There is no shortage of tablets and computers aimed at children, but one Silicon Valley startup is betting its bootlaces that kids and parents will lap up its new Android-powered laptop-tablet hybrid.
The Tanoshi is touted as a “fun, safe, educational, and affordable” two-in-one computer designed with pre-teens in mind, and it is among the first machines to ship with Family Link — Google’s recently announced parental control app — pre-installed.
Available in three colors, the Tanoshi — like many other machines on the market — can serve as a laptop or as a tablet, due to its detachable keyboard.
Sporting a 5MP rear camera, 2MP front shooter, 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, dual stereo speakers, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, two USB ports, and a 5,000 mAh battery, the Tanoshi is nothing to write home about from a specification perspective.
But with a physical keyboard that sports emoji shortcut buttons, a plastic-covered touchscreen display, and a bunch of pre-loaded apps focused on education and productivity, Tanoshi hopes to target both fun seekers and knowledge hunters while appeasing parents with its familiar Android operating system that’s turbocharged with easy-to-use supervision features.
You may recall that Google debuted its Family Link app back in March. In a nutshell, the app allows parents to remotely control and monitor their kids’ device usage, even locking the device down when it’s time to do other activities.
Through Family Link, parents can block certain apps from being used and prevent kids from downloading specific apps. Parents can also see what apps are being used most often by viewing monthly or weekly reports, and set a regular “bedtime” from, say, 7 p.m. on a school night, but from 8 p.m. on weekends, when kids are allowed to stay up later.
It’s worth noting here that the parents’ Family Link app can be installed on both Android and iOS devices, but it can only be used to control Android devices with Nougat 7.0 and over. The service is technically still in invite-only mode, according to Google, but Tanoshi CEO and cofounder Brad Johnston — a former product manager at Vizio and Toshiba — told VentureBeat that there won’t be any wait to access Family Link through the Tanoshi.
“By following the setup process for a Tanoshi 2-in-1, the parent and child will automatically have access to Family Link,” he said.
There are other Android laptops on the market already, including Lenovo’s $500 Yoga Book and $300 follow-up, but Tanoshi hopes that its lower price point, combined with its focus on easy-to-use parental controls and educational apps, will win it a legion of fans. And Johnston hinted that there will be more features coming in the future.
“Tanoshi is a small startup company with a mission to provide the best computing experience for kids ages 6-12,” he told VentureBeat. “The Family Link app, 10.1-inch tablet and keyboard, and pre-loaded educational apps will be available from launch. Tanoshi is also actively working on other great features in demand by parents and pre-teens, which will be announced at a later date.”
Founded out of Fremont, California in 2015, Tanoshi claims a team of founders and employees who between them have worked at Google, Apple, HP, and Toshiba. Though its inaugural product is more or less ready to go, it will first be made available for preorder via Kickstarter on September 14, at a price of $200, with an expected shipping date of December.