Toys ‘R’ Us debuts a tablet for kids called tabeo
September 11, 2012 11:01 AM
Parents considering a tablet computer for their children now have a new option. Toys 'R' Us Inc. has introduced tabeo, a tablet made for children that will be available Oct. 21.
The device, which uses Google Inc.'s Android operating system, has a 7-inch screen and includes 50 free games, education, entertainment and book apps. Tabeo is priced at $149.99 and will be sold only at Toys 'R' Us stores. It also can be pre-ordered on the Toys 'R' Us web site for store pickup.
The device includes parental controls that allow separate settings for up to eight users. Preset filters can block specific online content. Parents also can set tabeo's controls to limit online access to certain hours or days, says Toys 'R' Us, No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide.
Tabeo users also get access to the tabeo app store which contains more than 7,000 apps that Toys 'R' Us selects. The device also has a front-facing camera and can play videos and music. Tabeo cannot access to Google Play, Google Inc.'s app store.
"Last fall we started to see kids' tablets emerge as a trend," says a Toys 'R' Us spokeswoman. "Parents did not want to share their more expensive tablets with their kids, and kids wanted a tablet to play with, just like their parents."
Toys 'R' Us began developing the app in house more than a year ago and used focus groups that included children and parents to help with its design.
"Our strategy as a company is to develop differentiated product offerings that can only be found at Toys 'R' Us," she says.
A retailer-specific tablet is not a new idea. Amazon.com Inc., No. 1, and Barnes & Noble Inc., No. 41, each offer their own branded tablets. Amazon's newest tablet, the Kindle HD, includes Kindle FreeTime, a set of parental controls that can limit the type of content and time spent using the tablet. When FreeTime is enabled it the display background color on the tablet changes to blue from gray.