The best kids tablets are a great way for kids to learn how computers work, as they boast their touch-screen user interfaces and often simpler operating systems. And if you buy a kids tablet, you get comprehensive parental controls to help you stop junior from browsing adult-oriented websites or making in-app purchases.
Some of the best tablets overall double as great kids tablets, thanks to their durability and strong parental controls. We tested a bunch to give you an idea of which are the best kids tablets to buy right now.
One of the best kids tablets by far is the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition for its affordable price and great battery life. But, if you have a regular Fire Tablet, take a look at our step by step guide on how to add Google Play to your Fire Tablet.
What are the best kids tablets?
You seriously cannot go wrong with Amazon kids tablets. Amazon doesn’t blame you if you don’t trust your drop-prone child with a pricey, high-end tablet. That’s why it made the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, a variant of its all-new Amazon Fire HD 10. Like its Fire HD 8 Kids Edition and Fire 7 Kids Edition predecessors, this child-friendly version of Amazon’s latest tablet packs extensive parental controls. Plus, it comes with a complimentary two-year worry-free warranty for the accidental, inevitable damage that’s to come with the mundane mishaps of childhood.
Believe it or not, the Apple iPad could make a good kids tablet. For $329 ($299 if you’re a student), you get a speedy A10 Fusion chip, support for the Apple Pencil and access to immersive augmented-reality apps. Other highlights include more than 10 hours of battery life and a new iWork suite that makes the iPad a good productivity tool. But in an age of ultra-affordable Chromebooks and Windows machines, Apple’s refreshed tablet is more of a satisfying niche device than it is a PC for the masses.
If you just need a really cheap tablet, you can’t go wrong with the Amazon Fire 7. 2019’s version of the Fire 7 tablet, Amazon’s cheapest slate, comes with two slight upgrades. You now get twice as much internal storage (starting with 16GB rather than 8GB), and Alexa is now a simple shout away, so you can trigger the assistant from across the room. This tablet costs only $50, so even if it does get damaged, it’s not a huge loss.
The best kids tablets you can buy today
At the top of the best kids tablets chain is the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. Not only does it offer a rubber bumper that’ll protect the tablet from drops and scratches, but it also comes with a two-year no-questions-asked warranty. The case is sturdy, with a rough texture and a slight give, which could help small hands grip the device better. The case can be taken off and put back on without too much trouble — an important consideration if you have a particularly destructive child.
On top of that, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition offers long battery life, hitting 10 hours and 12 minutes. The sound on the Fire HD 8 is surprisingly good, albeit a bit soft, at least as long as there isn’t heavy bass involved. It also boasts a bright 8-inch, 1280 x 800 screen and relatively solid performance for the price.
See our full Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition review.
If you want to get your kid something a little bigger, we recommend getting the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition. It lasted an epic 13 hours and 29 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test and it comes packed with a ton of parental controls as well as a 2-year warranty, like its predecessor.
Its 10-inch screen is also super bright and offers decent color. It looked great while watching SpongeBob SquarePants aka the best kids show. The 2.0-megapixel rear camera and 720p selfie cameras in the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet are passable for video chats, but not much else. With FreeTime, parents have control over what their children can and cannot access. It comes preset with an easy-to-navigate selection of PG games and shows, and parents can toss in additional websites and content at their discretion.
See our full Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition review.
If you’re looking for a new affordable tablet that doesn’t necessarily have to be kids-focused, then look toward the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020). The tablets most notable feature is its battery life. The Amazon tablet lasted a whopping 13 hours and 49 minutes on our battery test, which’ll be more than enough time to keep both you and your kids occupied throughout the day.
Alexa is the Fire HD 8’s shining star, especially when you command the digital assistant to turn on Show Mode, which transforms your tablet into a smart display. If you opt for the pricier Plus model, you can prop it on the included wireless charging dock to turn your tablet into an Echo Show-like device. If you plan on teaching your kids how to cook, one awesome use case for show mode is its amazing utility in the kitchen — ask Alexa for a taco recipe, for example, and a carousel of delicious recipes from different websites will appear. Alexa will also walk you through the instructions for the selected recipe step-by-step.
See our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review
At half of the price of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air ($499) is a much more affordable iOS product for your kids. Its 10.5-inch, 2224 x 1668 is super bright and colorful, so when your child draws on it with the compatible iPad Pencil (1st Gen), their work will really come to life.
A couple of other neat features is that it supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard, so you can get your child into typing, and it even has a headphone jack. The iPad’s Air Smart Keyboard ($159 extra) offers a decent typing experience. On top of all of that, it has a wild 11 hours and 54 minutes of battery life. If you trust your kid with something pricey, one of the best kids tablets you can get is the Apple iPad Air (2019).
See our full Apple iPad Air (2019) review.
Samsung has defied the odds once more with the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, a duo of tablets mighty enough to go toe-to-toe with the iPad Air and iPad Pro. When I say “defied the odds,” it’s not only because the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus run Android, but also because they’re priced in the same premium range as the iPad Pro. And yet, the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus are tablets I can easily recommend to friends and family.
Of course, we don’t recommend purchasing this for a smaller child, but rather someone just learning how to use a keyboard and touchpad as well as someone who might have an affinity for drawing. New to the Galaxy Tab S7 line are a faster processor, 5G connectivity and a revamped S Pen (included in the box). Samsung also improved the external keyboard (sold separately) and outfitted the tablets with 120Hz displays. All of these changes make the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus a significant upgrade from the Tab S6, which they supplant as the best tablets running Android.
See our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review.
If your child is a little older and you can trust them with some pricey tech, we’d recommend getting them a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. With its unique AR capabilities, your child can take a journey through a virtual world and bring creatures to life right on the family couch.
And if they’re into drawing, the newest Apple Pencil is the perfect companion due to its magnetic wireless charging and smooth flat-edge grip. On top of that, they’ll benefit from Xbox One S level graphics that can handle games like NBA 2K19. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is still imposing, but now that’s because of a much more immersive display and not because of the device’s sheer footprint. Apple blasted away the big bezels from the previous model to deliver something that’s almost all screen.
See our full New iPad Pro (2018) 12.9-inch review.
You could go for a more-affordable Android tablet, or one from Amazon, but the iPad offers the strongest app lineup for your kid(s). From educational titles that take advantage of augmented reality titles to a ton of tablet-optimized games, you’ll never find your child asking why a certain app isn’t available for the iPad.
And not only does the 2019 model offer speedy performance and solid battery life, it works with Apple’s Pencil (an extra $99) and has Smart Keyboard support. Sadly, though, the Pencil still charges in the lamest way ever: you pop the cap off its bottom and then awkwardly plug it into the Lightning port on the bottom edge of the iPad. Trying to connect the two again, we were reminded about how the act of plugging the Pencil in doesn’t feel stable at all, still making us think something will snap.
See our full Apple iPad (2019) review.
Editor’s Note: Amazon’s updated the Fire 7 Kids tablet with more storage, more speed, a better Alexa, less battery life and a new adjustable-stand case for hands-free content consumption.
Amazon’s Fire 7 Kids Edition bundles the company’s 7-inch budget tablet ($49 on its own) with a new protective bumper and a year’s subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited for just $99 (16GB). FreeTime Unlimited gives you more than 10,000 books, videos, educational apps and games curated for children. Plus, a two-year guarantee promises a no-questions-asked replacement if your child destroys the tablet.
The parental controls on the Child and Teen profiles let you get very specific about what you want your children to have access to. Or, you can give broad permissions with the Fire’s Smart Filters. Like most Amazon products, the Fire 7 is equipped with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. However, it will not work on any of the profiles if any of the parental controls are activated.
See our full Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition review.
Lenovo’s new 8-inch tablet is a good option for slightly older kids, ones with more experience with technology that don’t need the training-wheels of a tablet made for younger tots. Unlike Amazon’s Fire tablets, the Tab 4 8 offers a true Android experience, so you can use Google’s apps without the annoyances and risks involved with side-loading.
It also offers good battery life and performance, and a bright, colorful display. For $20 extra, you can get Lenovo’s Kids Pack add-on, which includes content curated just for kids, parental controls, options for scheduling and limiting play time, a protective bumper case, stickers and a blue light filter. The Lenovo Tab 4 8’s 1280 x 800 display is more than capable of facilitating comfortable web surfing, gaming and light video viewing. Additionally, with dual Dolby Atmos stereo speakers at the top and bottom edge of the tablet, the Tab 4 8 produced loud audio.
See our full Lenovo Tab 4 8 review.
This enhanced version of Lenovo’s 10-inch tablet can be made more kid-friendly with Lenovo’s $20 Kids Pack add on, which provides a bumper to protect it from drops and a kids mode to protect your child from the worst of the Internet. But why would you go for this larger, pricier version? Its battery lasted three hours longer than the 8-inch model’s did.
The Tab 4 10 Plus emphasizes comfort over style. Its gray, soft-touch plastic makes the chassis easy to grip. Inside that sleek body lies a 2.0-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8953 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage and a Qualcomm Adreno 506 graphics card. The 10.1-inch FHD 1920 x 1200 IPS display on the Lenovo Tab 4 Plus is plenty bright and colorful, but I noticed some glare as I watched the new trailer for White Boy Rick on this panel.
See our full Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus review.
If you trust your kids not to wreck a tablet, it’s hard to say no to the low-priced $50 Amazon Fire tablet, and the 2019 one is new and improved with Alexa. This 7-inch slate offers Amazon’s solid parental controls, so you won’t need to worry about Junior navigating to sites they shouldn’t see. The 1.9 megapixel cameras in the front and rear of the Amazon Fire 7 are OK for a $50 gadget.
However, you’re not getting the rubber bumper, 2-year, no questions asked warranty or the year of FreeTime Unlimited books, videos, educational apps and games. On top of that, the Fire 7 has a relatively low-res display and still doesn’t feature Google apps. The Fire 7 also suffers from underwhelming performance is due to the slate’s no-name 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of memory.
See our full Amazon Fire 7 (2019) review.
How to choose the best kids tablets for you
Choosing the best kids tablet for you all depends on how old your child is and how much you trust them handling expensive tech. If you want a full bonafide kids tablet, your best bet is going with the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition. However, if you need something cheaper and are willing to ditch the extra protection, the Amazon Fire 7 is a solid choice for just $50.
If you need a tablet that both you and your child could use, then going with an Apple product isn’t a bad choice. The Apple iPad is the cheapest of the bunch and offers good battery life as well as support for augmented-reality apps. If you’re looking for a modest android tablet, you could always pick up the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus, but keep in mind that it’s a little old now and running on an even older operating system.
How we test the best kids tablets
We put each tablet through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the tablet, including its performance, battery life, display and speakers.
In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of the tablet’s display. For performance testing, we run the tablet through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 (when applicable).
Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Typically, tablets average around 9 to 10 hours of battery life. For kids tablets, we extensively test the parental controls as well as the interface that kids would be using every day.
These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the tablet’s materials to the feel of its touchscreen display.