The term "big" seems like a bit of an understatement when it comes to the Big Tab HD, a new lineup of tablets that are no smaller than 20 inches. Produced by Fuhu, these massive slates are essentially a larger version of the company's DreamTab series: The $449 20-inch version comes with a 1600x900 "HD+" display, while the $549 24-inch model sports a 1920 x 1080 Full HD panel. The new tabs, which will be available this fall, are designed primarily to educate and entertain kids, thanks to its simplified (and parentally controlled) Android-based Blue Morpho user interface. Of course, it could be helpful to seniors and for playing games as a family or group of friends. The tabs come with an adjustable and removable frame that gives it the ability to stand up at nearly any angle, but it also doubles as a coffee table device if you want to play games together.
Weighing 13 lbs and at nearly a full inch thick (0.9-inch, to be precise), this isn't something you'll be toting around everywhere you go, so chances are that you'll want to stick this in one room and keep it there most of the time; it definitely isn't something that the kids will be taking with them to school or a friend's house. But that's exactly what Fuhu's intended the Big Tab to be used for -- as a hub for activities like learning, watching movies and family gaming.
If you've seen Easy Mode or Kids Mode in other Android devices, the Blue Morpho interface will look familiar. The on-screen icons are huge and the text is easy to read. Just like the DreamTabs, the Big Tabs will feature a selection of DreamWorks movies, in addition to titles from Disney, Nickelodeon and others; there's a curated App Zone designed specifically for kids, although parents can add in whatever Android apps they want. The grown-ups also have the ability to give Nabi coins to the kids, which is a special currency that they can earn for finishing chores, homework or any of the learning activities on the tablets. There's even a service that lets kids do instant messaging, text their parents and sharing pics.
Parents enjoy a password-protected admin mode, which lets them take control over which apps, games and content are used, impose time limits on specific apps, monitor screen time, set up chore lists and offer rewards if the kids are doing what they're supposed to do. As parents, you can also view progress and tweak controls using a smartphone app.
The tabs come with a 1,650mAh battery, 16GB internal storage and a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 chipset, so they're not intended to be top-of-the-line. But it's easy to see how many parents might be into such a device: the large screens are ideal for watching movies, playing board-style games at the kitchen table and going through various learning activities. If you're into keeping the kiddos safe and on task, this is certainly an effective way of doing it.