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Julian Thomas
Julian Thomas

What Is The Best Tablet To Buy For A Child

Kids want tablets. But tablets are fragile, expensive gadgets with potentially unlimited access to the internet, both issues that challenge parents. A good kid tablet is different from a good adult tablet: While you want a grown-up tablet to be slim, light, and fast, you want a tablet for kids to be cheap, rugged, and protected.

what is the best tablet to buy for a child

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Our picks here are some of our favorite tablets for children, chosen for a balance of affordability, durability, and age-appropriate features. Whichever tablet you get, be sure to buy a case and some kid-friendly headphones. These small investments pay for themselves.

The best tablet for school is probably a base model iPad. The iPad's dominant role in the tablet landscape means most schools support them, many teachers have them, and tech support should be easy. Other tablets may not be able to run the third-party apps that schools demand or even fill out the right web forms. The worst offenders here are Amazon's Fire tablets, which are inexpensive and popular, but aren't designed for productivity.

If an iPad won't do for your school, you're probably going to want something with Chrome OS, such as the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook. Head over to our roundup of the best Chromebooks for kids for more recommendations.

Don't assume a tablet for a kid should be a piece of junk. Sufficient hardware specs can help you find a tablet that works well enough to avoid frustrating meltdowns. Let's start with screen size and resolution. An 8-inch, 1,280-by-800-pixel display is good for reading comics and watching videos, so use that as your baseline.

Amazon's inexpensive Fire tablets have been the best family option for years. They are inexpensive and have a Kids Edition that comes with a rubber case, a no-questions-asked two-year guarantee, and Amazon's parental controls service. The 8-inch Kids model (based on the standard Fire HD 8) is quite affordable.

Amazon's tablets have a simplified interface, strong parental controls, and Kids+, which is basically a giant bucket of content for kids. A Parent Dashboard lets you keep track of what your children are doing and restrict their screen time. You can put multiple user profiles on the tablets, as well.

If you primarily use Google cloud services and Android apps, an Android tablet can get you what you need for a little less money than an iPad, and it's not locked down to Amazon services the way a Fire tablet is.

In terms of parental controls, Android has restricted user profiles that can also prevent accidental purchases and filter Google Play apps. But if you intend to let your kids use one of these tablets out of your sight, you should really consider installing some parental control software.

Companies such as Fuhu, Kurio, and Leapfrog made their names with highly restricted tablets that come with kid-friendly software and, by default, don't offer access to the open internet. By and large, though, these tablets haven't been updated for years and are running old, insecure versions of Android that we no longer recommend.

While you're shopping for your kid, check out our lab-tested picks for the best kids' phones and the best kids' laptops. For a broader selection of tablets for older kids and adults, take a look at the best tablets we've tested overall.

The best kids tablets deliver entertaining and education to little ones, giving them an edge in the tech world as they learn to navigate their shiny new gadget on their own. Kids tablets boast easy-to-use, touchscreen interfaces and lightweight operating systems, making it super intuitive to use for most children.

As an added bonus, when you purchase a kids tablet, many of them come with comprehensive parental controls, allowing you to stop junior from browsing adult-oriented websites or making in-app purchases. If parental controls aren't your cup of tea, and you want to give your child access to more of a "grown up" tablet, we have some recommendations for you as well. We are currently reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite Kids Edition (opens in new tab), so stay tuned for that!

Amazon unleashed a new version of the new Fire HD 8 Kids tablet this year (2022 release), and like its name suggests, it comes with an 8-inch HD display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage (with up to 1TB of expandable storage via microSD), a USB-C (2.0) port, and up to 13 hours of battery life.

As a cherry on top, the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, an all-in-one subscription that delivers access to thousands of ad-free books, Audible content, TV shows, movies, music stations, games, and more. For example, with Amazon Kids+, users can enjoy content from Disney, Sesame Street Workshop, PBS Kids, National Geographic, and more.

It's worth noting that Amazon tablets can be ad heavy, but the complimentary one-year Kids+ subscription can mitigate this. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids comes with a kid-proof case with a built in stand and handle (choose between blue, purple, Disney Mickey Mouse, or Disney Princess.)

"What's the difference between the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablet?", you may be wondering. Well, to be succinct, the latter is designed for older children (i.e. kids between the ages of six and 12). As such, its case is slimmer, the home screen is more customizable, and they can access the app store (with their parent or guardian's approval of course).

The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablet comes with an 8-inch, HD display, dual cameras, an USB-C 2.0 port, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of expandable storage. Like the Fire HD Kids tablet, the Pro version still offers easy-to-use parental controls (e.g. set screen time limits and set educational goals) and one year of Amazon Kids+ free, giving users access to Kids+ Original Series like Blippi's Treehouse and Lego Monkie Kid.

Although the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablets are newer 2022 models, I'd say the best kids tablet you can get right now is the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition. Why? Well, for one, it has a larger, 10pinch, 1080p, full HD display. As such, screen quality is slightly better on this tablet. It's brighter and the colors are slightly more vivid.

This tablet also comes with 3GB of RAM, dual cameras, a USB-C 2.0 port, and up to 1TB of expandable storage. Like the other tablets, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet comes with one-year of Amazon Kids+.

According to Amazon, the Fire HD Kids Tablet offers about 12 hours of battery life. Durable, rugged cases are available in sky blue, lavender and aquamarine. Plus, you get to enjoy a two-year, worry-free guarantee (same as all the other aforementioned Amazon tablets).

This larger tablet targets users between the ages of three and seven. If you have kids who are older than seven, but you still want to give them a 10-inch tablet, check out the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet.

If you're wondering what's the difference between the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids and the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets, it's simply that the latter is geared toward an older audience (between the ages of six and 12). Conversely, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids tablet targets the three to seven age range.

If your kid loves to read, or you want to instill a love for reading within your little one, forget the Amazon tablet and snag the Kindle Paperwhite for Kids. This incredible device helps to establish healthy reading habits, providing distraction-free reading time for kids ages seven and up.