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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Durable design with bumper case
Excellent kids content
Includes a year of FreeTime Unlimited
Good parental controls
Two year worry-free guarantee
Not a good option for older kids
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet is a great option for kids 10 and under, but parents of teens may want to consider a different option.
It can be tough to find a kids tablet that balances a parent’s needs for good parental controls with a child’s desire to have freedom over their content options, but Amazon tries to find that equilibrium with its Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet. With a powerful processor, a year of Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited, a two-year worry-free guarantee, and a parental dashboard, the Fire Tab 10 HD Kids Edition appears to offer a lot of value. How does it fare with children? I tested the tablet along with my 12-year-old daughter to find out.
When I first saw the tablet, it kind of reminded me of the Nabi tablet my son had years ago. The large foam-like case gives it a whimsical appearance. It looks like a toy. The case is effective at protecting the tablet though. I dropped it on a concrete surface from a standing position, and it didn’t break the device. The case also has a stand, which lets the child watch content without holding the tablet. There’s a small handle too, so a kid can hold onto their tablet and take it with them on the go.
The case is removable, but there’s really not much need for your child to remove it because it has cutout portions for the buttons, camera, speakers, and USB-C connector. You only need to remove the case to access the MicroSD slot, which a child wouldn’t really be messing with.
The 10.1-inch HD display is bright and large enough to view content from a distance. It has a 1920 x 1200 resolution at 224 pixels per inch. The animation is clear and immersive, and shows look pretty good. For a tablet this size and in such an affordable price category, I was impressed with the display.
The tablet runs on a 2 GHz octa-core processor, the ARM 8183. The tablet has 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage, although you can expand the storage with a microSD card. The Kids Tab 10 is actually pretty fast, blazing from task to task. My daughter could jump from book to book very quickly.
When I move to the parent profile, it loads almost instantly. I was able to have email, videos, and the browser running without experiencing any lag. The App Store is limited, so I couldn’t download too many benchmark tools. It had Geekbench 3, and the Kid’s Fire Tab scored well, with a single-core score of 1604 and a multi-core score of 5121. I also ran 3DMark, and it maxed out Ice Storm Extreme, so I ran Ice Storm Unlimited, and the tablet scored a 17786.
One thing I don’t like about the Fire Tablet is that it pushes Amazon products too hard—Amazon shows, movies, music, and even the Amazon Silk browser. If you’re not a Prime Member, the Fire Tab probably isn’t for you (kids or regular edition).
FreeTime Unlimited gives your child access to more than 20,000 books, games, apps, and videos. The content is more appropriate for kids under the age of 10, but my daughter did find a few things she enjoyed.
For a small child who isn’t in school yet, there are a lot of learning apps that are incredibly useful. For a school-aged child who needs to consistently access their school email, their school site, Google’s suite, and researches the web, the Fire Tab 10 HD Kids Edition may not be ideal. My 12-year-old daughter approached me on several occasions and asked me things like “how do I get to Google Drive?” or “how do I check my school email?” I’d have to add every single thing she needed.
Typically, you block content or types of content you don’t want your child accessing. With this tablet, it was as if I had to add every single thing I was ok with my child accessing. It was a bit tedious and time-consuming.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the parental controls on this tablet are exceptional. For once, I felt like I had ultimate control over everything my child did on her tablet. But, in this day and age, where the school is virtual in many parts of the country, this may be a more difficult approach, albeit an effective one once you go through the arduous initial setup required to make this a school-appropriate productivity device for a child.
The audio quality is pretty good, as the tablet has two speakers. You can clearly hear shows, movies, and music from a considerable distance. There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which lets your child listen through a pair of third party headphones or a separate speaker.
The microphone is very sensitive, so if you turn on Alexa, she will hear you from across the room. She may also hear people on TV when they say the “A-word” and respond.
The Fire HD Tab 10 Kids Edition works on dual-band networks. It’s compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networks and WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security protocols. It’s not currently Wi-Fi 6 compatible. The Wi-Fi in my home maxes out at 400 Mbps, and I was able to get average speeds of 280 Mbps (download) and 36 (upload) indoors. You can connect the tablet to a hotspot or a public network provided it meets the compatibility requirements.
The camera on this tablet is poor. It has a 2MP front camera and a 2MP rear camera. Pictures are not crisp or high def, and it has few software additions to customize your photo-taking experience. Video records in 720p, but it doesn’t look sharp or clean. On the plus side, you can allow or disallow your child’s access to the camera.
The battery life allows for up to 12 hours of use (reading, web searching, listening to music, watching shows). The battery life depends on how you use the tablet, and I was able to get about 10 hours of consistent use. A child can easily get a full day out of the device with extremely heavy use. With normal use, the battery should last for around three days. The tablet charges in about 4 hours.
FireOS is a version of Android that’s Amazon centric. I found it somewhat clunky and hard to navigate at first, but it grew on me once I got used to it. The Fire Tab HD 10 Kids Edition lacks biometrics like face recognition or a fingerprint reader, and you use a passcode to secure the device. The device has Alexa incorporated, and the assistant can help navigate the tablet’s features via voice control.
The real stars of the show are FreeTime and the parental control dashboard. For a young child, there’s a ton of content, and you can control everything your child consumes.
The Fire Tab 10 HD Kids Edition retails for $200, but you can often find it on sale for around $150. This is an amazing value when you account for the year of FreeTime Unlimited and the two-year worry-free guarantee, which provides extra coverage for the tablet.
The iPad is a better option for a teen who needs a tablet for school. You can monitor your kid’s usage using Apple’s screen time, and set parental limitations right in the family settings. If you need more comprehensive parental controls, there are plenty of third-party applications available in the App Store. The Fire Tab is better for younger children, and it sells for significantly less than the iPad (which starts at $329).
Great for younger children, but most teens will not like this tablet.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition provides peace of mind for parents, but it may not be ideal for kids who need a device on which to do their schoolwork.