I you thought I was you were safe from new tablet releases, Fuhu squeezes in just one more before year's end. The company's Nabi XD will be marketed to preteens and will launch in limited quantities later this month, with a full release planned for mid-January, next year. The 10.1-inch tablet ships with a Tegra 3 processor, runs Android 4.1, features an IPS screen, NFC capability, and will retail starting at $250.
Design and features
The Nabi XD features a silver aluminum chassis with slightly concave sides that dip toward its screen. From the front, the tablet looks like something out of a Target ad, with a red circle at each of its four corners and a white bezel that encloses a black border that surrounds the screen. The back features a silver hide with large, red translucent highlights running along the top and bottom.
The tablet has an optional padfolio cover that doubles as both a keyboard and a kickstand, giving the tablet what appears to be Surface-like functionality.
Judging from the pic seen here, the tablet also features some form of HDMI, USB, and what seems to be a microSD card slot and a headphone jack.
Fuhu has partnered with Rightware to use its Kanzi user interface solution. The UI allows you to create rules for apps based on location and time. So depending on the time of day, the tablet could only have access to a certain type of app, depending on the rule you've set up. You can also set up rules based on your GPS location. For a tablet aimed at preteens, I can imagine some of these features coming in very handy for parents.
There's also an exclusive game called Battle Kinabis coming for the tablet that uses its NFC capabilities and figurines in what appears to be an augmented-reality game. I know that's not much to go on. When I get more details I'll definitely post them here.
The Nabi XD (I keep wanting to type "Navi"; thank you, James Cameron) appears to be a unique take on the whole tablet for kids thing. For one, at least going by the specs, it appears to be an actual quality product made with quality parts and the UI customizations sounds pretty cool. Even if it doesn't interest me personally, I'm at least intrigued by Fuhu's willingness to try something different.
Keep watching this space for more info on the Nabi XD.