Hands-on with the 7-inch XO Tablet, OLPC's first consumer device (video)

Handson with the XO Tablet, OLPC's first consumer device

It appears the XO Touch (aka 4.0) wasn't the only new device OLPC brought to CES 2013. Interestingly, the company is moving into the consumer market this year, and it's releasing a 7-inch slate (1,024 x 600 resolution) in the US called, funnily enough, the "XO Tablet." So let's run through the specs. It's got a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 gigs of flash storage (expandable by microSD), WiFi, HDMI-out, a 3,800 mAh battery, and 2- and 1.3-megapixel shooters at the back and front, respectively. While the tablet runs stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it boots into a heavily skinned, child-friendly UI with the choice of three profiles. After selecting the profile, the home screen shows the child various "dreams," which are based on professions like mathematician, astronaut, artist, chef, etc. Under these different categories, there are educational apps related to the theme of the currently selected dream. As well as what's on that main home screen, there's a stack of pre-loaded books, a curated app store and loads more to be found within the menus.

What the little ones have access to is carefully chosen by the 'rents, as there as loads of parental control options, and monitoring apps which show how they use the tablets and thus, what their interests are. The child-targeted UI is extremely colorful and engaging, and is designed by Yves Béhar of OUYA fame and previous OLPC hardware. It's very slick, responsive, and full of features sure to keep kids interested. When the kids have gone to bed, however, adults can flick it back to stock Android. It looks and feels like a 7-inch tablet, so nothing much to report there, and Jelly Bean is very much a known quantity by now. It's important to note that while we did look at the finished hardware, a dead battery meant that we saw the custom UI running on a Nexus 7. To be honest, the finished hardware looked almost identical to a Nexus 7, anyway, apart from the back camera being top-center when held in landscape orientation. The tablet will be hitting US stores in March, but the only pricing info we have so far is that it'll be "competitive." We wonder what that means? Check out the gallery below for a closer look; video coming soon.

Update: We've just added a video, so head on past the break to catch the OLPC XO Tablet in action.

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Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.