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The Meep! is an Android tablet for kids

Educational gadget specialist Oregon Scientific has announced that it's getting into the tablet game, launching an Android-powered portable computing device aimed specifically at children aged six and up.

While the tablet market is nothing if not crowded, Oregon Scientific believes it can carve itself a niche by targeting kids with its latest creation. Based around a 7in touch-screen, the Meep! tablet promises protection against the worst that little hands can offer to what has traditionally been a somewhat fragile and reasonably expensive computing device.

Based on an as-yet unconfirmed version of Google's popular Android mobile platform, the Meep! packs all the usual functionality - including a Wi-Fi connection for internet access and G-sensor for automatic screen rotation - along with some custom software which offers powerful parental controls which can be remotely customised using a web browser on any computer or mobile device.

Interestingly, Oregon Scientific suggests that web content can be downloaded to the device's removable SD card memory for offline use to help mitigate the tablet's lack of 3G connectivity and keep kids entertained during journeys away from Wi-Fi connectivity.

The company has also confirmed it will be selling accessories designed to extend the tablet's capabilities separately, including music instruments which connect to the device.

Designed as a direct competitor to cartridge-based systems from the likes of Leapfrog, there is plenty that Oregon Scientific isn't sharing about the Meep!: we don't know it's processor specifications, memory capacity, Android version or its price.

Demand looks to be high, however: following the device's unveiling at the American International Toy Fair this weekend, heightened traffic has sent the company's websites down.

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