Hands-on with Vivitar's kid-friendly Camelio tablet

In addition to announcing availability for the XO tablet, Vivitar is outing the new 7-inch Camelio slate at CES. Like the XO, it has a family-friendly bent, with optional $20-$30 "personality kits" that customize the user experience with themes like Thomas the Tank Engine. Vivitar had the slate on hand -- and even provided approximate pricing and availability info -- but it's mum on specs for the moment, as it still considers this device to be in the prototype phase. About that MSRP: it will be about $129, with a release date in late spring.

We spent a few minutes playing with the Camelio, and though there were no pre-loaded kiddie apps or personality kits to play with, it's clear that this device is made for the younger set. The slate isn't incredibly thin, but its rounded edges and textured backing make for a grippable design that looks ready to withstand a few drops. The 7-inch screen doesn't dazzle with bright images; we'd guess the resolution is a standard 1,024 x 600. When the device ships, expect it to run Android 4.2. At least on the version we saw today, there's not as much of a personalized skin as you'd expect with a child-friendly tablet. That's likely because most of the customization comes via the optional theme kits. Each of those kits includes a case for the tablet along with a code that unlocks wallpapers, widgets and other branded content.

Along the edges are the standard volume toggle, power button and headphone jack, along with a microSD card slot and a micro-USB port. This is a WiFi-enabled device, and Vivitar said battery life is rated for seven to nine hours. Check out our hands-on gallery, and check back for a video soon.

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LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2013 -- Vivitar today announced the planned spring release of three different tablets designed specifically for children and their families. Offerings will include the XO Learning Tablet, featuring curated educational content as well as support for bilingual families; the Camelio Tablet, which will offer a series of 'personality kits' that can be tailored to the child's interests; and a line of licensed tablets featuring Hello Kitty, Barbie and Monster High branding for children in different age groups. All will be 7" Android-based models with expected MSRPs of less than $150.

The announcement coincides with the Vivitar brand's 75th anniversary and an aggressive expansion of the company's portfolio to deliver a new generation of affordable, feature-rich, family-friendly products that build on the brand's rich heritage of technology innovation in consumer electronics.

XO Learning Tablet

Under an exclusive license agreement with One Laptop per Child (OLPC), Vivitar will release the XO Learning Tablet to leading U.S. retailers beginning with Walmart stores and The 7" Android device will feature OLPC's new XO Learning System, an Android-compatible software package for child-centric learning for ages 3-12. All content has been curated and selected for appropriateness and educational value, including applications, books, games and videos utilizing children's aspirations as a theme to drive learning experiences. XO Learning also offers a full range of parental controls, user IDs for up to three children, and a dashboard where the child or parent can review usage, types of content and the skills the child is developing. Separate English and Spanish content will be available with the press of an icon for bilingual families, with additional languages to be added in future releases.

Camelio Tablet

Vivitar's Camelio Tablet will offer unique add-on 'personality kits' allowing the base 7" Android tablet to be customized to the child's age and favorite licensed properties, and changed as the child moves from preschool to elementary school to the tween/teen stage. Each $20-$30 kit will include a tablet case as well as a card with a code that unlocks branded content such as wallpapers, widgets, music and books. Initial personality kit options will range from multiple franchise properties popular with girls of different ages to top superhero and sports brands for boys. The Camelio line will also include parental controls.

Licensed Tablets

Vivitar will also introduce three 7" branded Android tablets for Hello Kitty, Barbie and Monster High enthusiasts. Each branded model will include custom home screens, wallpapers, photo editing, contacts and more featuring graphic themes from the respective licensors, leveraging the runaway popularity of each brand to appeal to target audiences from 3 to 35.