Samsung has announced the launch of a kid-friendly variant of its Galaxy Tab 3, the unimaginatively named Galaxy Tab 3 Kids. The new tablet will be basically the same as the original 7-inch tablet, but with a bright yellow makeover, a designed-for-kids skin running on Android 4.1, parental controls and chunky easy-to-grip cases.
When we first looked at the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, we concluded that it was a decidedly mid-range tablet, but back then it was being targeted at grown-ups. Now, compared to child-centric tablets like the InnoTab 3, LeapPad Ultra, and the Polaroid Kids Tablet, it's up there competing with the most powerful.
Its 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 7-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution certainly go a lot further in a marketplace where sub 6-inch screens are the norm, and Wi-Fi connectivity is something to shout about. It also features 3 megapixel rear and 1.3 megapixel front cameras, along with 8 GB of internal memory, a microSD slot, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Making the tablet child-friendly, Samsung has added a new simplified skin to Android 4.1 which will make the mobile operating system almost unrecognizable except for the selection of Google services. Bold colors, cute-ified illustrations and big buttons are order of the day, making the whole thing more like something from Nickelodeon than your typical Android tablet.
Because any tablet used by children is inevitably going to be dropped and bashed around, Samsung has also produced a chunky grip to add a little extra protection to the 111.1 x 188 x 9.9 mm (4.4 x 7.4 x 0.4 in) device. An optional Kids Case also adds a handle grip and multiple stand options, and comes with an easy-to-grip C Pen stylus (not to be confused with an S Pen) for a better drawing experience.
To keep parents happy, there are enough controls to reassure you that little Johnny isn't getting up to things he shouldn't. These include the ability to set daily usage time limits (which require a parent password to be exceeded, like with the Kindle Fire HD), and the option to block the use of certain apps. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids comes pre-loaded with top ranked kids apps, and there's also the addition of a brand new Kid's Store alongside Samsung Apps.
No pricing has yet been revealed, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids will be available in Korea in early September. This will be followed by releases around the world.