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Kid-friendly Android tablet features drop-resistant cover

Nov 3, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Karuma announced a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed for kids. The PlayBase is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of storage, and an 800 x 600-pixel capacitive screen protected by a shock-absorbent silicone cover that can be folded back to use as a stand, says the company.

Singapore-based Karama wants to have it both ways with its new tablet, calling the PlayBase "for adults, built with kids in mind." The company goes on to say the device addresses "the growing demand for kid-friendly tablets."

The PlayBase joins a growing segment of kid-focused Android tablets. These include Brainchild's education-oriented Kineo, the toddler-focused Vinci Tab, as well as more mainstream tablets that are also said to be "kid-friendly," such as the Velocity Cruz StoryPad e-reader.

PlayBase, showing rubberized blue edging

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Like these tablets, the PlayBase is ruggedized for tough playroom duty. When its shock-absorbent silicone "PlayCover" is wrapped over the PlayBase, the tablet is said to be protected from drops, as well as rain, spills, dirt, and scratches. The slip-resistant rubberized cover can also be used as a stand, and the device includes high-quality stereo speakers, says the company.

Multiple colors are planned, although this seems to be a future option. The rear surface, meanwhile, is said to be composed of durable metal. The PlayBase measures 8 x 4.8 x 0.48 inches and weighs 11.46 ounces, Karuma says.

PlayCover deployed as stand

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The PlayBase is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor with built-in 3D acceleration, says Karuma. According to Engadget, this is the Cortex-A8 Rockchip RK2918 system on chip. (The RK2918 also powers the Archos 7c Home Tablet and Archos Arnova 10 tablets, as well as the new E-Fun Nextbook Premium 8 tablet.)

Rear view of PlayBase

The PlayBase is generously provisioned with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, which the company says will enable the customized Android 2.3 build to be updated to Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") within the next few months. The tablet is further equipped with 8GB of NAND flash, as well as a microSD slot that can hold 32GB cards.

The seven-inch, 800 x 600 capacitive touchscreen offers full multitouch support, says Karuma. The tablet is also equipped with Wi-Fi, Micro-USB and earphone ports, an accelerometer, and a front-facing camera. The battery lasts five hours under typical use and 60 hours on standby, says the company.

PlayBase ports

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The Android 2.3 software is equipped with a Karuma-designed "play-based learning game," said to be the first in a series of educational games with varying difficulty levels to challenge both children and adults. Android Market is also said to be available.

Stated Ashley Sayed, managing director, Karuma, "The idea of kid-proofing PlayBase came from my personal experience (and many others!), with my 2-year-old nephew who broke my tablet's screen, after dropping it on the ground. PlayCovers will offer extra grip for little hands and butter fingers and keep it safe from drops, knocks and bumps."


PlayBase will be available for pre-order starting Nov. 15 , with units arriving early December, for 169 U.K. Pounds ($270). The tablet will be available on Amazon and eBay starting Dec. 1. It is unclear whether the PlayCover is included in that price or is available as an option. More information may be found at the PlayBase website.

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