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Tablet for toddlers runs Android 2.3

Aug 1, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A start-up called Vinci is taking pre-orders at for a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed as an educational tool for toddlers. The safety-compliant Vinci Tab is equipped with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 4GB or 8GB of flash, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, a three-megapixel camera, a wrap-around handle, and a variety of early-learning apps.

The Vinci Tab is designed for a niche where competition is hard to come by: Android tablets for toddlers. Other educational tablets have emerged, but they tend to start at the kindergarten level at the earliest (see farther below). Early-learning specialists continue to debate whether electronic gadgets are appropriate for toddlers, who are still developing their hands-on, tactile understanding of the 3D world.

Vinci Tab, showing interactive game

Optimized for children ages 0 through 4, the Vinci Tab sports an unusual protective soft-cornered handle that wraps around the tablet, holding it in place with struts. As a result, the device measures 10.0 x 7.25 x 0.625 inches and weighs in at a fairly hefty 1.28 pounds.

The Vinci Tab is claimed to comply with the ASTM F963 toy safety specification. The handle uses non-toxic medical-grade material from GLS Corp., called Versaflex, which is said to be soft and grippable. The tablet housing itself uses GE Cycolac materials, says Vinci.

The seven-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen provides multitouch support and a tempered glass screen similar to the safety glass used in car windows, says the company. There was no mention as far as we could see of IP6x protection against liquids.

Vinci Tab from all angles

(Click to enlarge)

In Vinci Tab lacks WiFi or 3G radios, thereby minimizing potentially dangerous emissions, claims Vinci. Updates are instead downloaded via a micro-USB 2.0 port and a Windows or Macintosh desktop PC, says the company.

The Vinci Tab runs a heavily modified version of Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") on an unnamed 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor with 512MB RAM, says Vinci. The device ships with a microSD slot, as well as 4GB or 8GB internal storage depending on whether one purchases the VL-1001 or VH-2001 model, respectively.

The high-end VH-2001 also has a longer lasting, six-hour 6400mAH battery. By comparison, the 4GB VL-1001 offers three-hour, 3200mAH battery, according to Vinci.

Vinci Tab port detail

In addition to the micro-USB port, the tablet is equipped with a microphone and speakers, as well as a three-megapixel back-facing camera. Video playback is supported at up to 720p at 30 frames per second, according to the company. Operating temperatures are said to range from 32 to 95 degrees F (0 to 35 deg. C).

Music video on the Vinci Tab

The Vinci early learning software collection includes games, story books, and music videos, presented based on developmental learning concepts. Instead of scoring answers numerically, an "Emotional Reward System" uses a combination of voice, sound, color, and animation "to tell your child their choice is right," says Vinci.

What — no Angry Birds?

A series of interactive 3D animated games focus on developmental areas including fine motor skills, language, social/emotional issues, cognitive/knowledge, and sensory/memory, says the company. Animated music videos are said to be based on Vinci's "Baby Haha — Music Video Adventures" music album.

Android learning tablets

Other companies are also pointing their mobile devices at the K12 market, although as far as we know, not yet at the pre-school scene. In February, educational tools and software company Brainchild announced a $300, Android 2.1-powered, educational tablet for the K-8 market called the Kineo. Designed to run the company's web-based "Achiever" software suite, the tablet is built around an 800MHz dual-core processor and offers a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB, and SD expansion, according to the company.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), meanwhile, is developing a tablet version of its XO netbook based on the Marvell Armada "Moby" tablet. Like the XO netbooks, the XO tablets will be seeded throughout the world for K12 students in developing countries, and will offer the Linux-based, educationally-focused Sugar operating system.

Earlier this year, U.K. games developer David Braben launched an OLPC-like foundation called Raspberry Pi, hoping to sell a tiny ARM/Linux single board computer aimed at K12 computer education. Raspberry Pi hopes to sell the 700MHz, ARM11-based device for as little as $25, stocked with Ubuntu.


The Vinci Tab is available for pre-orders now at, with the 4GB VL-1001 starting at $389. Shipments will begin on August 10, says Vinci. More information may be found at the Vinci website.

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