Tablets have gone from a high tech luxury to a common item in most people’s homes. In fact, they’ve become so common that even children are getting in on the fun. But not all tablets are a good match for a child’s unique needs. In this article we’ll consider what the best tablet for kids might be. We’ll weigh different points such as price, durability and user friendliness against each other.
8. FuHu Nabi 2
FuHu has a reputation for making great kids tablets. The terrible battery life of their latest offering, the Dream Tab, keeps them from ranking higher on the list. This makes their best lag a bit behind the competition.
The FuHu Nabi 2 is still a great tablet for kids. It provides a rugged design that can hold up to even the most active child’s lifestyle. And it even comes with a specially designed app store that has programs specially made for kids. The use of a kid friendly app store can make it an ideal platform to learn with.
And it’s powerful enough for adults to enjoy as well. The tablet makes it easy to switch to parent mode, which uses a stock Android system. But again, the age shows in this mode as well. The Android system is serviceable. But Android 4.04 lags a bit behind the current standards. It ranks among the best tablet for kids. However, one should probably consider other options unless the app store is a priority.
7. Vtech InnoTab 3s
The Vtech line of children’s tablets gets a lot of things right. The tablets can stand up to a lot of wear and tear without needing special protection. The battery life on all their tablets tends to be quite good. And the Vtech InnoTab 3s comes in at a reasonable price of around $180. The app store even contains a carefully selected range of educational apps for kids.
The big downside is that the hardware is just underpowered for what it tries to do. The target age range might not have the patience to wait for apps to load. Kids used to using a parent’s phone or tablet might have some higher expectations for general loading times.
6. Lexibook Junior Power Touch
The Lexibook Junior Power Touch excels in quite a few areas. The first thing to catch most people’s eye is the large form factor. Children can easily grasp the tablet’s sides without worrying about touching the screen. This also helps protect it from the inevitable drops and falls which come with any kids toy. The price is right too, coming in at around $111.
The only downside is that the tablet can feel somewhat limited. The Lexibook Junior Power Touch plays it safe with most of the design choices. This produces a sturdy tablet. However, it’s a tablet that doesn’t feel very distinctive.
5. LeapFrog Epic
The LeapFrog Epic ranks a little lower on the list due to a limited featureset. However, this isn’t always a bad thing. A LeapFrog Epic might be the best tablet for kids in the lower age range. A young child might be more confused and intimidated by the features of a more complex tablet. The LeapFrog keeps things simple by using a specially designed kid friendly version of Android.
The LeapFrog’s durable form factor makes it an even better choice for smaller children. The extra durability does increase the weight though. However, it’s still light enough for kids to carry around on their own. Finally, the LeapFrog epic comes with a wide variety of educational software designed for ages 4 to 9.
Tablets have a few extra challenges when compared to either phones or computers. One of the biggest issues is that mobile developers often assume uninterrupted internet connectivity. It’s a fair assumption to make when dealing with phones. But tablets are usually at the whim of local wifi points. And kids have even more problems using wifi than adults.
The GizmoTab handles internet connectivity by tying it into a phone plan. The child’s tablet can essentially piggyback on a parent’s data plan. This also means that the tablet is usually purchased as part of an existing phone plan. Depending on the contract one can often buy the tablet at a price as low as $80.
The tablet is further tailored to kid friendliness with a rubber case. And finally, it includes over 300 apps specially tailored to a child’s interests. Without the data plan it’d be a nice tablet for kids. But the ability to connect to the internet ranks it as one of the best tablet for kids.
3. Lenovo Tab 4 8
The Lenovo Tab 4 8 might seem more suited to adults than children. And it’s true that the tablet isn’t a very good choice for kids by default. The tablet ships in a state that most kids will be able to destroy pretty easily.
It’s only after buying a Lenovo’s Kids Pack add-on that the tablet becomes fully kid proof. That might seem like a huge catch at first. A tablet is a fairly big investment as far as kids toys go. Adding another purchase on top of that is somewhat off putting.
But the average cost of around $20 makes the Kids Pack fairly inexpensive. The end result is a tablet that’s powerful enough for adult use while durable enough for kids. The battery life also makes it a good fit for children. An average of twelve hours per charge ensures that even easily distracted kids won’t let it power down too often. With the Kids Pack the tablet becomes an easy contender for best tablet for kids.
2. Fire 7 Kids Edition
The Fire 7 Kids Edition offers a lot of power for a reasonable price. It will usually cost less than $100. Even better, Amazon offers a no questions asked replacement policy. Of course most customers hope that they’ll never need a replacement.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition is constructed to withstand the worst that a child might throw at it. One of the first things people notice about the tablet is the colorful kid proof case. The case is durable to the point of easily surviving any drops. It’s also designed to offer an easy grip for smaller hands.
Finally, the operating system on the Fire 7 is based on Android. This offers a good platform to learn and grow with. But Amazon also builds on this with a focus on literature thanks to the Kindle software.
1. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition adds a little extra to an already solid foundation. The tablet has all of the durability of the Fire 7. It adds some great features on top of that already solid base.
The most notable improvement over the Fire 7 is a larger screen. Surprisingly, even with the larger screen the Fire 8 is able to offer better battery life over the 7. The Fire 8 can last for around 12 hours on a single charge. In comparison the 8 lasts around 8 hours on a single charge. Finally, the Fire 8 boasts a solid upgrade to internal storage. It can store a full 32 GB of data, in comparison to 16 GB on the Fire 7.
The only downside of the Fire 8 is price. It usually sells for around $129.99, compared to $99.99 for a Fire 7. However, for most people the extra features are worth the added price.
The best tablet for kids will ultimately come down to a child’s unique personality. Some kids need sturdier tablets to cope with active lifestyles. Others might find that the best tablet for kids is one which allows them to challenge themselves.
The best way to find a great tablet is by sharing one’s own experiences. Readers should feel free to discuss how well tablets have fit into their own child’s life. These real life examples can be a huge factor in finding the perfect tablet.