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Toys R Us Unveils Android Tablet For Kids 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children dept.
puddingebola writes "Can Toys R Us provide the iPad killer? The 'Tabeo' s a 7 inch Android tablet running ICS with a micro-SD card slot. From the article, 'Powered by a 1GHz processor, the multitouch device comes with 4GB of built-in storage but can handle up to 32GB with a micro SDHC card. The device comes with 50 preloaded games, books, and educational apps and offers access to 6,000 more apps through the Tabeo Store.'"
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Toys R Us Unveils Android Tablet For Kids

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  • by Mr. Kinky (2726685) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:37PM (#41291017)
    Boooya!
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:41PM (#41291069) Homepage

      They're just doing this now because manufacturers have found that the only people with the eyesight and dexterity to handle microSD cards are 7 year olds.

      QOTD: Only adults have difficulty with childproof caps.

    • Re:Android is a toy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:11PM (#41291475) Journal
      Also see the "Bicycles are toys" crowd, versus the people who have no car and don't pay insurance/gas/car payment and are happily bicycling to work, to school, grocery shopping, etc.
      • by XiaoMing (1574363)

        Also see the "Bicycles are toys" crowd, versus the people who have no car and don't pay insurance/gas/car payment and are happily bicycling to work, to school, grocery shopping, etc.

        That almost makes sense, were it not for the fact that the comparison fails here as you can get a fully functional (arguably more functional, better performing) laptop at the same price, if not less than many of the tablets out there (Sub-$400 Sandy bridge core i5's).

        It's like saying "Look at all the stuff I can get done on my $20k Ducati!" as an excuse borne out of misrepresented frugality and necessity.

  • Cost too much (Score:3, Insightful)

    by na1led (1030470) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:39PM (#41291045)
    Seriously, why would anyone pay $150 for this cheap thing when you can get much better. I'd rather pay $150 for the kindle fire, or even the nook. Unless this tablet is childproof from breaking, its not going to sell.
    • Re:Cost too much (Score:5, Informative)

      by SomePgmr (2021234) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:46PM (#41291141) Homepage

      The article says it comes in a "drop-proof bumper" and is preloaded with kids stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if it uses its own, curated, kid-safe market with some protection against inappropriate material or apps that include unguarded in-app purchasing.

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        The most important question is: does it have a fart app?

        I know that is the first thing that most kids want to play with on a tablet/smartphone is the fart app.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          I know that is the first thing that most kids want to play with on a tablet/smartphone is the fart app.

          And the sheer number of fart apps out there tells me that kids have correctly identified that farts are hilarious!! A friend's sister teaches elementary school, and she assures me that farts are the funniest thing ever.

          Though, I must confess, I deleted my fart apps within the first week; but I'm betting a fair few people still use theirs. :-P

        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          The most important question is: does it have a fart app?

          I know that is the first thing that most kids want to play with on a tablet/smartphone is the fart app.

          That's my theme you insensitive clod.

        • The fart app I great but I perfer the police siren app when your a passangger and you pass a cop you can have lots of fun.

    • Re:Cost too much (Score:5, Informative)

      by idontgno (624372) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:50PM (#41291187) Journal

      Unless this tablet is childproof from breaking, its not going to sell.

      You didn't read TFA. That's OK, this is Slashdot; it would have been weird if you had.

      Yeah. It is, to some extent, childproofed. Its edge is a shock-absorbent soft-plastic bumper, so odds are somewhat better that if a kid drops it on the sidewalk, it won't shatter into a dozen pieces.

      I couldn't see any other obvious signs of child-proofing (which would require engineering beyond even military ruggedization), but at least that obvious contingency is covered.

      • by na1led (1030470)
        Slapping a cheap rubber bumper is not what I call Child Proof, heck I can do that to any tablet.
        • by idontgno (624372)

          Well, sure. Knowing my 6-year-olds, they'd remove the bumper* and then drop the tablet on the sidewalk. They're just that talented.

          But that's the marketing spin.

          Like I said, if they were serious about kid-proofing, they'd ruggedize it like a $4,000 DoD job. And charge $4,000 for it. But I guess that market is already taken [google.com].

          *Knowing my kids, they'd remove the bumper even if it were an integral part of the tablet's case. They're just that stubborn.

      • I spent $10 and have the same 'shock-absorbent soft-plastic bumper' on my Kindle Fire.

      • If you saw the battle scars on my phone and laptop then you'd know that I need one of these. And I'm 36.

    • by Zemran (3101)

      I would much rather have a Samsung Tab if I wanted a tablet but I am not a child, so I am not in the target audience group. It is designed for children and it looks like it suits that group.

  • You see, now that my desktop is slower than an Android toy tablet, I finally have justification for an upgrade to Haswell next year.

    • by msauve (701917)
      "now that my desktop is slower than an Android toy tablet, I finally have justification for an upgrade to Haswell next year."

      ... or maybe Hasbro [hasbro.com]?
  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:43PM (#41291079)
    All they need is for hipster to buy it ironically.
    • Well, why not? Put Cyanogenmod on it once it's been rooted and it'll work as well as any other 7" tablet.

      • What's the point? i think it is a good idea even as is, crash proof and preloaded for kids?! it's great, "here kid have this now fuck off and dont mess with my stuff"

        • by idontgno (624372)

          GP's comment was about "hipsters" rooting and modding the OS. Unless you have a serious "you hipster kids get off my lawn" problem, that's not what this is about.

          But yeah. Reverse-cool-chic might make this low-price low-spec dog appeal to the "too mainstream" crowd, especially if it's technically amenable to romming.

  • not an iPad killer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mbaGeek (1219224) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:47PM (#41291155) Homepage

    my first thought is of someone yelling "developers, developers, developers!" (the success of the platform will be directly related to the amount of useful work that can be accomplished using it)

    this has the potential to carve out a niche - but has zero chance of "killing" the iPad - i.e. fundamentally different markets...

    • by Darth Snowshoe (1434515) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:58PM (#41291311)

      This. Why is "iPad-killer" even a thing? People buy iPads because they want iPads. If you offer them something better, cheaper... they will continue to buy iPads.

      • Heh, definitely reminds me of the iPhone4 vs HTC Evo [youtube.com] video.

      • This. Why is "iPad-killer" even a thing?

        Because the media has to sell advertising slots on no less than 4 24-hour "news" networks, not to mention innumerable websites and blogs.

        Much as it pains me to admit it, money drives our culture, friend, to the bitter end.

    • My first thought was "The Taboo? A kid's toy?!"
    • Everytime I think of that 'developers, developers, developers' video I crack up.

      But...developers? It's Android. It's open source. Anyone who wants to develop, can develop for it. Without cert and months of acceptance testing by Google.

      Success of the platform? It just surpassed iOS as the most used mobile OS. It has already started 'killing' the iPad, and will likely continue to do so unless Apple comes out with something significantly new or innovative to re-spike their sales. I don't think another iteratio

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:49PM (#41291177)

    Why do you thinks these products fail. Is because they are trying to kill the competition vs. Find their own niche where the competition fails to thrive.

    The iPad is here and it will stay as long as Apple Deems fit. Now that doesn't mean it need to be the only tablet on the block, but apple has left gaps for areas to success.
    1. Low End Market (The Kindle Fire area) Low end Tablet, for those who don't need the fancy iPad.
    2. Business Market. Businesses really don't care for the iPad closed nature. They need to do their own trusted tweaks to them.
    3. High End Market. (Microsoft?) We want a full featured PC but just an optional keyboard.

    Android had seemed to stay in the Me Too area. Its success in the phones wasn't as much as the success in the OS but because Apple stuck only on AT&T for too long and people didn't want to switch to AT&T for whatever reason (often good one), the tablets which had less success was because they are less tied to a carrier thus people make a choice. So you have an iPad or something else that is priced the same as an iPad and equal specs... You might as well go with the iPad.
    I am NOT saying Android is a bad OS or your tablet or phone is second par to the iPhone. But Apple got the image first, the rest are trying to takes its place in an area where Apple already has that place.

    • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:56PM (#41291267)

      2. Business Market. Businesses really don't care for the iPad closed nature. They need to do their own trusted tweaks to them.

      I don't think you understand the business market or the iPad. The iPad can be managed centrally. You can control which apps may be installed. You can do remote wipes, and you can install apps outside of the App Store. From a business perspective, there's not all that much to dislike about the iPad. It can't join AD, but then, neither can any other mobile device that isn't a laptop.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:09PM (#41291441) Homepage

        We're rolling out an EHR (electronic health record). Although the vendor supports iPads and 'hopes' to support Android tablets in the near future, we're not going the iPad route. Not because of administration but precisely because they're too popular. We think it's just going to be too easy to walk off with them.

        Yes, you can lock it down so no patient info could be compromised, but the issue is a perception that it's an iPad and therefore desirable / fenceable. We're not in the financial position to be able to supply the town with iPads. I'm hoping that we can get a 7" generic Android tablet that runs the the data entry part of the application.

        So, there are other valid reasons for wanting something other than a nice, shiny iPad....

        • I strongly suggest the Google Nexus 7, and perhaps put Cyanogenmod 10 on it depending on your needs. Cyanogenmod 10 is definitely a plus; the question is does it meet HIPPA, or more precisely if it's compromised can you be blamed for using CM10 versus nobody (even Google, they didn't supply this for HIPPA) being blamed for using what came standard?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DerekLyons (302214)

          You think nobody is going to walk off with an unsecured tablet that's not an iPad? I have a bridge and some land in Florida to sell you.

      • I don't think you understand the business market or the iPad. The iPad can be managed centrally.

        I agree.

        You can control which apps may be installed.

        Yes.

        You can do remote wipes,

        Yes.

        and you can install apps outside of the App Store.

        You can do what now?!? I'm no expert on centrally managed iPads but I'm pretty sure there is no way to install apps that are not in the app store regardless of whether it's centrally managed or not. If what you say is true, why should businesses be allowed to do what ordinary

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          If a company writes an internal application, you can get a distribution license that allows it to be installed on devices for that company. It is part of the enterprise distribution. You basically need to identify and authorize each device individually, but it isn't that hard a job to do.

          Just as a developer you get to install your stuff on 100 devices without doing anything extra. I believe there are few restrictions on the enterprise distribution and that lets you distribute to a lot more than 100 devic

      • I don't think you understand the business market or the iPad. The iPad can be managed centrally. You can control which apps may be installed. You can do remote wipes, and you can install apps outside of the App Store. From a business perspective, there's not all that much to dislike about the iPad. It can't join AD, but then, neither can any other mobile device that isn't a laptop.

        From a corporate IT perspective the biggest problem with the iPad is the need for yet another third party app and server to provide secure email in an exchange environment.

        First we had to install a BES server because everyone had a blackberry. But setup is easy and maintenance is minimal. The fix for literally 90% of the problems we see with blackberries is "pull the battery out for 10 seconds then put it back in".

        With iDevices you have to install something like a "Good" server, then install the Good applic

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          Not true at all. I have an Exchange server with a number of iPads and iPhones connected to it with nothing else. This replaced running BES on a virtual server under Windows Server 2008 - because they didn't support the 64 bit server environment.

          The Good stuff is an option, but it absolutely isn't required. I believe it allows synchronization of tasks and notes which Exchange Active Sync does not. If you need tasks and notes to be synchronized wirelessly this may be why someone is feeding you this line a

          • Sorry, Good is already heavily integrated into our environment (unfortunately, not my call). Does the native exchange support include app-level or device level encryption and remote wipe capability? Maybe that's why they wanted it. Who knows what the muckity mucks base their decisions off of. But it's good to know there's better native support than I thought, at least.

      • 1. Custom App development/Using GNU open source applications.
        2. Insuring a lock down of features such as a Camera.
        3. Connecting to alternate VPN connections.

        the iPad is good for most modern IT infrastructures. However there are a lot of older infrastructures out there that can be done with a PC but now with an iPad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Nadaka (224565)

      Android is a me too phone?

      Tell that the the android phones with physical keyboards, hdmi output, or sd card slots. These are things that the iPhone never did.

    • I didn't see any mention in the article of the tablet being an iPad killer. There were iPad links, but informational ones. The iPad killer text was either applied by the submitter or the editor as a poor man's way to drum up controversy.

    • by sootman (158191)

      > Why do you thinks these products fail. Is because
      > they are trying to kill the competition vs. Find their
      > own niche where the competition fails to thrive.

      The company is, in fact, trying to do exactly what you describe: finding a niche that the competition isn't fully addressing. It's the writers who are throwing around the *-killer meme.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      It seems to me that finding a niche market is exactly what this product is about. I'm not sure I've even seen a tablet maker call their product an "iPad killer", though I suppose it might have happened. I've only seen it used in breathless headlines on Slashdot and other tech websites.

      Whenever I see a headline of the form "Is X the Y killer?" I wince, because the answer has to be "no." Y is part of the conversation because it dominates some particular market segment. That dominance is not going to disappea

  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:50PM (#41291193) Homepage
    If you want to get something educational for your children, why not just buy the simplest Kindle [amazon.com] and load it with books? Sure, you won't have a color screen and flashy games, but for younger children the various electronic features will probably be enough to satisfy their desire to explore. People often overestimate what it takes to keep a child staring at a screen for hours on end. Tthey could actually read something edifying and there wouldn't be quite the same distractions as an Android tablet.
    • A curated app^Hadvertising store. That's what is going to be the big added feature.

      Lots of parents won't have the time nor inclination to lock and iPad or a generic Android pad down. At least that's what they're hoping. And in doing so, they open up the definition of 'customer'. You have both the parent that bought the device AND the advertiser that is buying space in the 'app' store.

      Now, if only Apple had thought of that.....

      • by afidel (530433)

        That's why the Kindle HD is offering parental controls =)
        In fact it's why I'm seriously considering one for the kids over the Nexus 7, if they make it as easy to implement as the XBOX-360 does then it's a killer feature. I'll of course root it and install the Google Play store for my user, but the kids can have a nice PG-13 experience with game timers.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      If you want to get something educational for your children, why not just buy the simplest Kindle [amazon.com] and load it with books? Sure, you won't have a color screen and flashy games, but for younger children the various electronic features will probably be enough to satisfy their desire to explore. People often overestimate what it takes to keep a child staring at a screen for hours on end. Tthey could actually read something edifying and there wouldn't be quite the same distractions as an Android tablet.

      Not all kids can read [1]. Furthermore, I just went to my daughter's K-grade parent teacher conference and the teacher plainly said that the iPad can elicit learning that the computer or analog equivalents can not... and the teacher in fact was *not* an iPad fan, she just uses her class iPad (loaded with only educational apps) as a reward for kids who behave properly.

      And a generic "tablet" doesn't necessarily win here, either - it needs to be sufficiently non-laggy for Kids to feel it's immersive. False

      • by HycoWhit (833923)
        Have a few different tablets. I've got an Asus Android, the wife and iPad--and the kid a Nabi2--all work great. At just shy of 27 months--the kid does a great job navigating any of the tablets (and our phones for that matter..) Basically knows how to get to her apps--open and close, plus of course trace the letters or follow along. I'm thinking laggy interfaces and the like have to do with the generation--the Asus and Nabi2 are both Tegra 3 chipsets and feel much snappier than the wife's iPad 2.
    • by HycoWhit (833923)
      I'm using a Nabi2 to teach my kid to read and write--working pretty good so far. The Monarch OS used on the Nabi2 works well for the little ones. A quick code--and poof--it is a grown-up's android tablet. As a plus--have a bunch of PBS/NickJr/DisneyJR shows loaded on--makes for some easy entertainment on longer car rides and if we get to enjoying a meal in a restaurant longer than 2year old can take. Oh and you get to teach self control by taking it away....

      Kindles are nice--just probably better for
  • by LordNicholas (2174126) on Monday September 10, 2012 @02:57PM (#41291279)

    As a nerd, but also as someone in the mobile games business, I'd say there's definitely potential here. All they need is a big sticker saying "No accidental app purchases!"

    Mobile games on an iPad run the risk of Junior buying $500 worth of virtual currency. The same moms who aren't tech-savvy enough to disable that feature are the same ones who'd more than happily spend $150 on a kid-proof Tabeo. There's also a dollar value on the fact that Mom doesn't need to spend any time or energy ensuring Junior doesn't download anything objectionable.

    Those are just two examples- there are plenty of others.

    • There's also a dollar value on the fact that Mom doesn't need to spend any time or energy ensuring Junior doesn't download anything objectionable.

      It's got Wifi access and a web browser, and is Flash-capable. So much for not downloading anything objectionable....

      • There's also a dollar value on the fact that Mom doesn't need to spend any time or energy ensuring Junior doesn't download anything objectionable.

        It's got Wifi access and a web browser, and is Flash-capable. So much for not downloading anything objectionable....

        Ha, I see it now...

        *perusing Little Johnny's browser history*
        Hmm, let's see... disney.com, OK, pbskids.org, Fine, hidemyass.com... JOHNNY! GET YOUR LITTLE ASS DOWN HERE!

  • This whole Android vs. Apple situation reminds me of the beginning of the (Intel) PC vs. Apple Macs. MS DOS was ubiquitous, any manufacturer could use it, and so was Windows 3.1. Sure, they were uglish, but anyone who was ready to pay Microsoft, was free to load them on their PCs, be it workstations or laptops. And while Macs had an early advantage, they pretty soon became a niche player.

    It seems like Android is becoming as ubiquitous as DOS+Windows were back in the early to mid 90's.

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:00PM (#41291333)

    All well and good, until Tabio dies in a freak accident. Next thing you know, they're building a super-powerful robot made in Tabio's image with Tabio's memories.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:05PM (#41291387) Homepage

    It's a good idea, but $150 is too much. Generic 7 inch tablets are now down to $40-75 on Alibaba. [alibaba.com] This thing will probably drop below $100 on December 26th.

    The future of computing is $79.95 tablets in blister packs at the convenience store. Intel, Microsoft, and Apple are desperately trying to stop this.

    • by Abreu (173023)

      I bought a $99 7-inch Archos tablet in Target last time I was in the USA. It was sooo bad, I had to return it the next day. I couldn't even install cyanogenmod in it.

      • Yep, once I clicked on the article to find out the most crucial aspect of this - the price - I said it was about $50 too much. Considering you can get a $200 used ipad 1 or a $300 refurbished ipad 2, $150 is too much for a second tier chi-tab with a few apps on it. Shoot, over a year ago I bought a $150 android tablet with about the same guts as an ipad 1. I could probably pick that up for $80-90 now.

        Kindle Fire's aren't much more than this either, and they have one heck of an ecosystem for free movies/t

    • by sootman (158191)

      > The future of computing is $79.95 tablets in
      > blister packs at the convenience store.

      Yeah, the same way that cheap MP3 players from drugstores totally own the portable music player market. Oh, wait... [google.com]

      There is room in the world for good products. Not coincidentally, Apple is the most valuable company in the world right now because of that.

      Furthermore: the dream of ubiquitous computers, so cheap they're practically disposable, goes back quite a ways. 20 years ago, the dream was for something you could

  • Isn't it

    Toys
    (U+042F) [fileformat.info]
    us

    ?

    • by fm6 (162816)

      You mean Toys U+1D19 [fileformat.info] Us. This isn't Soviet Russia yet!

      The way Slashdot filters out most non-ASCII characters in posts is lame. It dates back to before they started used UTF8 encoding and long since stopped making sense.

      • Thanks for the correction. It was supposed to be funny, but I ended up learning stuff instead. Well, there goes my theory on ToyRus/FSB conspiracies.
  • by xybe (525773) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#41291573)
    According to Engadget [engadget.com] this is a rebranded Archos Child Pad.
  • Why is Toys R Us producing a kid's tablet, instead of LeapFrog or even Amazon?

  • I'm multiple decades beyond the target market of this gadget, but being clumsy as hell, I might want to give it a look. Just have to avoid touching the Barney [youtube.com] icon!

    • by ilikenwf (1139495)
      This will need the AOKP/Cyanogenmod treatment, but otherwise it seems like a decent tab for hacking and general use...I mean, there are cheaper/easier alternatives, but these things will get really CHEAP after Christmas.
      • by fm6 (162816)

        there are cheaper/easier alternatives,

        Like what? This thing is at least $50 less than the leading 7-inch tablets. [cnet.com]

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Dealextreme is littered with 7" tablets for under $100. Check their new stuff category to see whatever they've got most recently, you usually don't have to scroll far unless they just got a new container of crap in. Tablets with 10" IPS displays are now under $200, as well.

      • This will need the AOKP/Cyanogenmod treatment, but otherwise it seems like a decent tab for hacking and general use...I mean, there are cheaper/easier alternatives, but these things will get really CHEAP after Christmas.

        hmm...

        Render farm?

  • by microTodd (240390) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:54PM (#41292127) Homepage Journal

    There's already other products on the market in this space. But I guess this one is interesting because it runs android?

    So I'm not a shill, but my kids both have a Leappad. http://www.leapfrog.com/leappad2/ [leapfrog.com] They are very nice...run off 4 AAs for a week or two, and seem pretty indestructible. And its only $100. PRoprietary walled garden, I know, but the apps come either downloadable or via a dedicated SIM-like card. Works well enough for me.

    I guess my point is...I don't know what my point is. Maybe the Toysrus one is interesting because its Android? So it can run any android app? But although my kids prefer my iPad I much rather they use a kid-proofed tablet.

    • They are very nice...run off 4 AAs for a week

      O RLY

      Looking around the site you linked to, one easily finds: [leapfrog.com]

      Battery Life Up to 9 hours

      Welp, that was easy enough to debunk.

      So, let's see: your LeapPad2 costs $100, does not have access to a vast array of applications (it is walled in a very tiny garden), has a 5" screen and to top it all off, it doesn't come with rechargeable batteries.

      And you wonder "why this one (the Tabeo) is interesting"? Compared to that LeapPad, even a turd with a touchscreen would be interesting.

      • by microTodd (240390)

        I guess for my kids, 9 hours is a week. HOw many hours do you let your kids play with a tablet every day? maybe 2 hours each on fri, sat, sun, then 1 hour some schooldays, and some schooldays not at all.

  • Toys'R'us used to carry the Nabi tablet, which has been replaced by the Nabi 2. In its review, Wired said that the Nabi 2 may be the best Android tablet available for anybody. Of course, that distinction has since been lost to the Nexus 7 and others, but it's a very nice tablet. I was wondering why Toys R Us was not carrying the Nabi 2. Now we know.

  • Sigh, not one post could I find that even mentioned the Motorola (Google) Xoom, which I have (WiFi, Jelly Bean).
    Which I feel (of course) beats em all.

    Yet, I don't tell people I watch NetFlix on my Xoom as it gets blank stares, I just say I use an ipad.

    So representation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_Xoom [wikipedia.org]
  • it doesn't have a 10" screen, so it fails in that area. It is up against 100's of similar Android devices, so they had better do a lot of support stuff, and it is about 2 years to late. It is a tablet from a toy retailer, I can't see that as an iPad killer. A hammer is an iPad killer!

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