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Best kids’ tablets for 2021


Are you really going to trust your kid with and expensive iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface tablet? Yeah, let’s not. Fortunately, there are other tablets which are either intended for kids or are at least kid-friendly. Some have robust parental control features that let parents monitor their screen time and the content kids can access, others are especially rugged. 


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A tablet is great way to introduce kids to computers in general, as many can be expanded with clip-on or Bluetooth keyboards for more advanced use or schoolwork. Tablets can also be a great resource with loads of apps and educational content. Kids can play games, listen to music, watch movies and read books all on a tablet. There are even toys that work alongside a kid friendly tablet to teach children how to code. Many of the tablets on our list come preloaded with kid friendly content and educational apps to facilitate learning alongside the fun entertainment apps.

When you’re searching for the best kids’ tablet, it’s important to consider affordability, battery life, durability and life span before buying one, especially if you’re shopping for younger kids. Since children tend to be a little clumsier and exceptionally sticky, it’s a good idea to invest in a tablet with sturdy construction or a durable kid proof case that can protect a delicate glass screen against any scratches or drops; a rubberized bumper case of some kind usually does the trick. And, when it comes to a kid friendly tablet, you don’t necessarily need top-of-the-line features or a fancy operating system with access to tons of apps — often, YouTube Kids and some educational apps are enough.

Amazon

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the kids’ tablet version of the Amazon Fire HD 10, with the largest display in the lineup of Amazon tablet options. Just like its 7- and 8-inch screen size siblings, this Fire tablet features a ton of parental control options and a rubberized bumper case to protect the device against drops. This 10.1-inch Amazon Fire tablet also includes a two-year “worry-free” replacement warranty and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. Previously called Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon Kids Plus is a content library that gives kids access to plenty of books, games, app options and age-appropriate kid-friendly content whether you’re purchasing this Fire HD tablet for a younger child or older kid.

Amazon also offers another version of the child-friendly tablet, called the Fire HD 10 Pro Kids Edition, which has a slimmer case alongside more web browsing and app options for older children.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is cheaper and 2 inches smaller than the 10-inch version of the kids’ tablet, but it includes the same bundle of parental controls, rubberized bumper case to protect the device, two-year “worry-free” replacement warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. You can add a microSD card for additional storage. Compared with the Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet, the HD 8 Kids tablet costs more, but it’s got a higher-resolution screen, faster performance and more storage, making it a worthwhile upgrade.

Like the 10-inch version, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also has a slimmer Pro version for older kids. It is, however, a little bit pricier than the standard 8-inch kids’ tablet. 

Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition review.

 

Amazon

The Amazon Fire 7 is the most budget-friendly “learning tablet” option out of the lineup of Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets. This Kids Edition tablet does a decent job at most tasks and apps and includes the same bundle of parental controls, padded tablet case, two-year warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus.

Like both the 10- and 8-inch options, the Fire 7 also has a kid-friendly Pro tablet for older children that features a slimmer case, more web browsing and app options.

Read our Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition review.

 

Scott Stein/CNET

When it comes to tablets, Apple’s iPad definitely has the more recognizable name, and in-app purchases are easy on an iPad. However, handing over an iPad with endless app options to young kids can be a nerve-wracking experience considering that high iPad price. But compared with Amazon’s Kids Edition tablets, an iPad has more versatility in adapting to a growing kid’s changing needs in a tablet. The 2021 version remains the most useful iPad for the most number of people, and can be found for as little as $250 if you wait for the right sale. Read our review of the 2021 Apple iPad here

Read our Apple iPad (10.2-inch, 2020) review.

 



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