Samsung today confirmed its plans to launch a version of its Galaxy Tab designed for kids with the announcement of the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids tablet. The tablet will come pre-loaded with kid-friendly apps and games, a Kid’s Store, and parental control features that include whitelisting capabilities, time management features, password protected access, and more. Samsung will also offer an easy-to-grip Kids Case and, for drawing, a C Pen, which ships with the case.
The company says the tablet will first arrive in Korea next month, before rolling out to China, Europe, the U.S., Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. The tablet includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a seven-inch 1024 x 600 display, front- and rear-facing cameras, and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable via a microSD slot up to 32GB. The tablet runs the Jelly Bean (4.1) version of Android.
The market for kid-specific tablets is still relatively niche. Some companies, like Leapfrog, make tablets that are more like electronic, educational toys than they are mom or dad’s iPad. They run apps and games, but they’re not about being able to browse the ever-expanding mobile app store for the latest and greatest from the child’s favorite characters and big-name kids’ brands. You get a curated selection of apps, but not some of the better learning apps designed specifically for Apple’s iPad.
The same holds true for Android. Across the Android platform, there are plenty of others hoping to compete in the kid tablet space, like Nabi or Toys R Us’ own Tabeo tablet, as well as a slew of low-end Android tablet offerings. Amazon’s own Kindle Fire makes for a decent “kid” tablet, as well, without the limitation of being only a kid’s toy. Instead, it ships with software that lets parents put the tablet into a kid mode, which includes parental controls and time-limiting features, as well as pre-approved apps. When the kids finish playing, parents can then use the tablet for themselves, making it more of a family computer.
With kids-only tablets, price point is key. Tablets need to stay under $200, generally speaking. For something mom and dad can’t share, and kids will soon outgrow, $150ish is even more palatable for what feels more like a stocking-stuffer purchase than a real technology investment. Anything too expensive leads parents to consider paying just a few dollars more for a low-end iPad Mini ($329).
Samsung, however, has not yet announced pricing, so it’s hard to evaluate where this new tablet will fit in.
More details are on Samsung’s site here.