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The best kids’ tablet for 2020: Apple iPad, Amazon Fire and more compared


A child’s first tablet is a gateway to endless educational apps and kid-friendly content (including the vast selections on YouTube Kids), but you have a choice on what you’d like to spend. You can head straight for the iPad or consider a more affordable kids’ tablet option, such as the Amazon Fire tablets that are made just for kids.

It’s easy to see why kids gravitate to tablets, which can be as easily loaded with educational content and apps. Not only can kids read books, play an educational game, watch movies and listen to music, but they can also learn the basics of using a computer and even learn how to code on a kid tablet.

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When you’re looking for the best tablet for kids, it’s important to consider the durability, affordability, battery life, and lifespan for a child-friendly tablet before actually buying it. Since children tend to be a little more clumsy and unusually sticky, it’s a good idea to invest in a child’s tablet with a sturdy construction or a durable case that can protect a delicate glass screen against any drops or scratches. Most kids don’t need top-of-the-line features, either. 

With that in mind, it may be best to avoid pricey premium tablets like the Apple iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro. (It would be a particular type of heartbreak to watch an iPad Pro shatter on the ground.) Many kid-friendly tablets even give robust parental control options that let parents monitor the amount of screen time and the content children can access. Whether you’re purchasing a children’s tablet for an older child, younger kids, or a little one, you’re sure to find a great tablet among our picks for the best tablet for kids.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Amazon

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the kid-friendly 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 siblings, this Fire tablet features a ton of parental control options and a rubberized bumper case to protect the device against drops. This 10-inch Amazon Fire tablet also includes a two-year “no questions asked” replacement warranty and a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, a content library that gives kids access to plenty of books, games, apps, and age-appropriate videos whether you are purchasing it for a younger child or older kid. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is two inches smaller and $70 cheaper 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 a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited. Compared to the Kids Edition of the Fire 7, the HD 8 Kids tablet is $30 more, but it’s packed with a higher-resolution screen, faster performance, and more storage, making it a worthwhile upgrade.

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Amazon

Priced at $100, the Amazon Fire 7 is the most budget-friendly option out of the lineup of Kids Edition Amazon tablets. It does a decent job at most tasks and apps and includes the same bundle of parental controls, padded tablet case, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited

Apple iPad (9.7-inch, 2018)

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 apps to a child can be a nerve-racking experience considering that high iPad price tag. Compared to Amazon’s Kids Edition tablets, an iPad offers the versatility to adapt to a growing kid’s changing needs in a tablet. The 2018 entry-level iPad offers all the benefits and smooth performance of an iPad at a more affordable price.

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