Parents are usually averse to purchasing a tablet for their children, or any gadget for that matter, because they can't always supervise what children can access on the device, even with rigid parental lock systems in place. Naturally, parents will gravitate more to kid-friendly tablets to ease their worry over the pandora's box that is the internet.
PBS has launched exactly such a product, called Playtime Pad, a tablet dedicated for children. It will be produced by Ematic, a company known for its cheap tablets and MP3 players. The Playtime Pad will have 16 GB of internal storage and will run on Android. It "provides a one-stop destination for PBS KIDS' educational content," coming with more than 25 preloaded games alongside 120 video clips and music videos. If that's not enough, children and parents can access over 100 hours worth of extra content via the PBS Kids Video app.
"[The company is] looking for new ways to engage children with media that sparks their curiosity and fosters a love of learning, supporting our mission to help all kids reach their potential," said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior VP and General Manager of PBS' Children's Media and Education division.
The company is targeting busy parents who might not be tech-savvy enough to control their children's access. Playtime Pad offers a high-quality and affordable option to ease that woe. It comes with PBS Kids' trove of educational programming that benefits children's learning, and a range of parental lock options. Parents can access a range of options to customize the device to their preferences. Time limits and limitations to what kids can access are put in place, so parents can carefully moderate their children's playtime.
The kidSAFE Coppa-certified Playtime Pad rocks a rugged body, designed to weather accidental drops and bumps from clumsy and hyperactive children, which is doomed to happen at least more than once.
Google Play access will be available for parents if they wish to download more apps such as Netflix or kid-friendly games from the Google Play store. PBS didn't share the exact specs of the tablet, but it's safe to assume that it won't hold a candle to other tablets on the market, and it doesn't really need to. Playtime Pad is for children through and through, banking on education and fun experiences rather than high-end performance. There's a front-facing and a rear-facing camera on Playtime Pad, the exact use of which is unspecified. But it's nice to have them there just in case.
The PBS Kids Playtime Pad will be available starting Nov. 6 for $79.99 at physical and online Best Buy Stores, and Walmart's and PBS Kids' own online stores.