Decent functionality for the price that is low, but the true draw is its eat-all-you-need catalog of videos, games, ebooks and apps
The thought of giving a child a £429 device appeared like mad talk when Apple launched its first iPad in 2010. Yet that’s just what happened with that and succeeding tablets.
Fast forward to May 2015, when the UK communications regulator Ofcom that is ’s reported that 71% of British 5-15 year-olds had access to your tablet computer including 34% who had their own one, in the home.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets fell into that pattern too, but now Amazon is launching a specially-for-children device: the Fire HD Kids Edition. It’s a rebranded version of the business’s present Fire HD device, as the particular name makes clear.
It comes with a rubberised case for additional protection against being dropped or flung by an angry child over the room, having a two-year guarantee to replace the device if it does break.
Amazon’s existing parental controls assist you to set limits in your children’s display time on the tablet, while a built-in subscription plan gives them unlimited access to a catalogue of child-friendly programs, games, ebooks as well as videos.
After updating to a newer model oftentimes, parents have passed down the latter, but several producers have launched committed tablet computers for kids also.
LeapFrog’s LeapPad variety, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 Children and the Kurio were three examples, while Tesco’s Hudl tablet computers were in theory directed at families, but in practice were frequently bought by parents because of their children.
The pitch: here is a tablet you may set up for your child, then leave in their own hands safe in the knowledge that they won’t be spending money on in-app purchases, seeing advertising that are inappropriate or accessing social networks.
Great functionality for the price
The Fire HD Kids Edition has a six-inch display, and comes in another with 16GB for £139 and 1 of 2 versions: one with 8GB of storage for £119.
At 360g together with the case, the tablet PC feels reassuringly strong, and bounces without damage when dropped from a table or bunkbed. Its 1280×800-resolution screen and quad-core processor represent good value for its price also.
Good for the type of casual snapshots show off and most kids will desire to take.
The set up procedure is simple and rapid, particularly if you purchased the tablet for yourself rather than received it as a gift – in the previous case, Amazon will preload your account details on the device. You then create individual profiles for your youngsters.
For youngsters, the user interface is easy and clear: a central carousel of their recently- buttons to browse the broader catalogue of publications, videos and apps, and also a search button to immediately find specific things, and accessed content. At any point, swiping down in the top of the screen brings up controls to go back to the homescreen.
As the parent account, you have more options, including email, internet browsing and shopping from Amazon. There’s also a committed program to create limitations in your kids’s use, including a “bedtime” period that locks the device between (for example) 8pm and 8am.
You can also place daily screen time, but with nuanced managements based on Amazon’s categorization of programs, videos and ebooks as educational or entertainment.
If you want, you’re able to pin down just how much time ahead of the amusement is unlocked, each child must spend on informative content a day. Plus, you can fine tune screen-time: for example letting a child read ebooks as much as they enjoy, but setting a one-hour limit on apps.
There is certainly certainly plenty of content for kids to explore utilizing the Fire for Kids Boundless subscription plan, which is readily available for all Amazon’s tablet computers, although the Fire HD Kids Edition comes with a year’s subscription bundled into its cost.
Normally, it costs £3.99 a month per child or £7.99 for up to four, although Amazon Prime members get discounted rates of £1.99 and £3.99 a month respectively.
You get a great selection of programs from children’s programmers like Toca Boca, StoryToys, Dr Panda and Sago Sago, along with well known brands like Disney, Sesame Street, Dr Seuss and Thomas & Friends.
Your children may gravitate towards the well-known names in the beginning, but there’s an impressive long tail of programs that are independent to use as time goes on. The advantage of not having to purchase apps separately may encourage kids to search the catalogue.
The books section is the same combination of brands (SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a lot of movie tie-ins) with quirkier fare.
Imagine if your children want a program that’sn’t part of the subscription? The initial two programs my sons asked me to install were Minecraft and Crossy Road, which aren’t part of Fire for Kids Unlimited. That is really where you change to your profile, make use of the Fire for Kids app to “add” them to your children, and get them from Amazon’s Appstore ’s libraries.
What this means is you are able to let your kids play “freemium” games (such as Crossy Road) although the tablet PC will block them from buying in-program purchases.
As a robust, tablet computer that is affordable, the Fire HD Kids Edition makes an ideal first tablet for children, with a great balance between kids taking control above their download picks, and parents having the capability to create limits on how they use it.
The built in subscription has lots of good, educational or content that is entertaining to explore, but the flexibility to set up games and other programs is welcome – especially if your kids are reaching peak Minecraft age.
It’d be pleasant to be able to store some of Amazon’s video catalogue for offline viewing ahead of an extended trip or holiday, and I wonder if there is scope to incorporate downloads or music streaming into the subscription in the future. However, as things stand this is one of the best kids’s pills yet.