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Archos unveils low-cost Android 4.0 tablet for kids

The "Alvin and the Chipmunks"-themed ChildPad runs Ice Cream Sandwich and has a surprisingly low list price: $129.99.

The Archos ChildPad doesn't come with chipmunks, but it does included exclusive "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3" content.
The Archos ChildPad doesn't come with chipmunks, but it does included exclusive "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3" content.

An "Alvin and the Chipmunks"-themed tablet just for kids? Sounds great, but the skeptic in me says it'll be underpowered and overpriced.

At $129.99, the Archos ChildPad definitely isn't overpriced, especially when you consider that "adult" tablets (like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet) start at around $200.

As for power, one could argue that younger kids don't need much. But the ChildPad has decent specs, including a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor, 7-inch screen, front-facing camera, and Android 4.0.

In other words, it's more than adequately equipped for the likes of Angry Birds, educational apps, music, movies, and other kid-oriented stuff. Plus, it's modeled in kid-friendly blue and white, and it comes with exclusive "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3" content (consisting of clips, pictures, wallpaper, and an online game).

Other noteworthy features include parental controls (via a six-month subscription to the Mobile Parental Filter app), a simplified interface with apps grouped into folders, drawing and coloring apps preinstalled, and a ChildPad-specific version of the AppsLib app store.

Unfortunately, it looks like there's no access to Google Play, meaning there's no store for buying or renting movies, nor any way to access your Google-housed music library.

Also, the ChildPad has just 4GB of onboard storage, though it does have a microSD slot for adding more. The screen resolution could be better, too; it tops out at 800x480 pixels. (Keep in mind, though, that kids' eyes aren't as discriminating as yours; they'll probably have no complaints.)

I like the idea of a kid-friendly tablet with a parent-friendly price, though I'll withhold final judgment until I can actually lay hands on one. The ChildPad is available now from Archos, and it's coming soon to various retailers.

Your thoughts?