I Bought This Kids Tablet From Amazon Instead Of An iPad And Didn’t Regret It

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If you’re looking to buy a tablet for a child, you probably know how hard it is to find the right one. For example, you don’t want one with unreliable battery life or one that can’t handle the challenges of a child driving it. After trying several brands of tablets (and hesitantly letting my kids try), I finally found the right one for my kids: the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet.

Also: The best kids’ tablets you can buy

First of all, is the Fire HD 8 Kids the best tablet ever? Definitely not, but it is the best tablet for my children in their current stages of life.

The Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet is a well-built entry-level tablet that comes with a sturdy child-resistant cover and features helpful parental controls. At the center is an 8-inch HD touchscreen that can run for up to 13 hours per charge, supports USB-C, has dual speakers, and comes with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage that can be boosted up to 1TB with a card. micro SD.

Also: How to trade in your old devices for Amazon gift cards

All Fire Kids tablets include a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, a service that normally costs $48 a year for Prime customers and $79 a year for everyone else. This subscription unlocks thousands of books, videos, games, and Alexa skills. Even if you already have a Kids+ subscription from a previous tablet, when you activate a new Fire Kids tablet, Amazon will renew the service for another year, which is great.

What age is the Amazon Fire Kids tablet good for?

Amazon has streamlined its tablets’ operating system, Fire OS, to be more kid-friendly, regardless of age, with the option of parental controls for things like setting screen time limits and filtering for age-appropriate content. .

For example, Fire OS allows you to customize the appearance of your tablet’s home screen with a “Younger” or “Older Kid” theme. The former favors larger icons and images to encourage natural exploration, while the older child theme is better for children who can read and is more similar to the software experience on Amazon’s non-kid-friendly tablets. This is all to say that the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet should be usable for most age groups, from toddlers to teens.

Also: The best Amazon tablets you can buy

A child interacting with the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet.

Parental controls make it easy to customize the tablet experience for different ages.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Parental controls can be accessed from the Parent Dashboard which, by default, is locked with your Amazon password or 4-digit PIN. Fire tablets connect to your Amazon account so you can also change settings remotely from your phone using the Amazon Kids+ mobile app. You can change themes and age filters, add or remove apps, and even view historical data of what your child has played on their tablet.

Also: Good news, parents: YouTube Kids has a screen limit setting

It’s worth noting that there’s no YouTube Kids app available on Amazon Fire Kids tablets, though there are some third-party apps you can use to access the service. If your child likes to watch videos online, he or she will have access to Amazon’s content library or web videos through a browser, as long as you have enabled web browsing through the Amazon home panel.

Choosing for your child: Fire HD 8 Kids or an iPad?

When shopping for a tablet for your kids, you may be wondering how the Amazon Fire line stacks up against its closest alternatives, namely Apple’s iPad.

When it comes to screen resolution, display quality, internal storage, and processor, the Fire tablet really doesn’t compare to the iPad, but that’s because it doesn’t try. The Fire HD 8 Kids tablet starts at $140, nearly $200 cheaper than the cheapest iPad currently available, the iPad 9th generationwhich starts at $329 (or more economical when it’s on sale).

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet

If allowed, the 2MP front camera can be used for video calls.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

And while the iPad is definitely faster for everyday use and a great option for older kids who are already familiar with iPhones, its larger 10.9-inch screen, when without a case, is more prone to damage. than the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet. At the higher price point, the iPad may not be the most profitable investment.

Review: Apple iPad (2021): If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Endurance is really the main reason any parent should buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids. I don’t know if you’ve been with kids between the ages of three to seven, but it can get pretty loud when it’s time to play.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet

The main camera of the Amazon Fire HD 8 kids’ tablet is reinforced with bumpers to protect it.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

That’s why Amazon has strengthened its displays with aluminosilicate glass, making them less prone to scratching and cracking than the glass used in iPad displays. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Rugged Case also has a built-in kickstand that doubles as a handle for carrying the device around.

Also: The 5 best rugged tablets for work and play

Aside from smudges from sticky fingers, stickers, and marker artwork, Amazon’s kids’ tablets tend to hold up very well. I can’t tell you how many times my preschoolers have dropped (or dropped) their tablets and “accidentally” stepped on them in the last three years, but the screens have stayed intact. Aside from diminished battery life, the tablets have held up well, with no cracks in sight.

What if my child breaks his tablet?

Amazon Fire HD 8 Princess Tablet for Kids

Cases for the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet come in four different colors: Disney Princess, Mickey Mouse, blue, and purple.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Amazon backs up its claims to make a tablet strong enough to survive the trials and tribulations of the loudest kids. Every Fire tablet, including the Fire HD 8 Kids, comes with a 2-year warranty that promises free replacements if your tablet breaks.

Review: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022): ready for Amazon superfans

Bottom line

When it comes down to it, the $150 Amazon Fire HD 8 It is a great kids tablet for education, gaming and entertainment. The 13-hour battery life means you’ll need to charge less often than other competitors, and the combination of a durable case and display ensures the integrity of your Fire tablet for years to come. The Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet is a perfect first tablet, and I loved that my kids have been able to use the older model for years. I expect this new model to last just as long, if not longer.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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