After you go to CES a couple times one quickly learns that the gadgets shown off might never see the light of day. Past examples include clever smartwatch ideas, any number of tablet models, and dozens of accessories.
But while it's not unusual for a gadget to never be released, I was surprised to see this outdated tablet show up again a year later and still not be on the market. Polaroid's new kid's tablet, which still does not have a name other than "Polaroid kids tablet", is identical to a 7" tablet which I saw last year at CES 2012.
And that is going to be a problem, because this tablet has specs similar to the $99 budget tablets which were released last March and April.
The "Polaroid kids tablet" has a low resolution (800x480) 7" screen, and it's running Android 4.0 on a 1GHz single-core CPU. Those are rather dated specs at this point; the most recently announced budget tablet has a better screen and a better CPU. But on the upside the "Polaroid kids tablet" has a capacitive touchscreen, 8GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, and a 2MP camera on the back. In terms of software, the press release promises that this tablet is preloaded with over 35 premium apps. It also has the Nook app.
Retail is $150 in the Polaroid Store, and that must be a joke. I'm laughing because the better tablet that was announced yesterday is listed at $130. I'm also laughing at the "Polaroid kids tablet" because it is competing in a niche against tablets which are only slightly more expensive but offer much more in the way of hardware specs and software features.
Take the Nabi 2 from Fuhu, for example. This 7" tablet sells for $199 (Amazon), and it has a Tegra 3 CPU - the same one as on the Nexus 7. The Nabi 2 also has a screen resolution of 1024 x 600, Bluetooth, a front-facing camera, a mike, and generally better specs than the "Polaroid kids tablet".
The low end of the tablet market has gotten a heck of a lot better since the "Polaroid kids tablet" was first shown off at CES 2012, and at this point I would suggest not getting it. I have to doubt the wisdom of releasing it at all. A savvy shopper will find the "Polaroid kids tablet" alongside better options and go for the better option.
I know I would.