Best Tablet for Kids 2021: Educational and Kid-Friendly Tablets
In most cases, it’s best to stick with the big names: the same brands you’d buy from if you were looking for a regular tablet. In fact, you could just buy them a normal Android tablet and use its built-in parental controls. But for this list, we’re going to look at mostly kid-focused tablets and a few full-featured slates for those that are a little more grown-up. Here are the best tablets for kids.
TL;DR – These are the Best Tablet for Kids:
1. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
The Best Bang for Your Buck Tablet
Amazon makes some great budget tablets, and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition brings that experience specially tailored for children. It delivers an 8-inch display large enough for kids to see what they’re doing and interact with it. And, Amazon loads the Kids Edition tablet up with apps for their entertainment and education, including a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. Naturally, parental controls will let you keep the tablet locked down to only the apps you deem appropriate for your child.
Now, what makes a truly great tech product for kids? Affordability and durability. Most of our gadgets (even expensive ones) don’t have the most solid designs, and when they get into kids’ hands, they can have a way of meeting unfortunate fates. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition gets things right by charging a reasonable price for a sizable tablet that comes in a beefy case designed for even the least-careful children. That makes it tough for a kid to break accidentally, and Amazon even offers a guarantee to replace any broken tablet within two years of purchase for free.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab A
Best Android Tablet for Kids
Just as Samsung’s phones cover all ends of the spectrum price-wise, so too do its tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a highly affordable Android tablet, which makes it a strong option for kids. It’s low price means you won’t have to worry about a seriously premium device being at the mercy of your kid. But, as your child grows up and becomes more responsible, they’ll be able to continue enjoying the capabilities of this tablet.
It offers a full Android operating system, running on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, and includes an Exynos quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The screen is big enough and sharp enough for your child to enjoy educational content, media, and browse the web. If you’re worried about what content your child can access or how much time they spend on the tablet, Android’s parental controls will help you monitor their screen time and limit their activity.
3. LeapFrog Epic
The Best Educational Tablet
While the Amazon Fire Kids edition has educational content, it’s also a bit more of an open sandbox. If you’re looking for something a bit more strictly educational, LeapFrog’s Epic tablet comes pre-loaded with a bunch of educational apps, while still allowing parents to install certain apps from the Amazon Appstore (no Google Play, though). The home screen is a bit less traditional, with a customizable scene containing colorful characters, which may appeal to younger kids. Like the other tablets on this list, it comes with a rubber bumper to protect the device from falls, and you can subscribe to LeapFrog Academy for even more content. The LeapFrog Epic is similarly specced to the other tablets on this list—1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage—but it’s priced a bit lower, currently around $100 on Amazon. It also uses Android 4.4 as its OS, so make sure the apps you want to use are compatible with older versions of Google’s operating system.
4. Apple iPad (8th Generation)
Best iPad for Kids
Apple’s updated iPad keeps up the company’s strong offerings at the more affordable end of the market. The 8th-generation iPad doesn’t change much from the previous model, but it has a big upgrade on the inside going from Apple’s A10 chip to the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine. This will give it a substantial leap in power, and the extra graphics power will really help when it’s time for some games on this tablet.
The new iPad also comes running iPadOS and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. That enables it to recognize handwriting and make note-taking more effective than ever. This iPad does still use a Lightning port to charge, not making the switch to USB-C like Apple’s higher-end iPads, but at least that means you’ll have an easy time managing your charging cables if you also have iPhones in the house. And, when it comes to parental controls, Apple has you covered. Just make sure to put this in an iPad case if you want your investment to last.
5. Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100
Best Chromebook Tablet for Kids
The Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100 is a Chrome OS-based slate you shouldn’t pass up. It’s a little slimmer than the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 that previously held this spot, but it features a rubberized exterior that should protect it from falls as high as three-feet and three-inches high.
The CT100 also comes with the same 9.7-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 resolution screen, OP1 Hexa-core Processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC Storage as the Acer’s Chrome OS slate, so this kids tablet is ready for school work.
6. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Best Chromebook 2-in-1
Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet demonstrates what a great 2-in-1 Chromebook can be. Its compact size makes it kid friendly, while Chrome OS makes it easy to use. It offers up a 10.1-inch display, which is enough space to do a bit of homework or explore educational apps. That display is a sharp 1,920 x 1,200 and hits 400 nits, making it bright enough for most settings. It’s also a quality IPS display, so your kids will have an easy time seeing it, and you’ll be able to make out what’s on the screen from an angle if you need to monitor your child’s use.
The tablet portion is just under one pound, making it incredibly light for kids to play with, and it weighs just over two pounds with the keyboard attached. That portability makes it great for older kids who might need to take it to school with them. And, with a 10-hour battery life, it’s got enough juice to last through a whole school day. For kids’ artistic urges, active stylus support will be another major bonus.
7. Kano PC
Best DIY Tablet for Kids
If you’re trying to get your kid started on the road to building their own PC or writing their own programs, the Kano PC is a fun start. This simple Windows tablet has some assembly required, as the battery and speaker need to be installed inside the chassis. But, it’s simpler to assemble than some LEGO sets, and it has details printed on the inside to explain the various components of the computer.
The tablet itself may be fairly thick as a result of the accessible design, but that makes for a replaceable battery, and this kit does include a nice keyboard cover. In addition to running Windows 10 Home, you’ll get Kano Software Studio + Projects, which can let your kid experiment with coding, design, and 3D modeling.
Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark