The company's kid-friendly FreeTime service is also coming to Fire TV devices.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
ExpertiseMobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakersCredentials
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Amazon's been selling kid-friendly editions of Fire tablets for a while, but now it's bringing the Kids Edition concept to its Kindle e-reader. The new Kindle Kids Edition includes the entry-level Kindle bundled with a case, one year free of Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited subscription service and a two-year free replacement guaranty should the device break. Available for preorder now, the bundle costs $110 and ships Oct. 30. The same hardware, without all those extras, otherwise costs $90, and there are currently no plans to offer Kids Edition versions of the Paperwhite or Oasis.
Amazon describes FreeTime Unlimited as "an all-in-one subscription that gives kids access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, Audible books, and games on compatible Fire, Android, iOS and Kindle devices." The subscription for a single child (once the free year ends) costs $2.99 a month for Prime members or $4.99 a month for non Prime members. Meanwhile, a family plan for multiple children jumps to $6.99 for Prime members and $9.99 a month for non Prime members.
Aside from its eye-catching case designs, the Kindle Kids Edition has some kid-friendly software features. Here's a quick look at the full feature set, according to Amazon:
Achievement Badges: Kids can earn badges like Book Worm and Over Achiever when they make progress toward pre-defined goals.
Easy Discovery: With enhanced browsing and search, kids can locate titles without the exact spelling. And with smart recommendations, kids can find books related to the genres, authors and characters they like.
Word Wise: Kids are automatically provided short and simple definitions above difficult words, so they can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
Dictionary: If kids come across a difficult word, they can select the word to look up the definition via the built-in Kindle dictionary.
Vocabulary Builder: Words looked up in dictionaries are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder and turned into flashcards for future review and learning.
Kid-friendly Wallpaper: A unique set of lock screen wallpapers designed specifically for kids are included.