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Kids’ Android tablet a hit at Toysrus.com

Dec 8, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

Fuhu announced it has begun shipping its “Nabi” Android tablet for kids, and says pre-order stock at Toysrus.com has already sold out. Running Android 2.2 on a dual-core 544MHz Cortex-A9 processor, the “Nabi” offers a seven-inch, capacitive 800 x 480 pixel screen, Wi-Fi, mini-HDMI, microSD, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1.

After three weeks of pre-order sales on Toysrus.com, Fuhu's Nabi tablet for kids has sold out, ranking as the top seller in the Electronics and Entertainment category, and the number one "Customer Favorite" product, according to the company. A new production run is already underway, its manufacturer says.


Nabi

The Nabi is just one of several Android-based kiddie tablets aiming to make a splash for the holidays. These include Karuma's PlayBase, Brainchild's education-oriented Kineo, and the toddler-focused Vinci TabConsumer Reports just released a round-up review of children's tablets, and concluded that the Vinci Tab model — the only Android model in the review — offered the most advanced features, but was not worth the $480 price.


Nabi port detail

The Nabi has a much more appealing $200 price, and offers a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor instead of the Vinci Tab's Cortex-A8 chip. The cores are clocked at just 533MHz, but Fuhu claims the device can play back 1080p video on a connected TV via the available mini-HDMI port.

The tablet is further equipped with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash storage, and a microSD slot, says Fuhu. Unlike many of the child-oriented tablets, the Nabi's seven-inch screen — delivering  800 x 480 pixels, with capacitive multitouch — does not appear to be protected with any special scratch- or water-resistant materials.


Nabi dimensions and side view

A front-facing videocam of unknown resolution is available, along with mini-USB and 3.5mm audio ports, and a microphone, says Fuhu. Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11b/g wireless radios are also said to be available, along with a G-sensor.

The Nabi weighs 20.46 ounces (580 grams), and measures 8.43 x 5.51 x 0.94 inches (214 x 140 x 24mm), says Fuhu. The curvy design features rubberized bumpers that can be augmented with optional "interchangeable arms, legs, heads and handles in a variety of colors and characters," according to the company (see image below). The 3400mAh battery is said to last up to five hours with continuous use.


Optional personalization accessories

The Nabi supplies a highly customized version of Android 2.2 tailored for kids. However, a parental password provides full access to the web, the app store, email, and other Android features, says the company.

The tablet ships with more than $150 worth of pre-loaded games, music, apps, and ebooks, according to Fuhu. Also available are 15 free games, 30 free e-books, and 50 free songs, says the company. Educational fare includes Fuhu's K-5 math application, Fooz Kids University, as well as an e-book reader that features read-along technology with word highlighting and audio playback.

Pre-loaded games are said to include Angry Birds, Need for Speed, and Fruit Ninja. In addition, more than 500 apps, games, and other content are available from the Nabi App Store.

Nabi reviewed

A Time Techland review of the Nabi posted on Dec. 7 praises the tablet for its $200 price, fairly high-end specs, and huge quantity of pre-loaded apps. However, performance varied widely depending on apps, with Angry Birds doing just fine, but Flash-based content performing particularly slowly, says the review.

In another good news, bad news observation, reviewer Jared Newman notes that Netflix is pre-loaded, "but there's no way to require parental supervision to get into the app."

In the end, Newman dings the tablet for lacking polish, but appears to approve overall. "I applaud the concept of Nabi," writes Newman. "Children are apparently clever enough to manipulate grown-up tablets, so they need a children's tablet that takes them seriously."

Stated Jim Mitchell, CEO of Fuhu, "Nabi is reimagining the tablet — it's no longer just for adults."

Availability

The Nabi tablet is shipping now, available exclusively at the ToysRUs and BabiesRUs stores for $200, but is temporarily out of stock. More information may be found at Fuju's Nabi site.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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