Toys R Us Inc. is stepping into the heated tablet-computer wars with a $150 version for kids — including Wi-Fi connectivity, extensive parental control features and 50 pre-loaded apps that include popular games such as “Angry Birds” and “Fruit Ninja.”
But will kids want it and parents buy it? ”You can jam 50 apps into this and make it an overwhelming value,” said toy industry analyst Sean McGowan. “But at the end of the day, kids may decide it’s not cool and it’s either Apple or nothing.”
Some adults are questioning whether kids really need their own simplified — and child-proofed — gizmos.
News of the Toys R Us tablet, named tabeo, comes during a month that’s been filled with new gadget announcements. Amazon.com Inc. unveiled four new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet last week, and Apple Inc. is rumored to announce its own 7-inch mini iPad in the coming weeks. The tabeo tablet will come with nearly 20 pre-loaded game apps, almost 10 educational apps, about a dozen entertainment apps and a few book apps.
Parents can also prevent kids from accessing specific websites or spending 24 hours a day glued to the tablet. Parental controls allow people to set up boundaries for eight users, block 27 content categories and additional sites, and pre-set what days and times users can go on the Web. It runs on Google Inc.’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
Tabeo is available for pre-order now and will be sold exclusively by Toys R Us beginning Oct. 21.
Would your kid use a kids-only tablet?
As the tech savvy matriarch of the family, I find it important to keep my nieces & nephews on top of the latest tech trends and new releases. However, I’m still deciding if I’m more of a fan of smartphone/tablet use as entertainment vs education for children – check out a few facts below…
Many parents seem to think gadgets don’t just keep kids occupied — they can also help them grow and learn. 77% of parents think tablets are beneficial to kids, and 77% think they help develop creativity, according to Schools.com’s findings. More than a quarter of parents have downloaded apps for their kids. The top genres? Fun, at 46%; education, at 42%; and creative, at 28%.
Are you a tech-heavy parent raising tech-heavy kids? Do you think smartphones and tablets do more to help or hurt the development of kids today? Sound off below.
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