avatarby Tab TimesNovember 3, 20161 comments

Fuhu Nabi Big Tab

It is becoming more and more common for parents to allow their children to play with a tablet computer. There are many great games, videos and apps dedicated to entertaining and educating your little ones, made ever easier to access with new tools like Google’s Play Store for kids and YouTube for children.

With such great material at your fingertips, it may be time to look at purchasing a dedicated tablet for your child. Perhaps a tablet that can take a bump and spill, maybe even with a no-questions asked warranty, and without breaking the bank.

With so many tablets to choose from, allow us to help out, together we can find the best tablet for kids, or at least the best for your child.

Update: August 2016 – We’ve changed just one of the tablets listed this month, Fuhu has upgraded the Nabi 2 to the Nabi 2S, with more power and better battery life. We were able to update a few links to less expensive options once again, a happy trend.

Amazon Kindle Fire 7

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As a new entry to this list, Amazon has introduced a new 7-inch Android tablet that you may want to consider. The Amazon Kindle Fire 7 is a surprisingly agile tablet for its price, not that we would ever pit it up against some of the more premium tablets on the market, but it is hands-down the best tablet we have ever used with a price tag under $50.

Currently selling for $49.99, the Kindle Fire 7 is the type of tablet that you might purchase multiples of, because, let’s be honest, when the first one meets a timely end, having a second one ready to roll could be a life saver. In the mean time, you may find that this little tablet is actually pretty capable, especially if you just need a little reading companion or want to sling some birds across the screen. The Fire 7 has seen sales for as low as $35, watch out for great deals.

Check out the super affordable Amazon Kindle Fire 7 on Amazon today.

Buy the Amazon Fire 7 now

Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition

Before any conclusions are made, our list will be in alphabetical order, starting off with Amazon and their Fire HD Kids Edition tablets. With a few different sizes and configurations to choose from, perhaps the best feature of all is a no questions asked return policy within the first two years. if the bumper case doesn’t protect it, at least you can get a new one.

Available with 6-inch or 7-inch displays, the Kindle Fire HD Kids Editions are more than capable of keeping your child entertained in an educating way. All of the Kindle tablets run Amazon’s in-house created version of Android with all of your apps, games and media coming from the Amazon App Store, Amazon’s FreeTime service for kids and your Prime streaming service.

As you might imagine, Amazon’s tablets are available from Amazon. The 6-inch Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition starts at $119.99 for 8GB and prices go up toward the 7-inch version with 16GB for $189.99. Just don’t forget about that no questions asked replacement policy.

Buy the Kindle Fire HD 6 Kids now
Buy the Kindle Fire HD 7 Kids now

Apple iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2 iPad Mini 3 Stonehendge2

We almost did not put any iPads on the list, but Apple’s iPad Mini line are great tablet offerings. You can still find great deals on the original iPad Mini, which is a more than capable tablet for your child’s entertainment. The newer iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3 will run you a good chunk more money, but it may be worth it if you are familiar and comfortable with the world of iOS and the Apple App Store.

We certainly would not recommend the iPad Mini for everyone, as the metal backed device offers a rigidity not suited to bumps and spills, and the OS requires some work on your behalf to ensure controls of your child’s experience. The best part of the iPad Mini is the ability for the device to grow with your child, you can install a child safe bumper case now, and swap it out for a more teenage appropriate look when the time comes.

Apple sells their iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3 refurbished for good prices, otherwise, the iPad Mini 4 should run you about $339, then knock off about $100 for each version downgrade.

Buy the iPad mini 4 now

Related: Best children’s cases for iPad


Fuhu Nabi 2S

Fuhu Nabi 2

Fuhu may not be a well known brand in your neck of the woods, but they are hitting the market hard, winning awards for company growth along the way. Fuhu has a range of tech designed specifically to be kid friendly, including a range of tablets, as well as action cameras and more. The Nabi line of tablets are Android powered devices in a range of sizes and styles.

All of the personal use sized Nabi tablets have durable, bump resistant cases and a set of parental controls that ensure the best experience for your child. Starting at 5-inches for the Nabi Jr. and 7-inches for the Nabi 2 and newly updated Nabi 2S, you’ll find more in the 7, 8 and 10-inch size range, leading up to the big one. The Nabi Big Tab, with sizes clocking in at 20-inches and 24-inches, is made for the entire family to gather around and play educational games together.

Nabi Jr. starts us off with as little as 4GB of internal storage and a roughly $55 price tag. The older Nabi 2 has dropped down to $69 with 8GB of internal storage, while the new Nabi 2S takes over the $79 price point with 16GB. The in-between-ers will run you a bit more, including the 10.1-inch Nabi XD at just $130 for 16GB. Finally, the Nabi Big Tab can run you up to $1000 for the 16GB version.

Buy the Fuhu Nabi 2S now

Fisher Price Learning Tablet

fisher-price-learning-tablet

Fuhu may not be a well known brand in your neck of the woods, but they are hitting the market hard, winning awards for company growth along the way. Fuhu has a range of tech designed specifically to be kid friendly, including a range of tablets, as well as action cameras and more. The Nabi line of tablets are Android powered devices in a range of sizes and styles.

All of the personal use sized Nabi tablets have durable, bump resistant cases and a set of parental controls that ensure the best experience for your child. Starting at 5-inches for the Nabi Jr. and 7-inches for the Nabi 2 and newly updated Nabi 2S, you’ll find more in the 7, 8 and 10-inch size range, leading up to the big one. The Nabi Big Tab, with sizes clocking in at 20-inches and 24-inches, is made for the entire family to gather around and play educational games together.

Nabi Jr. starts us off with as little as 4GB of internal storage and a roughly $55 price tag. The older Nabi 2 has dropped down to $69 with 8GB of internal storage, while the new Nabi 2S takes over the $79 price point with 16GB. The in-between-ers will run you a bit more, including the 10.1-inch Nabi XD at just $130 for 16GB. Finally, the Nabi Big Tab can run you up to $1000 for the 16GB version.

When it comes to kid toy brands, Fisher Price is a name that certainly should ring a bell. Champions of both traditional and electronic toys, this company recently introduced a tablet as well. Unlike most Fisher Price tablets and laptops over the years, this isn’t just a simple toy — it actually is powered by Android with a custom UI that is designed to be as kid friendly as possible. If the aesthetics seem pretty familar to the Nabi devices above, there’s good reason for this. The Fisher Price Learning Tablet was built in partnership with Nabi, though Fisher Price has thrown in its own apps and custom changes. In total you’ll find 35 apps and games designed for children ages 3 and up. There’s also the Google Play store, so you can add all your favorite kids apps to the mix.

Buy the Fisher Price Learning Tablet now

Google Nexus 7

Nexus 7 2013 back logo shiny tt

So, we have here another semi-inappropriate entry to the list, but only because the Nexus 7 is officially discontinued. Allow me to speak of my own experience; with the 2012 and 2013 versions at my disposal, and at least two younger children around whenever I visit family and friends, these tablets almost always spend time playing Bunny Shooter or Bad Piggies for hours on end, and have done so for years now.

Here again, the Nexus 7 is not designed for children, but you can invest in a solid case to protect this Android tablet if you’d like. The thing is, you can still find the Nexus 7 new, but now at a premium. Head to the used and refurbished market for a savings. This was one of the hottest tablets in its time, and is still able to keep up with your child’s educational and gaming needs. Please do look for a good refurbished or used option, as finding these things in new condition is getting harder and more expensive. $278 is the current going rate for a brand new unit, but you should expect under $100 for a good used unit.

Buy the Nexus 7 now

RCA 7 Voyager or other sub-$50 device

RCA 7 Voyager

Please allow me to start with a warning, while these very inexpensive tablets are fairly capable devices, they usually offer little more than 4GB, maybe 8GB of total internal storage, leaving you with just enough space to install one or two good sized children’s apps, but nothing more. However, if your child is content with just one app or game at a time, willing to uninstall it completely to change to a new app, this can be a wonderful tool for your needs.

It is safe to say that you get what you pay for here, but I can certainly think of times when an extremely affordable Android powered tablet can come in handy. Bouncing off the pavement having slipped out of the hands of a child is one of those use-cases. Primarily, I expect this caliber of tablet to successfully entertain young children, but they’ll grow out of it as soon as they learn about the Google Play Store.

There are many tablet offerings in the sub-$50 market, each offers its own pros and cons. Having seen a RCA 7-inch Voyager tablet survive more than a year with the youngsters in my sister’s house, I can confidently recommend this tablet to anyone not looking to get much out of the device. It can play most of the early Angry Birds games, and that’s about all you wanted, right?

Buy the RCA 7 Voyager now

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 or Galaxy Tab A

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

Most of what we’ve looked at today are 7-inch tablets, sometimes your child needs a bit more. There are many 10-inch range tablets out there, including the iPad, some Windows devices, the discontinued Nexus 10 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy tab 4 10.1, among others.

If you are willing to get into the $500 price bracket, the Galaxy Note 10.1 was a pioneer in its time, bringing the best that Samsung had to offer in an Android tablet, including their stylus, the S-Pen. In contrast, the newer Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 comes in at around $240 with the same size display and a few less bells and whistles, Either tablet can be dressed up with a bumper case to survive a few bumps.

Last, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-inch is a solid Android device in the $169 range. You won’t see this tablet in our Best Android tablets list, but it is a solid effort for the more responsible of children out there.

Buy the Galaxy Note 10.1 now
Buy the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 now
Buy the Galaxy Tab A 8-inch now

Windows tablets

Lenovo Thinkpad 10

In the ever evolving tablet and laptop industries, the lines are more and more being blurred between the two with hybrid and 2-in-1 devices. ASUS has been a leader here with their line of Transformer tablets with removable keyboards. Microsoft is also in on the fun with their Surface tablets.

We’ve recently looked at tablets from Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Dell that may suite your needs. Each runs the latest full release of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Perhaps these devices are not the best for younger children, but are perfect for older children ready to get their feet wet on the most popular operating system in the workplace.

For under $100 you can get a HP Stream 7 tablet with 32GB of internal storage and a 7-inch display. Jump to the $85 used, or  the$225 new price point to get a Dell Venue 8 Pro 3000 tablet with 32GB of space and a 8-inch display.

Buy the HP Stream 7 now
Buy the Dell Venue 8 now

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

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Did you love the original NVIDIA Shield Tablet? Well, you’ll probably feel just the same about the Shield Tablet K1, its direct successor. The specifications and design are pretty much the same with both tablets, aside from the addition of a rubberized surface next to the speakers and brushed metal lettering on the back of the K1.

NVIDIA also removed the stylus holder on the K1, which brings us to our next point – the stylus is gone! So are the charging cable and wall adaptor. The big news here is that NVIDIA is trying to cut costs, and they did just that by not including a stylus or charger. With that said, this tablet is now only $200, which makes it not only one of the best Android tablets out there, but also one of the most affordable.

Read more

Buy the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 now

There you have it, there are many good tablets to choose from, and that remains true when shopping for a child. We do recommend looking into one of the devices that pairs with a child friendly app and game market, but rest assured, you can get by with any of these great tablets, regardless the OS.

With this list in hand, be sure to also take a look at our best tablets list and our best cheap tablets rundown. Not to suggest that you should be cheap with your children, but, well, I’ll just stop talking now.

What is the best tablet you have purchased for your child?

Got a new tablet in mind, time to think about apps:
Best apps and games for toddlers
10 best drawing apps

Apps all Android users should have
10 best iPad games for kids
20 best educational Android apps and games

  • David Gaige

    I’ve seen reiviews that the YouTube Kids app is not for kids.