When I was young, all I had was a green-and-black-screened Game Boy. Kids today are different: they want a full-fledged tablet that can play games, watch videos, and read comic books. But thats okay, because there are quite a few solid, affordable tablets designed just for kids.Unfortunately, it can be hard to wade through all the garbage that’s out there. There are a lot of companies selling old, underpowered, or overly locked-down devices that just wont cut it, so you have to be careful when shopping for your little one.In most cases, its best to stick with the big names: the same brands youd buy from if you were looking for a regular tablet. In fact, you could just buy them a normal Android tablet and use its built-in parental controls. But for this list, we’re going to look at mostly kid-focused tablets and a few full-featured slates for those that are a little more grown-up. Here are the best tablets for kids.
TL;DR These are the Best Tablet for Kids:
1. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
The Best Bang for Your Buck Tablet
Screen Size: 8″ Resolution: 1,280 x 800 CPU: 2.0 GHz quad-core processor RAM: 2GB Storage: 32GB Battery: 12-hour Rear Camera: 2MP Front Camera: 2MP OS: Fire OS Size: 9.2″ x 7.2″ x 1.0″ Weight: 550g
Amazon’s top-ranking kids tablet has just gotten better with the new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. While the name hasn’t changed, the internals have, and so has the case. The latest model brings with it an upgrade processor that kicks things up from the old 1.2GHz quad-core to a 2.0GHz quad-core processor. It also increases the RAM from 1.5GB to 2GB. While the storage remains the same at 32GB, you can expand that with a microSD card. Battery life is also improved at up to 12 hours.The other big improvement this time around comes from the case. The new case includes a stand, so your kids don’t have to hold onto the tablet the whole time they use it. The case also includes a special design to help channel the stereo speakers’ sound forward toward your kid’s ears (and not the ears of everyone else around). There’s also a USB-C port now for easier charging. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition continues to offer some of the same great services, including a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, a video service for kids, as well as Amazon’s two-year warranty to replace broken tablets for free.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab A
Best Android Tablet for Kids
Screen Size: 8″ Resolution: 1,280 x 800 CPU: Exynos 7904 Quad-core RAM: 2GB Storage: 32GB Battery: 13-hour, 5,100mAh Rear Camera: 8MP Front Camera: 2MP OS: Android 9.0 Pie Size: 8.3″ x 4.90″ x 0.3″ Weight: 345g
Just as Samsung’s phones cover all ends of the spectrum price-wise, so too do its tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a highly affordable Android tablet, which makes it a strong option for kids. It’s low price means you won’t have to worry about a seriously premium device being at the mercy of your kid. But, as your child grows up and becomes more responsible, they’ll be able to continue enjoying the capabilities of this tablet.It offers a full Android operating system, running on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, and includes an Exynos quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The screen is big enough and sharp enough for your child to enjoy educational content, media, and browse the web. If you’re worried about what content your child can access or how much time they spend on the tablet, Android’s parental controls will help you monitor their screen time and limit their activity.
3. LeapFrog Epic
The Best Educational Tablet
Screen Size: 7″ Resolution: 1,024 x 600 CPU: 1.3GHz quad-core processor RAM: 1GB Storage: 16GB Battery: 7-hour Rear Camera: 2MP Front Camera: 2MP OS: Android 4.4 KitKat Size: 9″ x 6.38″ x 1.02″ Weight: 580g
While the Amazon Fire Kids edition has educational content, its also a bit more of an open sandbox. If youre looking for something a bit more strictly educational, LeapFrogs Epic tablet comes pre-loaded with a bunch of educational apps, while still allowing parents to install certain apps from the Amazon Appstore (no Google Play, though). The home screen is a bit less traditional, with a customizable scene containing colorful characters, which may appeal to younger kids. Like the other tablets on this list, it comes with a rubber bumper to protect the device from falls, and you can subscribe to LeapFrog Academy for even more content. The LeapFrog Epic is similarly specced to the other tablets on this list1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storagebut its priced a bit lower, currently around $100 on Amazon. It also uses Android 4.4 as its OS, so make sure the apps you want to use are compatible with older versions of Googles operating system.4. Apple iPad (8th Generation)
Best iPad for Kids
Screen Size: 10.2″ Resolution: Retina CPU: A12 Bionic RAM: 3GB Storage: 32GB Battery: 10-hour Rear Camera: 8MP Front Camera: 1.2MP OS: iPadOS 14 Size: 9.8″ x 6.8″ x 0.29″ Weight: 490g
Apple’s updated iPad keeps up the company’s strong offerings at the more affordable end of the market. The 8th-generation iPad doesn’t change much from the previous model, but it has a big upgrade on the inside going from Apple’s A10 chip to the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine. This will give it a substantial leap in power, and the extra graphics power will really help when it’s time for some games on this tablet.The new iPad also comes running iPadOS and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. That enables it to recognize handwriting and make note-taking more effective than ever. This iPad does still use a Lightning port to charge, not making the switch to USB-C like Apple’s higher-end iPads, but at least that means you’ll have an easy time managing your charging cables if you also have iPhones in the house. And, when it comes to parental controls, Apple has you covered. Just make sure to put this in an iPad case if you want your investment to last.
5. Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100
Best Chromebook Tablet for Kids
Screen Size: 9.7″ Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 CPU: OP1 Hexa-core Processor RAM: 4GB Storage: 32GB Battery: 9.5-hour, 35WHr Rear Camera: 5MP Front Camera: 2MP OS: ChromeOS Size: 9.41″ x 6.77″ x 0.39″ Weight: 580g
The Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100 is a Chrome OS-based slate you shouldn’t pass up. It’s a little slimmer than the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 that previously held this spot, but it features a rubberized exterior that should protect it from falls as high as three-feet and three-inches high.The CT100 also comes with the same 9.7-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 resolution screen, OP1 Hexa-core Processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC Storage as the Acer’s Chrome OS slate, so this kids tablet is ready for school work.
6. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Best Chromebook 2-in-1
Screen Size: 10.1″ Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T octa-core processor RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x Storage: 64GB eMCP Battery: 10-hour Rear Camera: 8MP Front Camera: 2MP OS: Chrome OS Size: 9.64″ x 6.66″ x 0.71″ Weight: 920g
Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet demonstrates what a great 2-in-1 Chromebook can be. Its compact size makes it kid friendly, while Chrome OS makes it easy to use. It offers up a 10.1-inch display, which is enough space to do a bit of homework or explore educational apps. That display is a sharp 1,920 x 1,200 and hits 400 nits, making it bright enough for most settings. It’s also a quality IPS display, so your kids will have an easy time seeing it, and you’ll be able to make out what’s on the screen from an angle if you need to monitor your child’s use.The tablet portion is just under one pound, making it incredibly light for kids to play with, and it weighs just over two pounds with the keyboard attached. That portability makes it great for older kids who might need to take it to school with them. And, with a 10-hour battery life, it’s got enough juice to last through a whole school day. For kids’ artistic urges, active stylus support will be another major bonus.
7. Kano PC
Best DIY Tablet for Kids
Screen Size: 11.6″ Resolution: 1,366 x 768 CPU: 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron N4000 dual-core processor RAM: 4GB DDR3L Storage: 64GB eMMC Battery: 10-hour OS: Windows 10 Home
If you’re trying to get your kid started on the road to building their own PC or writing their own programs, the Kano PC is a fun start. This simple Windows tablet has some assembly required, as the battery and speaker need to be installed inside the chassis. But, it’s simpler to assemble than some LEGO sets, and it has details printed on the inside to explain the various components of the computer.The tablet itself may be fairly thick as a result of the accessible design, but that makes for a replaceable battery, and this kit does include a nice keyboard cover. In addition to running Windows 10 Home, you’ll get Kano Software Studio + Projects, which can let your kid experiment with coding, design, and 3D modeling.
Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark