By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK – Tablets have become so mainstream that they’ve attracted one more newcomer – Monster – to the market and enticed other companies to segment the market into niches for kids and kitchens.
Sony, for example, unveiled the Xperia Tablet Z: Kitchen Edition at a suggested $649 following an announcement by Samsung that it would offer a kids-targeted tablet later this year. For its part, retailer Toys”R”Us believes strongly enough in the kids segment that it unveiled its second-generation Tabeo to replace the first-generation model launched late last year.
In another tablet introduction, T-Mobile unveiled a cellular version of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.
More new tablets are on the way, with Microsoft scheduling a Sept. 23 announcement of new Surface RT tablets.
Suppliers introduced the following products:
Monster: The headphone and accessories maker announced two Android 4.1 models, one with 7-inch HD display and the other with 10.1-inch display.
The 7-inch model is the M7, which is available exclusively online at Walmart.com at $149. The 10.1- inch M10, whose price and features weren’t disclosed, will launch later in the fall through channels that likewise weren’t disclosed.
Both are Google-certified for access to Google mobile services and the Google Play store.
Audio is a key feature of the M7, which sports stereo speakers and streams AptX over Bluetooth to provide near-CD-quality sound to Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Time Correct Bluetooth is designed for listening to movies through Bluetooth headphones. The M7 is said to be the only Android tablet with the technology.
The tablet comes with non-skid back surface available in eight custom colors to match the colors of the Monster N-Tune headphone line. The M7’s hardware specifications include 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB embedded memory, microSD card slot and 1,280 by 800 IPS capacitive touchscreen.
Sony: The Xperia Tablet Z: Kitchen Edition, at a suggested $649, is a white version of the company’s water-resistant, ruggedized 10.1-inch Xperia Tablet Z with 32GB memory. It’s packaged with $115 worth of content, recipes, and accessories, including a folding countertop stand, to “make cooking in the kitchen simpler and more convenient,” the company said.
One accessory is iDevices’ iGrill app-enabled Bluetooth meat thermometer, which can be monitored from up to 200 feet away on the tablet.
The tablet is available at Sony stores and online at www.store.sony.com/kitchentablet.
Toys“R”Us: The Tabeo E2 8-inch tablet, available in October at $149, comes preloaded with 30 apps. Additional apps can be purchased at the Tabeo App store.
It features Android 4.2 operating system, dualcore 1GHz processor, quad-core GPU, 1,024 by 768 resolution, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage (expandable up to 64GB), built-in Bluetooth, Mini- HDMI, 0.3-megapixel front camera and 2-megapixed back camera.
T-Mobile: The first cellular-equipped version of the new Google Nexus7 tablet became available with activation on the T-Mobile network through the Google Play store.
The flagship 7-inch LTE tablet is selling for $349 with free 2GB data for one month.
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