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The newish MEEP tablet is from Oregon Scientific, which I know best as a maker of fancy thermometers. The Portland company is pitching the MEEP as having all of the kid-friendly touches of the LeapPad and InnoTab (ruggedized plastic case, parental controls, curated MEEP app store) but with grown-up features (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 7-inch screen, 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, 512 MB RAM, streaming video to TV via HDMI slot).
Reviews of the MEEP are neutral to positive. Parents whose kids have outgrown the kiddie tablets but don't trust them with their family iPad might find the MEEP a good deal, especially if Oregon Scientific can deliver a good, inexpensive app store. But the two tablets I'm really excited about lurk later on this slideshow.
Another $150 tablet aimed at upscaling the child device category dominated by LeapFrog and VTech, the Tabeo is a 7-inch Android 4.0 ICS tablet. Coming from Toys R Us, it has an impressive 4 GB of RAM and built-in Wi-Fi. More impressive is the Tabeo's apps: included for free are Angry Birds Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope, among others, as well as access to a curated app store, which includes 7,000 free apps and thousands available for purchase.
Most impressive to me is the feature that lets parents set limits on the amount of time their kids can play the device every day or week. That's a feature I would love to have on my iPad.
On the other hand, its 1 GHZ single-core ARM chipset and 800x480 screen are unexciting, especially compared to the Fuhi Nabi, which I describe later.
(Note: Fuhu has sued Toys R Us, its former partner, over the release of the Tabeo.)
The ChildPad is another 7-inch Android 4.0 ICS tablet that predates some of the others by a few months. It was originally marketed by Archos, but now seems to have been taken over by Arnova instead. Besides sporting a 1 GHz ARM A8 chip, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of storage and a capacitive touchscreen (latest version only), the Child Pad's main merits is its $139 price tag, or $20 less than the MEEP and Tabeo.