Helping Kids Learn with Hello Kitty and Barbie Android Tablets

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Android tablets for kids are getting a new face and personality, thanks to Sakar International. The company showed off three new Android tablets at the 2013 International Toy Fair, aimed at helping child development and joining the One Laptop Per Child initiative. Each tablet is 7 inches, like the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus 7, and is specially designed for kids.

The first tablet is the XO, which includes a customized Android operating system geared towards your child's aspirations. Rather than a simple list of applications, the tablet asks the users to complete the sentence, "I want to be an..." by selecting a button such as artist or scientist. Once selected, the child can view the biography of a famous person within each category as well as select from a number of applications organized by skill level. We said that we wanted to be an artist and apps ranged from a simple shape matching game for beginners to the Museum of Modern Art app in the advanced section.

The Camelio is the second Android tablet, which has an operating system more akin to the traditional Android OS. With the Camelio, users can purchase theme cases, such as Hello Kitty, Barbie and Monster High, which each include a code that unlocks a complete Android theme. The code can be plugged into their proprietary app, completely changing the look and feel of the device. Installed themes can be swapped at any time, although swapping themes does not change which apps are installed.

The third Android tablet offering is similar to the Camelio but only set up for a single brand theme. While the Camealio can be customized by purchasing new cases and cards, the branded Android tablet only has the original theme.

The XO tablet costs $149 while the Camelio and the branded tablet will each cost $129. The tablets will be available late spring or early summer of this year; no exact release date has been set yet. The tablet is priced lower than both the $159 Amazon Kindle Fire and the $199 Fuhu Nabi 2, which may make this device appealing to cost-conscious parents.

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Dann Berg,
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