Toys’R'Us has taken a good long look at the increasingly crowded Android tablet market and decided it wants a minuscule sliver too. So starting October 1, every child’s favourite store will start selling a 7-inch, $US150 Android device called the Tabeo (Tabby-oh? Tabe-e-oh?) targeted at younger users.
But what makes the tablet kid-friendly? Besides a custom UI that keeps Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich stripped to the bare necessities, the Tabeo comes pre-installed with 50 different apps that cover everything from games to educational ebooks. Its custom app store promises to offer some 7000 additional titles, including favourites like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. There are also plenty of parental controls in the tablet powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, including the ability to remotely lock down or limit the device from a browser.
Toys’R'Us’ currently has the Tabeo listed on its website as being available for pre-order with a ship date of October 1, but the official press release indicates it won’t be hitting brick-and-mortar store shelves until the October 21. With competitors like the MEEP!, Vinci and LeapPad already targeting kids, this is certainly a sector that might be over-served already. Maybe Toys’R'Us has managed to build a $US150 Android tablet that’s a lesson in something more than abject frustration.