Toys “R” Us announced this weekend that it will begin selling its own branded tablet for kids. The 7-inch Tabeo tablet will cost $150, and goes on sale on October 1. Pre-orders for the device are available through ToysRUs.com now.
The Tabeo will run on a stripped-down version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and come pre-loaded with 50 apps, including games, books, and educational apps. Other Tabeo technical specs include a 1.0 GHz processor (of unknown make), HDMI output, 4GB of internal storage, a front-facing camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The devices also comes with a “drop-safe” cover to keep it protected from children’s inevitable disregard for fragility.
While Toys “R” Us says that the Tabeo will give its young users the “full Internet experience” (including Flash support!), the Tabeo will be limited to Toys “R” Us’s Tabeo Store, which the company says currently has around 7,000 apps. Parental controls will also come pre-loaded to keep that “full Internet experience” kid-friendly.
The Tabeo is far from the only tablet available from Toys “R” Us. Other child-centric options include the LexiBook Junior Tablet, MEEP! Kids Tablet, and the Kurio Kids Tablet. Toys “R” Us also sells more grown-up devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), and the Kindle Fire.
So, why is Toys “R” Us getting into the tablet game? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s because the toy seller is struggling to make ends meet. As with other big box retailers, Toys “R” Us has seen a drop in in-store sales over the past year, due in part to its inability to compete with online retailers who offer lowers prices. Unlike general electronics retailers, like Best Buy and Radio Shack, Toys “R” Us continues to benefit from the fact that its customers (parents) still like to buy its products in person.