Hey, parents, if your kids really want an iPad--but you'd rather not shell out $500 for a delicate device that isn't Juicy Juice-proof--consider the Child Pad, a 7-inch tablet that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Announced today by Archos, the Child Pad costs just $129 and is designed to "offer hours of entertainment for all ages, especially kids," says Archos founder and CEO Henri Crohas in a statement.
We don't have the detailed specs yet, but what here's what Archos revealed in its press release: the Child Pad will have a 7-inch color display, a 1GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM. Rather than the stock Android 4.0 interface, the Child Pad will feature a bright, kid-friendly UI with colored icons and folders on the home screen. Pre-loaded games include Angry Birds, Pig Rush, and Flight Frenzy.
The Child Pad won't provide access to Google's Android Market--a prudent decision considering the kid-oriented nature of the device. It will connect, however, to AppsLib' Kids App Store, which has 14 app categories with 10,000 titles, including games, books, comics, and sports apps. The tablet will include parental controls provided by Editions Profil, maker of Parental Filter.
The Child Pad isn't Archos' first foray into the tablet market. The company in December launched the $200 Archos 70b, a 7-inch device with 8GB of storage and a 1.2GHz processor.
In September 2011, Archos unveiled the 80 G9, an Android Honeycomb tablet with an 8-inch display, 8GB of storage, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The device, priced at $270, is currently unavailable on Archos' site.
While $129 is an attractive price for a tablet, that's still a lot to pay for a child's entertainment device. And I'm sure parents are wondering: Just how tough is the Child Pad? Can it withstand the rigors of playtime at my house? We shall see.