Tablets are a fact of life in most families. They’re how we read books, how we get our news, and how we order our groceries. It’s also how now, with COVID-19 upending school as we know it, kids are taking part in classroom instruction. The best kids’ tablets are portable and easier for them to manage than laptops, especially when it comes to remote learning. Tablet computers for kids should be lightweight, durable, have enough battery life to last an entire school day, and easy access to parental controls so you can filter out unsavory content.
How parents handle screen time is a personal choice for each family. But if you are in the market for a kid-friendly tablet, keep a few things in mind. Make sure it’s robust, meaning it won’t break the first time your child drops it in the driveway. Ensure that it has parental controls that limit what your kid sees online and how long he spends doing it. Pay attention to battery life: You want something that lasts long enough to be of service during a road trip. And of course, don’t invest in something expensive enough that you’ll be curled up into a ball when your child cracks the screen. Which will happen.
For younger children not banging out term papers, often the best laptop is a tablet. Hear us out: Their big, touch-friendly displays (this one is 10.2 inches) are familiar to those who are already used to working through smartphone displays, and because he or she hasn’t yet learned to type, it’s easier to chicken-peck the clearly visible letters. Even the weakest modern iPad, like this 7th-generation edition, is miles ahead of early versions, and it’s compatible with Apple’s full range of free programs like the Microsoft Word-like Pages. They’re also light, portable, and can double as evening entertainment so you don’t have to watch Coco for the 42nd time on your actual TV. You can get a keyboard as well, so kids have an easier time typing up their language arts homework.
This 11.6-inch touchscreen tablet converts into a notebook with a fully functional keyboard, stand-up display, or tent. It has a solid 10 hours of battery life. You can add different users and supervise what they do via FamilyLink. It has a 10-point touch screen, two USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 ports, and runs on the Google Chrome operating system, which comes with built-in parental controls. It's also fairly drop-proof, which makes it good for kids, especially older ones that need a device for home learning.
The selling point of this tablet is the battery life: A whopping 14.5 hours. It comes with 32GB of built-in storage, and the option to add a microSD card to expand your memory up to 400GB. The tablet has a 5MP front-facing camera for video calls. The one thing to bear in mind: This does not come with built-in parental controls, so you'll need to download and install a third-party app and set up Google Play parental controls.
Look, there on your child’s home desk! It’s a laptop! It’s a tablet! No, it’s the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (Intel) 2 in 1! Its swivel design makes it great for kids who will be working on a variety of surfaces, while a touch screen feature allows tactile learning for those kids who just can’t keep their hands to themselves. A generous 14-inch screen is right about middle of the pack on this list, while the four gigs of RAM and 128gb solid-state drive storage also fits somewhere in the middle. The real attraction, of course, is its bendable action, but there’s plenty more than good looks. It also boasts some nifty security features, including a fingerprint reader and a privacy shutter on its webcam so that you can rest assured you child is safe even when you’re not reading over his or her shoulder.
The standout aspect of the new Amazon Fire tablet is its battery life: Kids get up to 12 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching videos, and listening to music on one charge. The new version of the beloved Fire Kids has a larger 10 inch display, better battery life, and at 1920 x 1200, much better resolution. The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet gives your kids access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audio books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and other kid-friendly channels. Kids can connect using WiFi, or download content with 32 GB of internal storage; you can add a microSD card for up to 512 GB of additional storage. You can also set up different accounts, and switch to the adult (translation: fully loaded) version as needed.
With up to 13 hours of battery life, this sturdy eight inch tablet goes the distance. Parents can see what their kids are doing online, and set screen time limits. Kids use the the Samsung Kids interface for kid-friendly content, but parents can use a password to leave child mode and access settings, browsers, apps and the Google Play store. It comes with 32GB of built-in memory, but you can expand storage space up to 512GB with a microSD card.
Verizon's Gizmo runs on the Verizon network, which should be self-explanatory, so yes, that's a limitation. However, parents get up to 14.5 hours of battery life, and its ease of use is pretty sensational. Parents can customize the content kids can access based on age and skill level, and determine how long they can use the tablet. The dashboard also keeps parents abreast of just what kids do online. It's durable, it gives kids access to hundreds of kid-friendly apps, and when parents want to take over, they switch it to adult mode.
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