As Amazon announces the arrival of the Fire HD Kids Edition in the UK, we round up the best tablets for children
Amazon’s kid-friendly Fire tablet is on its way to the UK from 18 June, but it’s not the only tech company offering a tablet computer suitable for children. If you want to reclaim your grown-up kit and give the kids the odd bit of screen time to keep them quiet there are plenty of options to choose from. These tablets typically come with sturdier frames or snap-on cases to help them deal with rough treatment and they’ll usually also have a specialised operating system that ensures your youngsters only see content that’s suitable for them. Take a closer look in our round up of five of the best tablets for children under 10.
Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition
Amazon’s just-for-kids touchscreen tablet has been on sale in the States for a while and it’s now on its way to the UK. What you’re getting here is a Fire HD 6 (six-inch HD display, quad-core processor, front and rear-facing cameras) with a protective case and a redesigned child-friendly operating system. Amazon includes a generous guarantee where any breakages that happen within two years (for whatever reason) are covered with a brand-new replacement. Also included out-of-the-box is a one-year subscription to its Fire for Kids Unlimited service, which provides all-they-can-eat access to a range of books, videos, games and apps. All advertising and in-app purchases are switched off by default, so you’ve got no worries about the young’uns running up an eye-watering bill on Candy Crush.
From £119, Amazon (preorder)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids
Samsung’s offering is another that includes a fully featured tablet with a redesigned operating system and a kiddified case. The hardware of the Tab 3 kids is simply Samsung’s Tab 3, and it’s a tablet that’s nowadays rather showing its age. The technology inside is a little underpowered (it runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM) but then again we don’t necessarily see its target market of five-year-old children being likely to critique its performance and multi-tasking capabilities. The tablet comes with a robust case and stylus, while the customised version of Android ensures only child-friendly apps and content are accessible.
LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra XDi
LeapFrog only makes gadgets for kids, so there’s no rebadging of an existing tablet here. This is a genuine built-from-the-ground-up kids tablet. Drop-tested for durability, the LeapPad Ultra XDi has a reinforced frame and a seven-inch HD screen with break-resistant glass. Switch it on and the tablet, which is aimed at children from ages three to nine, presents a selection of hundreds of games, books and videos (with more available for purchase either online or as cartridges). There’s also a walled garden version of the internet that enables safe browsing. The emphasis is on learning, and the Learning Path feature enables parents to keep tabs on their child’s progress.
Vtech Innotab Max
The seven-inch Innotab Max runs on a customised version of Android that includes a child-safe browser along with a handful of other apps. Those apps can be added to by downloading more from Google Play – the choice is limited to only suitable apps, but not all of them are free so parents should be prepared for some nagging. It’s possible to store your own videos and music on this tablet, which makes it a true travel companion – ideal for those summer holiday flights. The 8GB of internal storage is expandable by up to 32GB via microSD card.
The smallest tablet on our list, the Kurio Pocket might not quite fit in the pocket of your six-year-old, but with its four-inch screen it is certainly more like a smartphone than a tablet in appearance. Of course, this device has no phone calling capabilities (so you don’t have to worry about your kids ringing up random numbers) – it’s sold as an Android media player, running a customised version of Google’s operating system. Its parental controls make it possible to define what can and can’t be accessed on the internet, as well as setting which apps can be used and for how long. Its 8GB of storage can be expanded via microSD card – but do bear in mind that the supplied earphones are not volume limited.
£69.97, Laptops Direct