Kids love smartphones and tablets. If you've ever taken your six-year-old to dinner and whipped out your smartphone, you know this to be true. The combination of a shiny gadget and a touchscreen is irresistible. But handing over $700 worth of HTC Jetstream to tiny hands that have been known to destroy anything that they can touch is a hard prospect indeed. Enter the Nabi, a safe, kid-friendly tablet from Toys 'R' Us designed to allow the youngins to have their fun while you keep your peace of mind.
Navi Nabi features a 7-inch, 800 x 480 screen running a heavily customized version of Android, crammed into an ultra-protective case. Specs are nothing to write home about, and that's for sure: a 533Mhz ARM processor can't handle too much, even if it is dual-core. You get 4GB of storage, a single forward-facing camera, and a WiFi-only connection, a 3,000 mAh battery and that's it - very Spartan.
The important thing about the Nabi is the software. The locked-down environment allow access to selected apps and games, a specialized "safe" web browser and access to the Nabi App store, populated by safe and simple games and educational apps. You can customize the tablet with whimsical cases, two of which are shaped like bears. Now the real question is, is the Nabi a better kid-friendly solution than buying an Amazon Kindle Fire or a Lenovo A1 and loading up some specialized software like Zoodles? You've got until December 1st to decide - that's when the Nabi goes on sale for $199.99.