Chore List and Treasure Box.
Toys R Us has priced the Tabeo squarely between the Archos Child Pad and the Fuhu Nabi 2. It will be interesting to see if the final specs fall between the two or if it will provide real competition to the Nabi 2 with comparable screen resolution, processor. Unlike the other two children’s tablets, you will only be able to purchase the Tabeo from Toys R Us either online or in the store (after October 21st). While it says that you can’t order the Tabeo for in store pickup, it follows that with “Orders placed for Store Pickup will receive online pricing and promotions.” Huh? While confusing it looks as if you will either order online or purchase it in the store.
For the moment, the Nabi 2 is the child’s tablet to beat. Let’s see if Toys R Us can actually do that with their upcoming tablet.