Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet – A Great Way To Keep Your Kids Out of Trouble
When you ask kids today what they want for their birthday or for Christmas, the answer is less “the latest superman or Barbie” and more “a phone or tablet”. We are in a digital age, and one can’t possibly miss the fact that even little kids are pretty crazy about tablets and iPads. It is not unexpected, but does that mean you start gifting your little nephew and nieces the latest iPad?
Luckily, Amazon has taken serious note of this issue and is now offering a tablet package specifically made for kids. It is the Fire Kids Edition Tablet, and comes in 7 inches.
Amazon’s $99 tablet means you don’t have to spend a hefty amount in order to gift Junior a tablet for his birthday. Amazon’s Fire Kid’s edition is designed specifically for kids and comes with a lot of preloaded content that is kid-friendly and entertaining. It comes in a big case that is available in pink and blue. The best part is that it comes with a two-year warranty, so if the kids decides to play catch with the tablet and breaks it, you can get it replaced at Amazon.
The 7-inch tablet is rather hefty, but well built. The weight of the tablet is not really an issue as it is still easy for your kid to carry around. A plus point of the weight could be that it will force your kid to sit and use it in peace rather than carrying it around everywhere.
The tablet is wrapped in a removable, durable foam shell that comes in pink and blue. So even if the tablet falls, as it inevitably will, it won’t suffer much damage. The power button is at the top of the tablet, as is the headphone socket, a Micro USB charging port, and a small hole for the microphone. The volume controls are on the left side, and it also comes with a front and back camera.
Amazon has its own operating system, the Fire OS. It is based on Android, but doesn’t feel much like it. Everything about the system is very much about Amazon itself, and is noticeably designed towards getting consumers to buy and use the company’s services and products. There is no Google Play Store, as it is replaced by Amazon’s own app store. The OS is pretty easy to use though, especially for parents.
Contents have been categorized into books, videos, music, audiobooks, games etc. Amazon also gives its own suggestions for you or your child’s use. There is a search bar at the top of each page, which allows you to search through the downloaded content and the Web.
It has a Quad-Core of 1.3 GHz with 1 GB of RAM which does make it slow at times, especially when you are opening an app or switching profiles. You will have to be selective about how much content you download as you can’t overburden the tablet. Extra storage is provided, but too many apps and content can still slow it down. So keep an eye on how much your kid downloads onto the tablet.
Library of content
You can create a shared family library of content by activating two adult accounts on Amazon. These accounts can be used to create four accounts for children. The accounts can be customized for each person, but the content is shared.
Display and Audio
The resolution for this tablet is nothing fancy at 1024 x 600 pixels. But then again, it is to be used by kids after all, and the display is not at all fuzzy or washed out, but is in fact sharp enough for kids’ use. The display is bright and vibrant, images are sharp, and it offers decent viewing angles.
As it is a tablet designed for kid’s use, Amazon has provided some extensive and very useful parental control methods. For example, a kid’s profile does not have access to social apps, camera, contact, email etc. You can password protect many things, such as Wi-Fi access, video playback, and in-app purchases.
The tablet is designed to allow parents to manage their kids’ usage. You can set the tablet to switch off at a certain time each night so the kids know what their limit is. You can block off all entertainment apps and content until your child achieves an educational goal, such as reading for half an hour or doing some math problems. So the OS has an updated, kid-and-family-friendly browser. Your kid can browse YouTube but will only be able to see kid-friendly, age appropriate videos. Similarly, all of the preapproved websites are friendly and so are the preloaded apps and other content.
Front and Back Cameras
The back camera is 2 megapixels, while the front camera is VGA. Neither is impressive. The kids may not be very interested in the cameras, but if they are, they will likely not be impressed to.
Amazon’s Content Plan
Amazons’ Fire tablet has some really good content that your children will enjoy. You don’t have to browse through all of the online games, videos, etc. to find something your child will be interested in. At $99 per year, Amazon Prime members will have access to more than $38 million kid friendly games, apps, videos, books and more.
Amazon also offers a one-year subscription to the Fire for Kids Unlimited service. This means that you will have unlimited access to around 10 000 age-appropriate apps, games, movies, books and more. You can create a profile for each of your children on Fire for Kids. Each profile has five categories to choose from: Apps, Books, Camera, Characters, and Videos. The content is engaging and entertaining and easy for kids to use.
There is one problem with this service, which is that most of the apps take too long to download. Kids are not very patient, and waiting too long for an app to download means the baby-sitter or parent will have to deal with this impatience. Books download quickly and videos stream fast, but the latter cannot be downloaded into the tablet. Fire for Kids also has good parental controls so you can limit the time your child spends on the tablet or make sure he’s getting something educational from the tablet as well.
The Fire tablet claims to have 7 hours of mixed use battery life. That is less than the average tablet.
Should You Buy It?
A child can do more than just play games on a tablet, and Amazon’s Fire Edition lets your kid read and play, all the while keeping the control in YOUR hands. Keeping your kids away from such technology is going to be difficult, especially since many kids have their own tablets. So before your kid lunges for your tablet or phone, buy them their own tablet. Amazon’s Fire Edition has lots of kid friendly content and offers excellent parental controls. It is a bit sluggish, with low battery life and a poor camera, but at $99, it is a great way to keep your kids entertained and out of trouble!