If you're in the market for kid-friendly tablets, we've got a list of contenders.
Every kid wants a tablet. They're fun, portable, easy to use, and they keep the little ones entertained. If your children have seen you working (or playing) on a tablet, chances are they want to play, too.
Deciding to invest in a tablet for your child is a big step, and there are a number of qualities to consider: price, parental controls, and perhaps most importantly, durability. We've read the reviews, asked around, and brought together the tablets we believe will be the best for your kids .
- Amazon Fire Kids Edition
- LeapFrog Epic Kids Tablet
- Dragon Touch 7 inch Android Kids Tablet
- Fisher Price Kids Learning Tablet
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition
The only tablet that offers a two-year, no-questions-asked warranty is Amazon's. If the unthinkable happens to the Fire 7 Kids Edition, or if you know your kids tend to be hard on their toys, this is peace of mind included in the price of the product. Running the mature and fast Fire OS, the only thing missing is Google's services, but Amazon's Appstore is stocked with lots of apps and games.
It comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which allows your child to access over 10,000 apps, games, shows, movies, and books, all kid-tested and parent-approved. Parent mode, which is accessed with a password, gives you the opportunity to share media that your kids need your permission to get into. It also helps keep little fingers away from your Amazon account, which is pretty important.
The latest update to the Fire Kids Edition bases it on the "all new" Fire 7, which brings a better screen, improved battery life and dual-band Wi-Fi for better connectivity. If you want a different case, there are plenty out there to choose from, or you can get it in blue, pink or yellow.
LeapFrog Epic Kids Tablet
LeapFrog was one of the first tablet-style devices made just for kids. Until recently, parents had to purchase cartridges in order to get games or educational materials for LeapFrog products, but the latest version of the tablet has eliminated the cartridges in favor of Wi-Fi and an Android 4.4-based OS. Now that everything can be downloaded, just like a regular "grown up" tablet, you'll never have to go searching for little green cartridges again.
The tablet comes with LeapSearch, a child-friendly browser that lets kids "explore" the web without stumbling into adult territory. Kids can download pre-approved apps without worry and keep themselves occupied with plenty of safe content. The 16GB LeapFrog has an expandable SD card port, just in case your child requires more storage for their new favorite gadget. Parental controls within the LeapSearch browser allow you to set time limits either for the entire tablet or for particular games. These controls also let you unlock web access as your child grows up.
The Epic has a battery life of approximately 6 hours and a 7-inch screen. At 3.6 pounds, this tablet is heavier than most, but it stands up to drops and unexpected accidents. The bumper case, available in either green or pink, is removable, which helps reduce some of the weight and bulk once your child has mastered their grip on the tablet.
Dragon Touch 7 inch Android Kids Tablet
The Dragon Touch tablet runs on Android's KitKat OS. It's Wi-Fi, HDMI, and Bluetooth-compatible, so you may find yourself playing around on it after the kids are in bed. Reviews for the Dragon Touch are consistently favorable, and the cost is reasonable, starting around $60. The 8GB storage is expandable thanks to a microSD slot.
The tablet comes pre-installed with "Zoodles," a child-friendly app store. Here, kids can access free games and educational software. If you want to share some digital artwork your kids have created on social media, you have access to Parent Play Along mode, letting you access things like Facebook. In Play Along mode, you can download other apps for your kids that they would not otherwise have access to. You'll also have access to services like Netflix for family-friendly shows and movies or for binge-watching your own shows when the kids are done playing.
The thick silicone case makes the Dragon Touch drop and bump-proof, and it's easy for small hands to grip onto. It weighs 9.8 ounces, and the bumper is available in either red or blue. The battery life tops out around 3.5 hours — which could even be an advantage if you're looking to limit usage.
Fisher Price Kids Learning Tablet
The first thing you'll notice about the Fisher Price Kids Learning Tablet is that it's perfectly suited to handing off to the little ones without worrying about it disintegrating. It's eye-catching enough to be fun, while being covered in the sort of rugged case that will protect from the likely frequent tumbles.
Fisher Price preloads the tablet with 35 apps and games suited for ages 3 and up, which is great, because part of a good experience for a kids tablet is tailored content. But, where it has the edge on something like the Fire Tablet is with full access to Google Play.
Without being siloed away from Google's massive app catalog, you've access to anything you want to have for your kids. All for $100, which isn't bad at all.
The bottom line
No one knows your child like you do. You are the best predictor of what your child is going to enjoy and get the most use out of. You're also the one with the wallet.
But it's tough to look too far beyond the Amazon Fire Kids Edition. Amazon's no-quibble warranty and sheer amount of content available for the young ones makes it hard to top. All of these are good, though, so you're sure to be getting a great tablet for your kids with any of these.
Update June 2017: Added Amazon Fire Kids Edition.
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