It’s no secret that kids readily latch on to new technology with relative ease—many a parent has been wondering just how his/her young children have managed to master the family computer or reprogram the TV remote. Video games, including handheld systems, have been entertaining kids over long stretches of time for decades, and more recently parents have found themselves handing over their smartphones, Nexuses, iPads, and other mobile devices to keep the young ones occupied.
With access to all sorts of content ranging from books to TV shows and games to music, a tablet can make for a great source of enjoyment for many children, but there is one serious reservation many might feel before passing what amounts to portable glass screen to a six-year-old—tablets are fairly expensive and rather fragile, and kids certainly are not renowned for being particularly careful individuals.
Samsung announced this past week that it intends to resolve this shortcoming by releasing a child-friendly version of its new Galaxy Tab 3 tablet. The 7” Kids edition of the slate can be enclosed in a silicone case to prevent damage from drops and tumbles, or slipped inside an optional carrying handle-equipped hard shell that will stand up to heavier abuse.
“It’s no secret that kids are using technology more than ever before,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication for Samsung Electronics. “We saw an opportunity to create a device just for kids that provides them with an intuitive, fun and kid-friendly user experience filled with rich, interactive and educational content that parents will love.”
The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is designed to provide a more child-friendly experience in terms of day-to-day usage too. It will ship with educational games, e-book apps, other media, and what Samsung describes as the “top ranked kids’ apps” preloaded onto the device, as well as a new Kid’s Store designed for “driving the educational possibilities of technology for kids.”
Parents will also have tighter control over their children’s activities than they do with most other tablets, as an application manager allows them to determine which apps their kids do or do not have access to. A time management feature will give them the ability to set what period of day or length of time their children can spend playing with the tablet; when time is up a lock-screen will pop up and a password will need to be entered to resume usage.
In terms of performance the Kids tablet is no slouch, bearing the same specifications as its more adult-targeted older sibling. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 4,000 mAh battery, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot for expandable memory, and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There is nothing revolutionary to be seen here, but the inner workings of the machine should be able to run any app that children and parents alike want to put on it.
An official release date and price have yet to be announced, but the tablet will begin shipping in South Korea early this month, then make its way into other markets. The non-Kids version of the 7” slab currently retails for $199.