Fuhu Nabi: Is The Best Kids' Tablet The Right Choice For You This Christmas?

Eric Lai

The burning question isn’t whether the Fuhu Nabi is the best tablet aimed at kids today, but whether that makes it a better holiday present for the family than an iPad Mini, Google Nexus, or Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

After playing with the Fuhu Nabi 2 tablet on and off for the past month, I’m 100% confident in declaring it the best kids’ tablet out there today.

That’s not the important question, though. The important question is: is the $199 Nabi 2 a bettergift for your family this Christmas than the equivalently-priced Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus 7, the $329 iPad Mini, or even the $399 Google Nexus 10?

It’s a complicated question, so before I answer that, let me share my experience with the Nabi 2.

Full disclosure: the Android-based Nabi is the ONLY childrens’ tablet I have tested hands-on. But to be immodest, I’ve done my fair share of research into tablets. From my readers’ e-mails, the Nabi was the only tablet that nearly every parent said was on their list.

So the Nabi was the only one I was truly curious to get my hands on and see if it could sway me and my kids (two boys, both just turned 9 and 7, respectively) from the iPad ecosystem.



nabi drawing app



The Nabi 2 bundles 25 free apps, including this fingerpainting app that my younger son loved.

The Nabi comes from a Los Angeles-area startup called Fuhu, which you might’ve heard is suing Toys R’ Us, basically for stealing its design and business plan.

Normally, these two factors would raise my doubts as to Fuhu’s long-term viability. But Fuhu’s backers include some of the biggest names in the Taiwanese PC scene, including Acer, Foxconn, Kingston Technology and VIA Technologies. It just got a $5 million investment from leading Japanese telco, KDDI. So I wouldn’t be worried.

$150 must be the price point that extensive market research has shown that parents and grandparents are willing to spend on kids’ presents these days, because that is what the vast majority of childrens’ tablets are priced.

The Nabi 2 may be $49 more, but it is totally worth it, for two big reasons. First, most of the kids’ tablet makers are creating custom, kid-safe app stores and and content that it hopes to sell to parents. Fuhu is no exception to this razors-and-blades strategy, hoping to profit long-term from selling $2.99/month subscriptions to its Spinlets+ TV service and paid app downloads.

The difference is that the Nabi 2 already includes 25 free educational apps and games. These run from the ubiquituous Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja to the totally entertaining AirAttack, a homage to the top-view shooter games of the 80s that me and my kids equally enjoyed.

One son really enjoyed the fingerpainting app while the other preferred the drumming and hangman ones. There are also 50 free songs and 30 free e-books. All in all, several hundred dollars worth of free content right there, says the company. (Note: A Fuhu spokeswoman says that both AirAttack and the fingerpainting app are NOT included in the free bundle, but can be purchased through its App Zone store.)

The second reason: the Nabi 2’s hardware. Whereas tablets like Oregon Scientific’s MEEP, Toys R’ Us’s Tabeo and others all sport single-core ARM chips, the Nabi 2 has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage.







The Nabi 2’s sub-standard screen didn’t prevent me and my boys from being addicted to the included game, AirAttack.

Apart from an inferior screen, the Nabi 2 is virtually identical to the Google Nexus 7, which for most of this summer and early fall was considered the fastest tablet around.

Knowing how fast that mobile hardware advances/becomes obsolete, I would guess that the Nabi 2 will have a useful life 2-3 years longer than $150 peers like the MEEP and Tabeo. 

The Nabi’s Achilles Heel

But specs are specs. How does the Nabi 2 perform in real life? According to my sons, the Nabi 2 was all-around zippier than our (1st-gen) iPad.

There were some hiccups. “It crashes every time I do multiplayer on Fruit Ninja,” said my 9-year-old. The screen sometimes faded to black during a video, reported my other son. Note: I didn’t check to update the Nabi while I had it, so these problems may have been fixed.

If it seems like I keep bringing up the Nabi 2’s screen, that’s because it is the device’s definite weak spot. It’s neither bright nor, at 1024×600, very sharp.

Both the Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD have 1280×800 resolutions, cramming 66% more pixels in the same 7-inch screen. The Nexus 10 with its 2560×1600 resolution sports an incredible 670% more pixels. Even the iPad Mini, which has also been criticized for its resolution, is almost 30% sharper. Bright-eyed kids may not care, but adults like myself noticed.

Parental Controls

Out of the box, the Nabi 2’s parental controls, aka “nabi Mode,” provide a very safe environment for kids. These include the Maxthon child-safe Web browser, the curated App Zone (store) with 500+ apps, and the video player. Precocious kids used to browsing YouTube or searching Google or Wikipedia will feel confined, though.

The Nabi’s reward system, called Treasure Box, lets parents award digital coins (redeemable at the Nabi app store) to kids for completing tasks and chores on the Nabi or offline. It is well-thought-out, but can be labor-intensive as a parent to manage.

The New Competition

Adults can use the Nabi 2. There is an alternate Web browser that lets users download any content. Parents can also install the Amazon App Store and Netflix onto the Nabi – look for instructions on the many fan sites such as Everything Nabi!. Installing access to Google Play is technically trickier, but is supposedly do-able.

Of course, the reverse has always been true – kids will use their parents’ tablets. Which is what made parents like myself nervous. Every time my kids say they are going onto YouTube looking for the latest hilarious Dinosaur Office video, I’m afraid they’ll instead type some semi-naughty word they learned on the playground and suddenly they’ll watching something that they’ll only be able to unsee after years of therapy as an adult.

That’s what made childrens’ tablets – see this gallery of ten of the hottest ones – such a slam dunk.

But the latest version of Android 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’ allows the creation of user profiles for multiple users. That means parents can create separate logins for their kids that filter and allow only child-safe content and apps. This would apply to the new Google Nexus tablets as well as the Kindle.

Parents with older, non-upgradeable Android tablets can turn to parental control apps like Kytephone.

As for the iPad Mini, there are no multiple user profiles, so it’s hard to switch between adult and child users. But you can set up aggressive content filtering and parental controls. And at $329, the iPad Mini is now as affordable as the iPod touch ($299 to $399), which parents have been buying and giving to kids for years.

I asked my kids what they thought overall. My 7-year old son gave it 8 stars out of 10, while my 9-year-old awarded it 7 stars.

So What Should You Choose?

That sounds about right to me. If you’re looking for a tablet that straight out of the gift box is kid-safe and chockful of entertaining and educational apps and will be owned or primarily used by kids 8 years old and under with minimal parental supervision, the Nabi is it. It is the best of the crop of kids’ tablets. You are unlikely to go wrong with it.

However, if the Nabi would be only the first or second tablet for your household, or would be heavily shared with teens and adults, I’d recommend the Amazon Kindle Fire HD or one of the Google Nexus tablets.

If your kids already have strong history with games and apps available only on iOS, I’d strongly consider the iPad Mini.

In our situation, with only one, rapidly-aging tablet in the house, it makes more sense that our next tablet will be an adult one that we can safely share with our kids. Despite our long history with the iPad, I’m leaning towards the Google Nexus 10 with its killer screen. But for many other parents and giftgivers this holiday season, the Nabi will certainly be your best choice.


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13 Scary Statistics On Employee Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jacob Shriar

There is a serious problem with the way we work.

Most employees are disengaged and not passionate about the work they do. This is costing companies a ton of money in lost productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. It’s also harmful to employees, because they’re more stressed out than ever.

The thing that bothers me the most about it, is that it’s all so easy to fix. I can’t figure out why managers aren’t more proactive about this. Besides the human element of caring for our employees, it’s costing them money, so they should care more about fixing it. Something as simple as saying thank you to your employees can have a huge effect on their engagement, not to mention it’s good for your level of happiness.

The infographic that we put together has some pretty shocking statistics in it, but there are a few common themes. Employees feel overworked, overwhelmed, and they don’t like what they do. Companies are noticing it, with 75% of them saying they can’t attract the right talent, and 83% of them feeling that their employer brand isn’t compelling. Companies that want to fix this need to be smart, and patient. This doesn’t happen overnight, but like I mentioned, it’s easy to do. Being patient might be the hardest thing for companies, and I understand how frustrating it can be not to see results right away, but it’s important that you invest in this, because the ROI of employee engagement is huge.

Here are 4 simple (and free) things you can do to get that passion back into employees. These are all based on research from Deloitte.

1.  Encourage side projects

Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload. Let them explore their own passions and interests, and work on side projects. Ideally, they wouldn’t have to be related to the company, but if you’re worried about them wasting time, you can set that boundary that it has to be related to the company. What this does, is give them autonomy, and let them improve on their skills (mastery), two of the biggest motivators for work.

Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload.

2.  Encourage workers to engage with customers

At Wistia, a video hosting company, they make everyone in the company do customer support during their onboarding, and they often rotate people into customer support. When I asked Chris, their CEO, why they do this, he mentioned to me that it’s so every single person in the company understands how their customers are using their product. What pains they’re having, what they like about it, it gets everyone on the same page. It keeps all employees in the loop, and can really motivate you to work when you’re talking directly with customers.

3.  Encourage workers to work cross-functionally

Both Apple and Google have created common areas in their offices, specifically and strategically located, so that different workers that don’t normally interact with each other can have a chance to chat.

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s meant for that collaborative learning, and building those relationships with your colleagues.

4.  Encourage networking in their industry

This is similar to number 2 on the list, but it’s important for employees to grow and learn more about what they do. It helps them build that passion for their industry. It’s important to go to networking events, and encourage your employees to participate in these things. Websites like Eventbrite or Meetup have lots of great resources, and most of the events on there are free.

13 Disturbing Facts About Employee Engagement [Infographic]

What do you do to increase employee engagement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Did you like today’s post? If so you’ll love our frequent newsletter! Sign up here and receive The Switch and Shift Change Playbook, by Shawn Murphy, as our thanks to you!

This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee survey tool that helps companies improve their corporate wellness, and have a better organizational culture.


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Supply Chain Fraud: The Threat from Within

Lindsey LaManna

Supply chain fraud – whether perpetrated by suppliers, subcontractors, employees, or some combination of those – can take many forms. Among the most common are:

  • Falsified labor
  • Inflated bills or expense accounts
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Phantom vendor accounts or invoices
  • Bid rigging
  • Grey markets (counterfeit or knockoff products)
  • Failure to meet specifications (resulting in substandard or dangerous goods)
  • Unauthorized disbursements

LSAP_Smart Supply Chains_graphics_briefook inside

Perhaps the most damaging sources of supply chain fraud are internal, especially collusion between an employee and a supplier. Such partnerships help fraudsters evade independent checks and other controls, enabling them to steal larger amounts. The median loss from fraud committed
by a single thief was US$80,000, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Costs increase along with the number of perpetrators involved. Fraud involving two thieves had a median loss of US$200,000; fraud involving three people had a median loss of US$355,000; and fraud with four or more had a median loss of more than US$500,000, according to ACFE.

Build a culture to fight fraud

The most effective method to fight internal supply chain theft is to create a culture dedicated to fighting it. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Make sure the board and C-level executives understand the critical nature of the supply chain and the risk of fraud throughout the procurement lifecycle.
  • Market the organization’s supply chain policies internally and among contractors.
  • Institute policies that prohibit conflicts of interest, and cross-check employee and supplier data to uncover potential conflicts.
  • Define the rules for accepting gifts from suppliers and insist that all gifts be documented.
  • Require two employees to sign off on any proposed changes to suppliers.
  • Watch for staff defections to suppliers, and pay close attention to any supplier that has recently poached an employee.

About Lindsey LaManna

Lindsey LaManna is Social and Reporting Manager for the Digitalist Magazine by SAP Global Marketing. Follow @LindseyLaManna on Twitter, on LinkedIn or Google+.


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Why New Technology Has An Adoption Problem

Danielle Beurteaux

When 3D printing became a practical reality, in the sense that the actual printers became more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible to the average consumer, there was an assumption that the consumer 3D printing market was going to take off. We’d all have printers at home printing…. what? Our clothes? Toys? Spare organs?

That has yet to happen. 3D printing company MakerBot just went through its second employee layoff this year, driven by a market that’s developing much slower than predicted.

That same thinking is in play with a somewhat more prosaic technology – digital wallets. Apple Pay was released this year, as was Samsung Pay. There’s also Google’s Android Pay. During an earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “We are more confident than ever that 2015 will be the year of Apple Pay.” But that expectation has yet to be realized, at least vis-à-vis consumers.

Consumers aren’t using any of the digital wallets en masse. According to Bloomberg, payments made via mobile wallets – all of them – make up a mere 1% of retail purchases in the U.S. The reason is that consumers just don’t see a compelling reason to use them. There’s no real reward for them to change from SOP.

Both these instances highlight a problem with assumptions about mass adoption for new technology – just because it’s cool, interesting, and accessible doesn’t mean a market-worthy mass of people will use it.

Who is more likely to use mobile wallets? Emerging economies without a stable financial and banking systems. In those environments, digital payments present a more secure and quicker method for purchasing. These are the same areas where mobile adoption leapfrogged older technologies because there was a lack of telecommunications infrastructure, i.e. many never had a landline phone to begin with, and they went directly to mobile. The value-add already exists. (But there are also security issues, to which consumers are becoming more sensitive. A hack of Samsung’s U.S. subsidiary LoopPay network was uncovered five months post-hack. Although one was expert quoted as saying the hackers may not have been interested in selling consumer financial info but instead in tracking individuals.)

Here’s some interesting data and a good point made: mobile payments are most popular in situations where the buyer already has his or her phone in hand and the transaction is made even quicker than swiping plastic. For example, purchases made for London Transit rides are responsible for a good portion of the U.K.’s mobile payments.

Mass technology adoption is no longer driven simply by the release of a new product. There are too many products released constantly now, the market is too diverse, and the products often lack a true raison d’être.

Learn more about how creative and innovative companies are finding their customers. Read Compelling Shopping Moments: 4 Creative Ways Stores Connect With Their Customers.


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Five Reasons Why Social Collaboration Should Be Part Of Your Digital Transformation

Daisy Hernandez

Digital collaboration technology has revolutionized how we communicate and live our lives. The digital network – powered by search, social, and gamification technologies – has enabled the easy and rapid sharing of knowledge globally. Now it is easy to communicate and collaborate with others no matter their location, time zone, or geography.

In a business context, these same technologies are powering benefits across an organization. By connecting business areas, vital information needed to make critical decisions is no longer siloed and disjointed. Add to this the ability to incorporate business data, and decisions are now not only made collaboratively, but are informed by the latest business-critical information and data, whether it is back-end customer or financial data. This is where the real business benefits start to emerge.

Gartner predicts that 50% of large organizations will use internal social networks resembling Facebook by 2016. Thirty percent of these technologies will be considered to be as essential as email and telephones. Digital transformation is underway, and by using collaboration technology with integrated business data, businesses are starting to see staggering benefits.

Social collaboration: Going beyond information sharing

One of the most well-known benefits of social collaboration in a corporate environment is faster and tighter alignment during a project or process. However, a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting indicates that the advantages run deep, and run throughout the enterprise. The following are five business benefits collaboration can deliver to your business today.

  1. Boost win rates and accelerate the sales cycle. The average sales deal requires a team effort, with individuals and knowledge that live outside the sales department. A Web-based network, accessible through any device, helps win new business and generate more revenue. By pulling expertise, information, and customer data together in one place, sales reps are able to collaborate within and outside of their organization to respond more quickly and accurately to incoming customer questions and needs.
  1. Improve the quality of onboarding and speed new hires’ time to productivity. Social solutions bring together people from across the organization as they collaborate on projects or teams. When a new hire joins the company, this community enables quick ramp-up as the new hire is able to quickly locate and connect to the experts and information they need to complete their job responsibilities. Add to this the fact that this solution houses the collective genius and lessons learned of the organization, and the result is a dynamic, continuous learning culture.
  1. Deliver unparalleled customer experience – every time. Whenever you can provide anyone on the front lines with the full customer story, everyone wins. Knowledge networks ensure that no matter who is interacting with the customer, they have the complete picture. Integrating backend data with real-time collaboration ensures that they are prepared with the latest data at their fingertips to understand the status of a current or prospective customer. For the customer, this means a seamless experience that is always informed, relevant, and meets their needs.
  1. Support business processes that are truly efficient, transparent, and accessible 24×7. Whether you are involved in marketing, IT, finance, or supply chain operations, it is not uncommon for employees to get lost in email chains and outdated spreadsheets and reports. If the ability to collaborate resides in a central location, existing business processes can be improved and supported. More important, taking this network into the mobile world helps ensure that employees have the information they need any time and anywhere.
  1. Create a future of work that appeals to young talent. Knowledge networks can be a cultural tool that not only serves the business, but also answers the needs of our youngest talent. For Millennials, operating in a digitally connected world is a normal part of life – and they could not imagine anything different in their workplace. In the Forrester report, one hiring manager stated, “Millennials would not like to work at [a] company that doesn’t have a collaboration tool. It’s unimaginable — we can’t hire without it.” Could you? Most likely not.

Now you can be part of shaping how organizations adopt and find value in social collaboration technology. Tell us what obstacles you are facing and the benefits you are reaping by taking part in this survey to help SAP develop our future perspective on social collaboration and how it affects us all as employees, managers, and businesses.


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