The $200 Fuhu Nabi 2 won our approval (and our Editors' Choice award) with its captivating blend of educational software, child-enduring design, and excellent Tegra 3 power. Smaller children who might not need the raw strength of Nvidia's quad-core processor, however, might be better suited to Fuhu's newly announced Nabi Jr, a $99 5-inch slate that sports more modest internals but otherwise continues down the path blazed by its predecessor.
The tablet ships with the Wings Adaptive Learning System, an educational software package that teaches kids the three Rs starting at a pre-K level. A kid-friendly app store comes preinstalled, and parents have the option of side-loading the Amazon Appstore for a larger software selection. The slate itself runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
Fuhu's latest slate also sports the same durable red bumper that so impressed us in the Nabi 2, along with a smaller 5-inch display -- the Nabi 2 boasts a 7-inch screen -- that should be easier for tikes to hold in their itty bitty hands. Dual cameras can help to document life's precious moments and icky science experiments alike. The front camera even rotates.
If you need more functionality than the base Nabi Jr provides, Fuhu also plans to releases a full lineup of "Toyccessories." The add-ons include a karaoke machine, a cash-register, and a "nabi Pet" that responds to how your children treat it. The company also promises a baby monitor that parents can view using their Android phone, complete with infrared night vision, a zoom function, and a sound level indicator.
Under the hood, the Nabi Jr sports much more pedestrian specs than the Nabi 2. The slate's still Tegra powered, but it uses a dual-core processor rather than the full-blown quad-core Tegra 3. The 800 x 480 screen resolution is also a step back from the original's 1024 x 600 display, but to be fair, the Nabi Jr's actual screen size is two inches less than the Nabi 2's. The tablet packs Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well.
Expect the Nabi Jr to launch mid-December at $99 for a model with 4GB of onboard storage, or $129 for a 16GB version.