Electronic tablets for kids are likely to be a hot gift this holiday season. Consumer Reports tested 17, ranging in price from $50 to $200.
Consumer Reports measured battery life, display and readability in bright light. Testers also checked how responsive the screen is, since a child who can easily use his parent’s device will be frustrated with sluggish performance on his own tablet. And Consumer Reports tested for durability, using a tumbler machine that replicates kids dropping tablets from a height of three feet onto the floor.
Consumer Reports also looked at the parental controls. Nearly all kids’ tablets come with filters and browsers that keep them safe online and parents can regulate how, when, and for how long they use the tablets.
In the end, top ratings went to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, for $200 and the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, for $190. Both have over nine hours of battery life, they have excellent response, and they have some of the best screens of any kids’ tablets.
Another good choice, the KD Kurio Xtreme, which comes with over 75 preloaded games. A Consumer Reports Best Buy, it’s light, slim and easy to use for $130.
Tablets for kids aren’t necessarily cheaper than some inexpensive adult tablets. But Consumer Reports says the advantage is that kids’ tablets often come loaded with lots of apps for children. You’d have to pay for similar content with an adult tablet.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on ConsumerReports.org.