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Best kids tablet 2020: the top picks for children

Best tablet for kids
(Image credit: Future)

What are the best kids tablets – and why would you consider one? You may be thinking that the best tablet is the best option, but there are plenty of reasons why a dedicated kids tablet from Amazon or Samsung is a better option for the young'uns than a fully-fledged iPad Pro.

Kids tablets are hardier than their adult counterparts – and often cheaper too, given they tend to pack lower-spec processors and not require the high-end performance you might need for work applications or video calls

These tablets are still great for playing games, watching films, reading books or listening to music – all for a fraction of the price of a modern smartphone too. You can be sure it will keep them occupied for long journeys (or long periods stuck indoors) too.

Many tablets aimed at kids also come with custom software which has parental controls activated by default, making it easier for you to monitor what they're installing and looking at.

Also, it's worth considering what your child is most likely to use their device for – if they're a total bookworm then you might be better off investing in an Amazon Kindle Kids Edition, which comes in a child-friendly case and boasts a year of Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited. If they love games above all else, then perhaps a dedicated console – like the New Nintendo 2DS XL or even the Switch Lite – might be more suitable for their needs..

Best tablet for kids

(Image credit: Future)

1. Amazon Fire 7

Amazon's cheapest tablet is a winner for kids

Weight: 286g | Dimensions: 192 x 115 x 9.6mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: 1,024 x 600 | CPU: 1.3GHz Quad-core | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: up to 7 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

Amazing value
Great selection of content 
Underpowered tech
Disappointing stamina

Amazon's Fire line has been around for ages, and has quite rightly cornered the market when it comes to cheap and cheerful tablets. The Fire 7 is one of the cheapest tablets around and comes in a range of bright colors, which makes it the ideal choice for school kids and teenagers looking for their first smart device. 

You'll want to get to grips with the parental controls before handing it over to very young children and don't expect cutting-edge performance or exceptional battery life for the price, but it really is hard to think of any other tablet which can match the Fire 7 when it comes to price and sheer volume of content; Amazon's app store is stocked to bursting point. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

A small screen slate built specifically for children

Weight: 550g | Dimensions: 233 x 184 x 26mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: quad-core | Storage: 32GB | Battery: up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Durable
Comes with loads of content
Pricier than standard Fire tablets
Chunky

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (2020) is the latest version of Amazon’s kid-friendly 8-inch slate, and while it’s not a huge upgrade on the previous model it’s certainly the one to go for, as it has more power and storage than its predecessor, while still coming in at a low price.

Essentially it’s a kid’s version of the standard Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020), with the key strengths of this tablet including its durable, colorful shell, that will both appeal to children and withstand most accidents.

There’s also an adjustable stand built in, so children won’t have to hold the tablet to use it, and it comes with a one-year subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited, giving you access to a wealth of kid-friendly apps, videos, and games.

iPad 10.2 (2019)

(Image credit: Apple)

3. iPad 10.2 (2019)

Expensive for kids, but a fantastic choice

Weight: 483g | Dimensions: 251 x 174 x 7.5mm | OS: iPadOS | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 1620 x 2160 pixels | CPU: A10 Fusion | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Bigger screen than previous models
iPadOS has lots of apps
Older iPads are cheaper
You may need a case

The iPad 10.2 is the cheapest tablet in Apple's range, and it may be a great choice for your kids. iPadOS is full of fantastic tools, apps and games for your children, and this is one of the cheapest options.

If you're worried about it getting damaged, you may want to buy a case for the iPad 10.2 as well. This isn't going to the be the most durable option you'll find on this list.

We've also opted for the older 2019 edition, instead of the latest iPad 10.2 that was released in 2020. That is still a great option for kids if you're looking for a even faster tablet, but this 2019 edition isn't that different and won't cost as much as the 2020 version.

Best tablet for kids

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

A grown-up tablet that is still suitable for kids

Weight: 345g | Dimensions: 210 x 124.4 x 8mm | OS: Android | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 800 x 1280 | CPU: quad-core | Storage: 32GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Great design
Decent specs for the price
Still not quite cutting-edge
No protection

If you've got an older child or fashion-conscious teen then they might not thank you for buying a tablet which comes with a brightly-colored bumper or crayon-like stylus.

If an iPad is still out of the question then Samsung's Galaxy Tab A8 could present the ideal middle ground; it's got a mature design and decent specifications but offers the option of adding parental controls so you can still have some peace of mind. 

The best thing is that as your teenager gets older, they don't need to discard the Galaxy Tab 8 as you can remove the controls (assuming you trust them) and viola – it becomes a tablet for a grown-up (well, a grown-up child, at least). Samsung's reputation for quality and design shines through on this reasonably-priced slate, so it's well worth a look. 

Best tablet for kids

(Image credit: Future)

5. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

A large, pin-sharp screen and bumper protection

Weight: 778g | Dimensions: 292 x 206 x 26mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: octa-core | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Amazing screen
Comes with Fire For Kids Unlimited
Expensive
Quite bulky

Amazon's 10-inch kids tablet offers a crisp IPS 1080p screen that's great for playing games and watching movies on, and also provides plenty of display real estate for kids who are just starting to find their love of reading. 

Like several of Amazon's other tablets, the Fire HD 10 is available in a 'Kids Edition' package which slaps a massive rubber bumper on for protection and allows you to enable controls which prevent your children from viewing questionable content. The catch is that the Fire HD 10 is quite expensive, and that massive screen means an equally massive footprint, which some younger users may find too unwieldy.

However, you do get a year of Fire For Kids Unlimited, which provides free age-appropriate content for your precious ones.

Best tablet for kids

(Image credit: Kurio)

6. Kurio Tab Advance

This mid-range marvel hits the right balance

Weight: 318g | Dimensions: 189 x 108 x 10mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: N/A | CPU: quad-core | Storage: 16GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 0.3MP

Google Play Store onboard
Can withstand plenty of knocks
Screen could be better
Camera is disappointing

Kurio's speciality in making tech for younger users so you'd expect the company to have a fairly assured grasp of what's required from such a device. 

The Kurio Tab Advance has a protective bumper to prevent damage from accidental drops and a host of detailed controls which mean you have peace of mind at all times; the web filter, for example, automatically blocks inappropriate content. 

However, this is still a pretty capable Android-based tablet which can access the Google Play Store so, as your child grows, they can download content which evolves at the same rate as their minds. 

On the downside, the screen is a bit of a letdown and, like many tablets aimed at kiddies, the processor is quite weak compared to what's available elsewhere. The camera is also something of a disappointment, but it gets the job done regardless. 

Best tablet for kids

(Image credit: LeapFrog)

7. LeapFrog Epic

A child-friendly tablet with software that grows as your child does

Weight: N/A | Dimensions: N/A | OS: Android 4.4 | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: 1024 x 600 | CPU: quad-core | Storage: 16GB | Battery: Over 5 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Clever "growing" software
Rugged design
Poor screen
Weak processor

LeapFrog is a name that will be instantly familiar to many parents – the brand has been responsible for countless electronic devices aimed at very young children – and the Epic (which stands for 'Explore, Play, Imagine, Create', in case you were wondering) is the company's most advanced tablet yet. 

While the tech is admittedly unimpressive – it has an average screen and a sluggish processor – the Epic's strength is that the whole experience is tailored for very young users. While it's running Google's Android OS, LeapFrog has customized the UI with bespoke features like daily gifts and the whole system is designed to 'grow' as your child does.

Stringent parental controls are a given, and the rubber bumper, shatter-proof display, MicroSD card slot and bundled stylus round off a package that's ideal for especially young users. 

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