Toys R Us introduces Nabi: a low cost, kid-centric Android tablet

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Toys R Us is synonymous with kids, so you shouldn’t be surprised to hear they have teamed up with app developers to offer a kid-centric Android tablet. What is surprising is the price. Available for just $199, the Nabi tablet joins Amazon’s Kindle Fire as one of the few sub $200 dollar Android tablets available in the market today. While we all love a good price… what exactly are we getting with the Nabi tablet?

The Nabi is a 7″ kid-optimized tablet which features:

  • The award-winning Fooz Kids University, a Nabi exclusive with over 22,000 state standardized math skills covering grades Pre-K through 5th.
  • 30+ apps from drawing and painting to creating professional quality books allow for creative exploration that can be shared with friends and family.
  • A 7-inch brilliant 1080p display that lets children watch their favorite TV shows and movies at home or on-the-go.
  • 30 pre-loaded e-Books make stories come to life and encourage children of all ages to read.
  • Tilt-sensor controls and a Multi-Touch display put children in control of their favorite games such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Need for Speed.
  • The Nabi App Store
  • Its Powerful Enough for Mom: With the tap of a button and password, mom can enter “Mommy Mode” and enjoy a full-featured Android tablet to browse the Web and use her favorite apps and games.

The kid optimized UI and app bundles make it easy to just hand over the tablet and let your kids go, but for those of us who actually care about what’s making this thing tick, let’s take a look at the specs that electronista has posted:

  • A 7″ WVGA screen (which is contradictory to the Toys R Us description of a 1080p display) Update: 1080p can only be achieved through HDMI playback
  • A 533MHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor
  • An embedded PowerVR SGX530 graphics core to give it 3D gaming
  • A front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera
  • 4GB of onboard storage
  • A 3,000mAH rechargeable lithium-polymer
  • Nabi App Store

As you can see, the specs are well… kid friendly, and certainly don’t compare to tablets like the Kindle Fire; so one has to decide if having everything customized for your kids and ready to go (the software) is worth the sacrifice in the hardware. That’s a decision only you can make, but personally, I feel better having a tablet that can grow with my kids and be tailored to any age versus something that might be “outgrown.”

If you are interested in the Nabi, you can head on over to Toys R Us where they have begun taking pre-orders. The device is scheduled to start shipping November 22, so there’s plenty of time to grab one before the holidays. What do you parents think? We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment in the box below.

Source: Toys R Us via electronista

131 COMMENTS

  1. I have a bunch of friends thinking about getting a tablet for their kids but this being inexpensive is kind of a bad call.  They are all looking at those cheap pandigital etc… tablets that are resistive but are only $60- $80 and honestly for a kid I can’t blame them.  If I was going this route for a kid I would just get them a kindle fire.  Don’t know why they couldn’t lower the price on this?

  2. Looks like a Rena3 tablet. If it is, this really is a pretty good tab (despite the current firmware bugs – specifically Youtube HD smooth playback). Plays all non-Tegra specific games and is great for Netflix. The display is very response with the slightest touch. Battery (on mine) is 5 to 6 hours playing videos. Reading PDFs in landscape mode is crisp and legible. Wireless would be B/G/N with great range.

  3. Can you get these apps for the kindle fire? I am more interested in the educational aspects of the nabi. i already bought the fire and hate searching for the apps so the pre-loaded items might be worth it to me. my daughter is 6 so by the time she outgrows the nabi i would think the fire will be obsolete anyway- she can just have an ipad 12 by then 😉

    • I don’t believe that particular app suite is available to the Kindle Fire but there’s another all-in-one kid app with lost of content called Zoodles. See if that’s available, here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/Zoodles-Kid-Mode-Play-Learn/dp/B0052UOONC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=mobile-apps&qid=1321683842&sr=1-1

  4. The specs may not compete with fire, but the fire, when dropped once, is gone. To buy an otter like cover to fit would be another $50, so now you’ve got 250 in the tablet, which is pushing it. Also , having free access to wireless with  no parentals means accidental purchases and unknown exposures, which you don’t have to deal with here. Zoodles is ok, but my understanding is you can’t get google apps on the fire?  Im not rooting a $200 tab.  I looked into leappad, but find it a ridiculous proposition. At $100, and add another $10-15 for the charger, $15-20 for rechargeable batteries and charger, and then $25 a pop for downloads, within a month or two you’re at $200 and you still have only a kids toy that will max out at age 7. So the question is to get a cheap craig or coby and root it and customize, then buy a rubber case to fit (if you can find one, which i cannot except maybe a gumdrop at $50), or save yourself the hassle and spend an extra $20-30 for a pretty rugged tab that you don’t have to supervise. THoughts?

  5. The 7″ display is stated as 800 x 480 on the Toys R Us website.  Maybe it was corrected or added sometime after your post.  The 1080p video is via HDMI to an external display (also stated on website).

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