When you hear the words “kids’ tablet,” you probably set your standards pretty low. Maybe you’re thinking limited functionality, access only to pre-loaded programs, and limited Internet accessibility. The Nabi Kids Tablet looks to turn that notion on its head, releasing a fleshed out tablet marketed towards kids, and with a kid-friendly asking price.
The Nabi is an Android tablet, but the UI platform is designed specifically with the younger crowd in mind, with large icons for apps and not much else – it’s very simple and should be engaging for the six to eight year olds who will likely be using this device. It features a 1.1 dual core Cortex A-9 processor, and boasts a PowerVR SGX530 3D graphics processor for 3D gaming, which is fantastic considering the target audience. The Nabi has a 7” screen with 800×480 resolution and capacitive multi-touch functionality.
On the software side, there is a full complement of pre-loaded games, art programs, and books. The reader functionality is bolstered by read along tech that features audio playback and word-by-word highlighting. The Nabi comes with Angry Birds, Need for Speed, and Fruit Ninja installed, among other games. The device can even stream movies via Netflix or Roxio. Finally, as with most kids’ tech, there’s an educational component in the form of Fooz Kids University, a math program designed for kids Pre-K to 5th grade that is exclusive to the Nabi.
There are a couple of pretty cool features with the Nabi, the first being the age settings. The Nabi will slightly change in UI experience and functionality as your child ages, staying age-appropriate and engaging for the life-span of the device. Parents can enter a special user name and password, which will grant them full access to the Internet, an app store, email, and most other things you would expect from a full-fledged adult tablet. In kid mode, Internet access is still limited, so your kids won’t be running wild with the Nabi. Kids will still have access to a limited Nabi App Store, which has hundreds of apps available to download.
To round out the specs, there is a front-facing camera, 4 GB of storage plus a microSD slot, Flash support, and Wi-Fi b/g. The battery life promises five hours of continuous use, which isn’t great, but should be more than sufficient for kids’ use. The Nabi will also support movie and game cartridges from partner content providers. Soft cases for improved grip are available, as pictured above or in animal shapes.
The Nabi Tablet could be a great starter tablet for your kid that, while not top-notch, is by no means watered down. Plus, you won’t have to share your grown-up tablet with your kid as much, and risk a very expensive disaster. The Nabi Tablet is selling now from Toys ‘R’ Us for about $200, but word is that a price cut to $170 is coming in the next few months, though likely not before the holiday season is over.