Kurio: The Android tablet for kids (pictures)
A new tablet maker, Inspiration Works, is hoping to succeed where others have failed and make an Android tablet designed specifically for kids without leaving adults out in the cold.
Launching in the UK in July and coming in three sizes - 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch - the idea is that the Kurio Tablet will satisfy both children and adults without having to compromise the features for either.
On the stats side of things the tablet will be powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (the prototype is running Gingerbread), 4GB of storage, and an SD card slot to expand that by a further 32GB. Importantly, the company says it will be Google approved, so you'll have access to the Android Market rather than having to rely on third-party options.
All three tablets will feature a capacitive touchscreen display with the 7-inch model sporting an 800 x 480 resolution, the 8-inch 800 x 600 and the 9-inch 940 x 600.
We weren't able to determine what processor the tablets use, or how much RAM they have, but HD video playback seemed to work just fine, with the company confirming there will be 1080p playback if connected to an external display, thanks to the included HDMI connector. You will also get a USB socket for connecting a camera or joystick.
Making sure you can video talk to your little one, the models will also come with cameras. The 8-inch and 9-inch tablets have a double camera offering: 0.3-megapixel front and 2-megapixel camera on the back, while the 7-inch model will have just a front facing 0.3-megapixel camera. Battery life is a promised 6 hours.
That's the adult bit. For the kids, the tablets will come with a dedicated app that parents can lock to make sure their kids only access the stuff they want them to.
Aimed at 4-15-year-olds, each kid will be able to have a customisable user interface and the company behind the Kurio tablet showed Pocket-lint future interface possibilities including Fireman Sam, Forever Friends and Moshi Monsters.
Working in a similar way to Zoodles - already available in the Android Market, and shipping on the HTC Flyer - parents will be able to manage up to eight children (shudder the thought), what apps they use and where they go on the web.
In a first, claims the company, there will be a whitelist as well as a blacklist, with parents able to block, at whim, anything they don't want their kids to see either via the URL directly or via the category, "nude", for example. It says that it will more than likely be actively blocking most sites, when in kids mode, so parents don't have to worry at all.
The company is hoping the success of the Kurio will be that it has a spilt personality rather than being just a tablet for kids. Something that can't be said for the LeapFrog LeapPad.
And yes, that child-proof rubberised case can be removed.
Other accessories planed include volume limiting headphones, cases, and a car headrest kit.
The Kurio tablets are expected to be available in July for £150, £180 and £200 respectively.