The best tablets for kids have educational apps, games, and videos; but what about safety?
After all, a tablet has access to the Internet, which holds a slew of inappropriate information and online predators. In fact, there are about 750,000 predators online, according to the FBI.
Knowing this, which tablet is the most suitable for kids? Better yet, which one will protect your kids from online predators, data tracking, and inappropriate Internet behavior?
In this guide, I'll answer those questions. I'll rank and compare the best kid-friendly tablets based on thorough research, ratings, and customer experiences. From there, we'll discuss the important things you need to know before making a purchase, and whether a tablet is a right choice for your child.
The Best Tablets for Kids - In This Guide
The Best Tablets For Kids: Our Top Picks
iPad Mini 4 Review
- Parental controls and privacy restrictions
- Tons of apps for kids
- Battery lasts up to 10 hours
- Great screen resolution
- Loads fast with split screen capabilities
- No 3D touch
iPad Mini 4 Specs
The iPad Mini 4 is a great kids tablet with WiFi and cellular data options. iPad Mini 4 price includes parental controls and privacy settings. You can restrict your child from visiting certain apps and using the Internet if you'd like. You can even put a lock on installing apps and purchasing anything without your permission. The iPad Mini's small size makes it the best iPad for kids.
The Apple iPad Mini 4 also has a better screen resolution and selection of children's apps than most children's tablets with thousands of apps built specifically for kids and education. iPad Mini 4 specs include 2048 x 1536 resolution and a 7.9-inch display. The only downside to the iPad Mini is that it's not quite as advanced as other iPads with 3D touch, although I'm sure your child won't be upset about it. Additionally, it is a bit more expensive than other tablets for kids.
Samsung Galaxy Tab E Review
- 13-hour battery life
- Decent screen resolution for size
- Sturdy design
- Kid mode for parental controls
- May not be as fast as other tablets
- A little more expensive than others
Samsung Galaxy Tab E Specs
The Samsung Galaxy Tab E price includes a quality kids tablet with 16 GB of storage. Samsung Galaxy Tab E specs offer a 1280 x 720 screen resolution and an 8-inch screen. This kids tablet with WiFi-only and data versions runs on an Android operating system. It even has a free kids mode from Samsung Galaxy Essentials so you can manage what your kids access online and for how long.
Another great thing about the Samsung Galaxy Tab E is its amazing battery life; it lasts up to 13 hours. It also has an extremely sturdy design, perfect for kids. The only downside to the Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet for kids is that it may not be as fast as other tablets. It is also a bit more expensive than most kid-friendly tablets, although it doesn't surpass Apple's iPad Mini 4.
Amazon Fire Kids Tablet Review
- Affordable with various Amazon extras
- Unlimited access to over 10 million books and kids apps
- Fantastic parental controls
- Two-year warranty
- Designed with kids in mind
- Screen resolution not great
- 7-hour battery life
Amazon Fire Kids Tablet Specs
The Amazon Fire Kids Tablet is one of the best tablets for kids out there. This kid-friendly tablet was built with children in mind. As a result, it has a small screen and comes with various Amazon extras. Extras include a protective kids tablet case and one-year of Amazon Unlimited FreeTime for access to as many apps, books, games, educational videos, TV shows, movies and music as you want for an entire year. If you have Amazon Prime, you can use that as well.
They even provide a two-year, no-questions-asked warranty. If your kid's tablet breaks, you can get a brand new one for free. The downside to the Amazon Fire kids tablet is that it is WiFi-only, so your child cannot use it on the go. Additionally, its battery only lasts seven hours and its screen resolution isn't great compared to other tablets for kids. Amazon Fire Kids Tablet specs include 1024 x 600 screen resolution and a 7-inch screen.
Asus Zenpad 8 Review
- Sleek and sturdy design
- Kids mode for parental controls
- Plenty of education apps and kids games
- Exceptional screen resolution
- May not have all apps you want
- Reflective display
Asus Zenpad 8 Specs
The Asus Zenpad 8 is an affordable tablet for kids with WiFi and cellular data capabilities. It operates on an Android system with plenty of applications, games and education programs for kids. If your child is used to Apply iOS or another operating system, however, you may not be able to find the same apps.
Asus Zenpad 8 price includes a sleek and sturdy design as well as a decent eight-hour battery life. It also has a Kids Mode for ultimate parental controls. You can create a pin to switch in and out of Kids Mode to restrict which apps your child uses and for how long.
Unfortunately, the display is pretty reflective, so it may be tough to see if your child needs to use it outside or in the car. Asus Zenpad 8 specs include 2048 X 1536 screen resolution and an eight-inch screen.
Leapfrog Epic Review
- Kid-friendly, preloaded apps
- LeapSearch child-friendly browser
- Parental Controls
- Sturdy design
- Made just for kids
- No cellular data option
- Somewhat heavy with mediocre screen resolution
- Apps may be expensive and some general apps not available
Leapfrog Epic Specs
The LeapFrog Epic Tablet runs on the Android operating system. LeapFrog Epic apps for Android are built specifically for kids ages 3-9. This kids tablet with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities comes with every parental control necessary to keep your child safe online. The browser itself is even kid-friendly, ensuring your child will never end up on a page with inappropriate content. You can unlock restrictions as your child gets a little older and wiser.
The LeapFrog Epic specs include a 7-inch screen and a mediocre 1024 x 600 screen resolution. It is surprisingly affordable compared to the iPad Mini 4 price. One downside to the LeapFrog Epic is that it's kind of heavy, at 3.6 pounds.
It is extremely sturdy, however, so you don't have to worry about it getting broken. It also doesn't have the best battery life, lasting just about 6 hours.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Tablet For Kids
When you're buying a tablet, you need to consider their safety and the selection of applications available, among other things. Here's what to consider and why before you buy a kid-friendly tablet.
1. Does it have privacy settings or parental controls?
Privacy and parental control settings are the most important things to consider if you want to buy a tablet for your younger child. Yes, it will keep them entertained and maybe even help them learn some things; but is it safe? According to InternetMatters, 62 percent of parents say inappropriate content if their biggest concern for their kids on the Internet.
Fortunately, kid's tablets have parental controls to make sure your child doesn't end up on the wrong website, app, or show. They will allow you to limit what your child does and for how long so you don't have to worry about their safety as much. Privacy settings will also allow you to turn off tracking so your child's location and information are not being tracked by companies, criminals, and more.
For example, Android tablets have restricted accounts for parents. This way you can make sure your kid doesn't go on any Android apps or sites you dub dangerous or inappropriate on their restricted account while they're using the device.
Learn More: To learn how to set up parental controls on your tablet, or any device, consult our step-by-step guide.
For tips and strategies for parents, check out our guide to Internet Safety for Kids. We also have the ultimate guide to Preventing Child Identity Theft which offers plenty of resources to ensure your child surfs the web safely and offers you tools in the case your child has his or her identity stolen.
2. Do I need a cellular data plan?
How much data do you need? A cellular data plan allows you to use your tablet in areas without WiFi.
If you're buying a tablet to keep your kid entertained on the go, you probably need a cellular data plan. You can purchase various amounts of data per month depending on how often you'll be letting your child use the tablet.
Related: Check out our buyer's guide to tablet data plans for more information on data plans.
3. How much does it cost?
Obviously, you're going to want the best tablet at the cheapest price tag available. Luckily, there are various cheap tablets for kids out there.
Keep in mind that the more internal storage you want, the more your tablet will cost. Additionally, you have to pay an extra monthly fee to your cell phone carrier if you'd like to purchase a data plan for your childproof tablet.
"Privacy and parental control settings are the most important things to consider if you want to buy a tablet for your child."
4. How are the application selection and battery life?
The application selection on your Windows, iOS or Android tablet for kids is also important. Will your app store offer the best educational apps and games for your child? Some tablets offer millions of apps while others don't offer much.
For example, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have a ton of Apple and Android apps for kids including GPS tracker apps. The Apple Store and Google Play Store also offer the general apps you see on most smartphones including Youtube and popular games. Windows is a different story.
Additionally, you should make sure your kid's tablet has a decent battery life. This way, you don't have to experience the temper tantrum that occurs when your tablet dies in the middle of your child's favorite show.
5. How much storage do I need?
Internal storage determines how much space there is on your tablet for games, applications, photos, and more. The amount of storage you purchase will also determine how much your tablet costs.
The more storage you need, the more it will cost you. Some tablets, however, don't offer more than 1-2 GB of storage. In this case, most tablets come with a MicroSD slot or USB port so you can insert an external memory device.
6. What kind of processor does it have?
You should check to see if your kid's tablet of choice has a dual-core processor, quad-core processor or another. For example, the Amazon Fire HD Kid Edition has the same quad-core processor as the Amazon Fire HD Tablet.
You should also sample the user interface and operating system before you buy. You want to make sure the user interface is simple enough for your child to use on their own.
7. Do I need to buy a bumper case?
A bumper case is a kid's tablet case that keeps your tablet safe from drops, spills and all other possibilities. Some tablets come with a bumper case; if not, it is worth it to buy one. These cases are really made for toddlers who don't understand the fragility of the tablet.
If you are buying for an older child, you may not need a case. An older child will probably do their best not to damage the tablet, but you'll probably still need some sort of protection.
8. How are the display and camera?
You'll also want to check to see if your kid's tablet has a retina display or an AMOLED display. If you want your child to be able to watch their favorite shows on their tablet, retina displays and AMOLED displays are the best for streaming.
Also, check the rear camera front-facing camera. You can use the rear camera and front-facing camera for cute family photos if it has enough pixels.
Tablets For Toddlers
The two best tablet computers for toddlers are the LeapFrog Epic and the Amazon Fire HD Kid Edition. The main reason is because they are small, childproof tablets with plenty of kids apps to choose from.
There is also a Samsung Galaxy Tab E-Lite that is smaller than the regular Tab E and may fit better into your toddler's hands.
The iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab E, and the Asus Zenpad 8 are amazing tablets, but they may not be the best for toddlers.
I evaluated various kid-friendly tablets in my search for the absolute best tablets for kids. As a result, I have concluded that the most important factors to take into consideration before buying a tablet computer for your child are parental controls, price tag, and application selection. After ample research, I would go with either the Samsung Galaxy Tab E Kids Tablet or the iPad Mini 4.
The Android Tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab E's battery life is incomparable at 13 hours, which automatically propels it to the top of the list. Not to mention, it has decent resolution, app selection, parental controls, and a sturdy design for kids.
Similarly, the iPad Mini4 provides access to thousands of children's apps and videos as well as millions of apps for adults. It has sufficient parental controls, amazing screen resolution and a decent battery life of 10 hours. You also won't have any issues with speed. Both of these tablets are top notch models and have proven to be well worth the money.
Some other great tablets for kids include the LeapPad Ultra, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the regular Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Kindle Fire HDX. I wouldn't go with a tablet like the Microsoft Surface Pro or an iPad Pro, however. The Microsoft Surface Pro and the iPad Pro are expensive, large, and have user interfaces that are too advanced for a younger child. The LeapPad Ultra is affordable and made specifically for kids.
Overall, choosing a tablet for your child is a big decision. No matter which tablet for kids you chose, just make sure you can monitor what they're doing.
Now that you know everything about the best tablets for kids, it's time to make a decision. Any of the tablets we've looked at would be great for a small child. If you think your child is ready for a more advanced device, or you're getting a tablet for your teen, you can read our buyer's guide to tablets for rankings and comparisons of the top-of-the-line tablets.
GFor more helpful information and tips about mobile device best practices, read our cell phone safety tips.