It's sometimes hard to figure out which tablets are best for your kids. After all, kids are often content with playing with their parents' tablets. Most parents would obviously want to buy children their own tablet, but owning a connected device without any sort of parental controls is a lot to ask of any parent. That's why consumer watchdog groups do all the work for you.
Consumer Reports put out a new study this holiday season comparing all the tablets built specifically for children. What does it mean to be a children's tablet though? According to Consumer Reports, a quality children's tablet features robust parental controls, pre-loaded educational apps and games, high quality components and a lower price than tablets intended for adults. Now, not all tablets, even those specifically built for children, fulfill all of these requirements.
— Consumer Reports (@ConsumerReports) November 25, 2014
Out of all tablets tested, Consumer Reports came back with two clear victors - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. Both tablets are made from high quality components and come in at a low price - $200 and $150 respectively. Beyond the specs and price, it all comes down to the individual services and UI offered by both devices.
Starting with the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, Samsung encased its Galaxy Tab 3 in a colorful foam casing that protects it from harm while being more aesthetically appealing to children. It also sports a custom UI that puts all the entertainment that children could want at their fingertips. It even lets parents connect their Samsung device with their child's device and control what they can and can not access.
Here's a review from a father and his son:
As for the Fire HD Kids Edition, Amazon has opted for the same foam case that protects the tablet from harm while retaining a fun look. What sets Amazon apart from Samsung's offering, however, is that it gives kids a year of FreeTime for free. For those unaware, FreeTime gives kids access to over 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games for no extra charge. In other words, you won't have to worry about your kid racking up massive bills as they will have all the entertainment they could ever want at their fingertips.
Ultimately, the decision is up to the parent, but the two above tablets are probably your best choice this holiday season. Not only are they cheap, but they offer easy ways to manage what your children can watch and play. It doesn't eliminate responsibility, but it makes being responsible that much easier.