Amazon has been putting out ‘Kids Edition’ – no apostrophe, D+, see me – of its Fire tablets for years now. They’re identical to the adult ones in terms of hardware but are child- and parent-friendly, as in they can’t look at porn, ISIS videos or footage of cornfield wrecker Theresa May. They can browse and play in safety. Now for the first time, there’s a 10.1-inch HD one: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition.
Aimed at both bigger kids who want a big tablet and much smaller children whose partially formed brains and clumsy fingers demand larger and more hi-definition icons and buttons to press, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition goes on pre-order now and costs from £199.99.
Amazon has done a load of research with parents, who know that kids want a ‘real’ tablet, not a toy, and the upgraded spec of this one caters to that, while the Kids Edition operating system keeps everything safe and able to be monitored by parents if they wish, though this is not obligatory.
My favourite part of the research was the clearly flawed finding that 46% of parents like tablets as a way to keep kids entertained when travelling, when clearly the actual answer to that is 100%, if not higher.
So the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition has a 10.1-inch, 1080p screen, a quadcore processor, 32 GB of storage, with up to a further 256GB via microSD. Battery life is a solid 10 hours.
The price also includes a protective case, a two-year NO QUESTIONS ASKED warranty – screen smashed with a hammer and the processor is somehow covered in frog spawn? No problem, Amazon will replace it – and a year’s subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which is usually priced as follows.
The latter offers over 5,000 books, videos, educational apps, and games “that have been curated for age-appropriateness, plus access to tens of thousands of hand-selected websites and YouTube videos and easy-to-use parental controls.”
You can choose what your child sees just by dragging an ‘age bar’ around, and multiple offspring can have their own logins. It’s very easy to ensure older children don’t see ‘kids’ stuff’ or that 3 year olds aren’t subjected to the comparatively sophisticated entertainments favoured by 12 year olds.
Apps, games, videos and books available include everything from Crossy Road and Fruit Ninja to content from the LEGO Batman and Star Wars brands, as well as the likes of Sesame Street, HarperCollins and, of course, Amazon itself. Viewing offline – ie: in the car – is also possible.
Parents can also allow junior to view content they own, whether that’s the Netflix app or an unboxing video on the kid-friendly web browser, which is otherwise locked to viewing only curated, ‘white-listed’, age-appropriate stuff.
A range of clever tools allow you as the parent to see what your kids have been looking at and set screen time limits and goals. You can even do things like setting a target of an hour’s improving reading, before they are allowed 30 minutes of Lego Batman, with different settings also possible for weekdays and weekends.