In an amazingly short amount of time, the market for kid-friendly but functional tablets has gotten very crowded. The newest entrant in the fray is PlayBase, but this 7” tablet manages to pack in a few extra features that differentiate it from the rest of the pack.
The specs are fair for a kids’ tablet – the PlayBase runs on Android 2.3, has 8 GB of on-board storage, and runs on a 1.2 GHz single-core processor. There is a 0.3 MP front-facing camera, though there is no mention of a rear-facing camera. There are ports and slots for Micro SD, Micro USB, and headphones.
The base model, the PlayBase Go, is 9.7 mm thick and weighs 300 grams, making it one of the more portable kid-friendly tablets on the market today. It’s video calling compatible, which is great for kids with parents who need to take frequent business trips. It also comes with the PlayCover, a soft case that doubles as a kickstand for movie watching (in 800 x 480 resolution).
The PlayBase Plus is where the PlayBase becomes really intriguing. The PlayCover that comes with the PlayBase Plus is made of medical grade silicone that is promised to reduce bacteria growth on the tablet by 99.99%. Considering that we’re talking about kids here, that’s an ideal feature for a kid-friendly tablet. The laminated screen is scratch-resistant. SafePlay presents the necessary set of parental controls, allowing parents to create safe zones that only include apps approved for their children’s use. That is backed up by NetNanny, which lets parents in on exactly what their children are doing on the device, and includes a profanity filter, safe search filter, and age-based profiling.
There is also a unified email inbox and access to cloud-based storage, which is nice, but I’m not sure how that’s a major selling point for a kid-friendly tablet. If kids are packing multiple inboxes these days, I’m more out of touch with today’s kids than I thought.
The PlayBase Go is selling for $189, while the Plus model is selling for $229 on the PlayBase website.