Amazon has a pretty robust tablet lineup, one that covers the entry level all the way up to a flagship powerhouse. Somewhere in the middle, Amazon quietly introduced a perfect tablet for kids, known as the Fire HD Kids Edition. Sure, you can lend your rambunctious four-year-old your shiny, immaculate Fire HDX 8.9, or you can buy him/her an electronic babysitter designed to provide carefully curated entertainment (with time limits and other settings set by parents).
Amazon’s new Kids Edition come in 6-inch and 7-inch configurations, both of which sport an incredibly durable “kid-proof” case that promises to withstand even the worst misuse your child can subject it to. If the device does wind up breaking, Amazon says your kid can get a replacement with a two-year worry-free warranty. I suppose that doesn’t teach kids much about pride of ownership, but accidents certainly happen; sometimes three-year-olds just don’t know any better.
Aside from screen size (both have similar 1280×800 resolution), both iterations sport the same specs, including a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a battery rated at up to 8 hours of normal use, Wi-Fi, VGA front-facing camera, 2-megapixel rear camera, and that aforementioned warranty. The specs, though, aren’t really the main focus. Amazon has created a few goodies designed specifically for kids.
One of those features is called Amazon FreeTime, which uses UI elements (background color, fonts, characters, etc.) to help kids navigate the device. When a kid sees a Dora the Explorer icon, they know it leads right to Dora the Explorer episodes, games, etc. When FreeTime is activated, kids will have access to content specifically curated by parents (up to four different profiles can be created, though I’m sure that would fill up quick with just 8GB of internal storage).
Also included with the Kids Edition is a year of FreeTime Unlimited, which is a hand-curate subscription service of over 5,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps and more. The goal is to make the tablet a device good for play with a little work thrown in. For example, a parent can make their child read for 30 minutes before videos and games are unlocked, adding a kind of reward element to the equation.
This is a great solution for parents who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an iPad or some other alternative. In addition to an awesome two-year warranty, the Fire HD Kids Edition comes with some great features and services, making this one of the best options for kids we’ve seen. You can pick up the Kids Edition now for $149.