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The best kids' tablets for 2021

What's the best tablet to buy for your child? Here are our top picks for durable kid-friendly tablets.

When looking for a tablet for your kid, it may be best to avoid pricey premium tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro, the iPad Mini, the Apple iPad Pro or even the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. (It would be a particular type of heartbreak to watch an iPad Pro shatter on the ground, which it can do, even with a protective case.) Many kid-friendly tablets offer robust parental control features that let parents monitor their screen time and the content kids can access. Whether you're buying a children's tablet for an older child, a younger kid or a little one, you're sure to find a great tablet among our picks for the best tablet for kids.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

Tablets can be a great resource with loads of apps and educational content, so it's no wonder parents are drawn to them for their children. Kids can play games, listen to music, watch movies and read books all on a tablet. There are even toys that work alongside a kid friendly tablet to teach children how to code. Not only can these tablets keep your kid occupied while you're working or making dinner, they can also teach your child the basics of using a computer. Many of the tablets on our list come preloaded with kid friendly content and educational apps to facilitate learning alongside the fun entertainment apps.

When you're searching for the best kids' tablet, it's important to consider affordability, battery life, durability and life span before buying one, especially if you're shopping for younger kids. Since children tend to be a little clumsier and exceptionally sticky, it's a good idea to invest in a tablet with sturdy construction or a durable kid proof case that can protect a delicate glass screen against any scratches or drops; a rubberized bumper case of some kind usually does the trick. And, when it comes to a kid friendly tablet, you don't necessarily need top-of-the-line features or a fancy operating system with access to tons of apps -- often, YouTube Kids and some educational apps are enough.

Amazon

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the kids' tablet version of the Amazon Fire HD 10, with the largest display in the lineup of Amazon tablet options. Just like its 7- and 8-inch screen size siblings, this Fire tablet features a ton of parental control options and a rubberized bumper case to protect the device against drops. This 10.1-inch Amazon Fire tablet also includes a two-year "worry-free" replacement warranty and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. Previously called Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon Kids Plus is a content library that gives kids access to plenty of books, games, app options and age-appropriate kid-friendly content whether you're purchasing this Fire HD tablet for a younger child or older kid.

Amazon also offers another version of the child-friendly tablet, called the Fire HD 10 Pro Kids Edition, which has a slimmer case alongside more web browsing and app options for older children.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is cheaper and 2 inches smaller than the 10-inch version of the kids' tablet, but it includes the same bundle of parental controls, rubberized bumper case to protect the device, two-year "worry-free" replacement warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. You can add a microSD card for additional storage. Compared with the Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet, the HD 8 Kids tablet costs more, but it's got a higher-resolution screen, faster performance and more storage, making it a worthwhile upgrade.

Like the 10-inch version, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also has a slimmer Pro version for older kids. It is, however, a little bit pricier than the standard 8-inch kids' tablet. 

Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition review.

 

Amazon

The Amazon Fire 7 is the most budget-friendly "learning tablet" option out of the lineup of Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets. This Kids Edition tablet does a decent job at most tasks and apps and includes the same bundle of parental controls, padded tablet case, two-year warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus.

Like both the 10- and 8-inch options, the Fire 7 also has a kid-friendly Pro tablet for older children that features a slimmer case, more web browsing and app options.

Read our Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition review.

 

When it comes to tablets, Apple's iPad definitely has the more recognizable name, and in-app purchases are easy on an iPad. However, handing over an iPad with endless app options to young kids can be a nerve-wracking experience considering that high iPad price. But compared with Amazon's Kids Edition tablets, an iPad has more versatility in adapting to a growing kid's changing needs in a tablet. The 2020 entry-level iPad offers all the benefits and smooth performance of an iPad at a more affordable price than a new iPad Pro or iPad Mini.

Read our Apple iPad (10.2-inch, 2020) review.