In today's connected world, everybody and everything seems to be online. Naturally, that includes our kids and needless to say, growing up in the web can be both empowering, but also quite dangerous. Catering content, services and devices to a younger crowd is becoming more and more relevant, which is why offers like EE's Robin tablet really seem like a natural step forward and should become more common it the future.
The Robin isn't really a revolutionary product and similar efforts already exist, most notably, the Amazon Kindle Fire Kids Edition, but the key here seems to be execution and the proper mix of hardware and software to deliver the best possible child-friendly experience and in this respect, OEMs are just starting to evolve the experience.
On the hardware side, Robin doesn't really offer much power, but it's more than enough for its primary purpose - casual gaming and educational apps. It has a 7-inch display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, plus a microSD card slot for up to 32GB more. Also, a 2MP rear-facing camera. This is all quite up to par with what Amazon offers and so are the protective features – both devices are encased in a thick layer of rubber. However, unlike the Kindle Fire Kids Edition, the EE Robin does offer 4G connectivity, making for a lot faster browsing in the carrier's network.
But, truth be told, you could potentially buy a cheap Chinese tablet, slap a thick case on it and get pretty much the same end result. The real trick and value of Robin definitely lies in the software. The device runs the flexible Kurio operating system, built on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop. It is equipped with all you need to provide a truly safe digital experience for your kinds with advanced parental control features, based on "safe" and "block" lists. These are said to work quite autonomously, but there is also a lot of manual tweaking and control to be done. The Google Play Store is generally the source of content, but thanks to profiles and granular per-app control, you can not only block certain apps, but also time-restrict others.
Speaking of apps, Robin comes preloaded with over 40 popular games, like Fruit Ninja and Berry Rush. You also get a few months of free access to the Hopster network – an interactive TV streaming app with high-quality kid shows and games.
The Robin will first become available to customers in select stores starting October 23. Nationwide online availability and EE telesales should start on November 2. As for pricing, you can get the tablet on a variety of EE monthly plans, starting as low as GBP 13 a month. It can also be had for GBP 129.99 on a Pay as you go plan.
"But, truth be told, you could potentially buy a cheap Chinese tablet, slap a thick case on it and get pretty much the same end result." ...That's probably what EE did. I know their "own brand" phones and tablets are pretty much just re-badged H...
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