Home Top 10 6 top options we’ve tested and reviewed

6 top options we’ve tested and reviewed

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6 top options we’ve tested and reviewed

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Pros

  • Super-chunky case offers a lot of protection
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Worry-free guarantee
  • Bright screen

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Limited app library

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids 2021 is the tablet we’d recommend for children aged seven and below. The main reason for this is that it’s impressively rugged. The 10-inch tablet sits inside a bumper case, which comprises a shockproof foam and plastic outer shell.

The case is a little chunky, and likely means most older kids wouldn’t be caught dead walking around their school with it – as confirmed by former Editor-in-Chief Alastair Stevenson’s god-daughter, who told him she’d “rather not have a tablet” if that was what she’d get when offered one. However, the exterior here also makes the tablet the only one on this list that we can 100% confirm will survive a full-blown toddler tantrum. During testing it survived everything from animated throws across the room to a game of tug of war with a dog without issue.

In addition, Amazon offers this tablet with a guarantee and kid-specific extras that make it a perfect option for younger kids. The most significant is its returns policy, which will see the company replace any broken Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids (2021) free of charge, no questions asked, for two years after purchase.

For adults and older kids, though, we found the HD 10 Kids FireOS software a little prohibitive – which is was the case with past Amazon tablets we’ve tested, too. The OS here is a custom version of Android that swaps Google’s traditional Android UI and app store for Amazon-specific equivalents. It pushes Amazon Prime shopping, Video, Music and Kindle to the forefront of the UI, actively encouraging you to shop.

However, based on our time with the device, the customised version of the software for kids on this tablet works very well given its intended audience. For young kids, who we’d really rather didn’t have access to a completely unrestricted app store or media library, the locked-down nature of FireOS is actually a blessing.

In tests, we were seriously impressed with the intuitiveness of the device’s parental controls. Within minutes of launching and completing the setup process – which takes about 10 minutes and requires a live Prime subscription – we were able to easily filter content, restrict or block in-app purchases, and set limits on how much screen time the tablet allowed each day.

Using the bundled one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, our test subject toddler was able to find numerous age appropriate videos, books and games to keep them entertained for at least half an hour. The only time we experienced any issues related to the device’s hardware, which can cause some frustration, even for younger users.

The 10-inch LCD screen is more than sharp enough for kids, although compared to an iPad, it undeniably looks a little washed out. The MediaTek CPU at the heart of the device is very low power, which means that certain apps do sometimes chug. While an adult might have the patience to see through any delays, we found that it could occasionally cause frustration in younger users, with our toddler tester occasionally slapping the device or throwing it when a slowdown caused them to lose a game.

This, plus its design and locked-down ecosystem, is the reason we recommend parents invest in a higher-cost tablet such as a non-Pro iPad or a reliable Android tablet for older kids.

Battery life also leaves little to be desired. During our tests we found it is all too easy to drain the battery life in less than four hours when streaming video or playing games. This means you’ll need to invest in a battery pack if you want the tablet to make it through longer car or train journeys, without risking a tantrum when it dies mid-way through an episode of Paw Patrol.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Review

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