5 Best Affordable Tablets for Kids (Buying Guide)
Are you finding it hard to get your kids off your phone? If that’s the case, it’s time to get the best affordable tablet for kids. This device is made and programmed for kids. Unlike other typical smartphones and tablets, kids’ tablets have parental controls, educational resources, and entertainment suitable for young audiences.
Technology is here to stay and change our lives – including our kids. As screen time becomes a big problem among youngsters, there’s a way to make the most out of it. It’s a great way to make learning fun and interactive. And unlike smartphones, tablets have bigger screens that allow your child to see things easier.
Still, don’t let the size fool you. Many kids’ tablets are affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank just to get one. It will also give you peace of mind that your child’s gadget is suitable for his or her age.
To help you choose the best tablet for your child, I’ve tested 25+ tablets in the market. I considered the features, memory space, parental controls, and functions, among other aspects. Below, I reviewed five of my best picks that offer the best value for money.
1. Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet
If you’re looking for kid-friendly tablets with Wi-Fi, the Fire HD 10 is a great choice. It’s made with kids and parents in mind, thanks to its easy-to-use parental controls.
This tablet boasts a 10.1″ 1080p full HD screen as well as an expandable 32 GB storage. It also has an octa-core CPU for a lag-free experience. This is paired with a 2 GB RAM and a battery life of up to 12 hours. It also has 2 MP front and rear cameras.
- Contains two Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablets (32 GB): one with a Blue Kid-Proof Case and one with a Pink Kid-Proof Case.
- Save up to $198 on two full-featured Fire HD 10 tablets (not a toy), 1 year of Amazon Kids+ (FreeTime Unlimited), 2 Kid-Proof Cases with built-in stand, and 2-year worry-free guarantee ─ versus items purchased separately.
Aside from the tablet, you will also get a case with an advanced audio port design. Overall, these features are a champ for toddlers and older kids.
The purchase of this Fire HD 10 tablet is bundled with a 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription. You can renew this after the expiry if you wish. Inside Amazon Kids+, you can access English and Spanish-language books, games, apps, and other curated content.
Instead of using your smartphone, your child will have fun using the Fire HD 10. This is loaded with over 20,000 resources. From Disney shows to books and games, your child will not run out of things to enjoy.
- 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription
- Full HD screen
- 20,000+ content and resources
- Changing the settings take more steps than other kids tablets
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablet
If you’re looking for the best tablet for middle schoolers, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S is a great choice. This has the Android 4.4 KitKat OS as well as the Exynos 5 octa-core processor.
Aside from that, this tablet is equipped with 3 GB RAM with 16 GB internal memory. Take note that this is a Wi-FiWi-Fi-only device that ensures your child can only use it under your supervision.
- Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS, 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa Processor (1.9 GHz Quad Core + 1.3 GHz Quad Core)
- 16 GB Flash Memory, 3 GB RAM Memory. Wi-Fi ONLY, not 4G Compatible.
This also has an AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. It offers crisp and clear quality, so your child will not have a hard time using the tablet. It’s the perfect choice for homework and research without too many features that may distract your child.
The best thing about this tablet is the Kids Mode. It’s a colorful interface made for children that comes with parental controls. Here, you can set time limits and app restrictions as necessary.
Aside from that, you can utilize the Multi-user Mode so you can create profiles for each child to monitor their usage.
I also like its long battery power and clear screen. However, if your child uses the tablet in a very bright setting, the power will run out faster.
- Built-in Kids Mode with parental controls
- AMOLED display
- Multi-User Mode
- The thin bevel makes it difficult to hold the tablet without touching the screen
3. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus Tablet
For older kids that need better specs, the Lenovo Tab M10 is an unbeatable choice. This has a 10.3″ FHD display with narrow bezels and a slim profile. It has a metal back that gives it a premium look.
Moreover, this has an octa-core processor with Wi-Fi connectivity and 5G compatibility. For parental control, this has a Kid’s Mode, where you can choose which apps and content your child can access.
- Premium look & feel with metal back cover and slim, narrow bezels. Enjoy your favorite videos on the 10.3" FHD display with TDDI technology
- Fast and powerful Octa-Core processor with up to 2.3 GHz main frequency for quick performance
Aside from that, this tablet has an 8MP rear and 5 MP front cameras. It’s also paired with two side speakers featuring the Dolby Atmos technology. Overall, this is perfect for homework, research, and online classes of your child. It also accepts micro SD cards of up to 265 GB – that’s more than what your child needs!
The best thing about this Lenovo tab is its built-in eye-care protection technology. It reduces eyestrain, even if your child is watching or researching for long periods. It’s also a versatile option since adults can use the full features of the tablet.
Overall, the OS is very smooth and doesn’t cause major lags. There’s also minimum bloatware, and it can handle most games. Even for extended use, the battery can hold up pretty well.
- Large internal memory
- Dolby Atmos audio
- Built-in eye protection technology for kids
- To stream Netflix in HD, you have to tinker for some workarounds
4. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
For parents who are keen to get a Fire tablet for a lower price, the Fire HD 8 is a good option. As compared to the Fire HD 10, HD 8 has a slightly lower resolution. It’s also two inches smaller, and it bears a quad-core processor. Overall, these are still stunning features for a child.
You’ll still get up to 12 hours of battery life from the Fire HD 8. It’s equipped with dual speakers as well as a case designed for an advanced audio port.
- This bundle contains two Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets (32 GB): one with a Blue Kid-Proof Case, and one with a Purple Kid-Proof Case.
- Not a toy, a full-featured Fire HD 8 tablet with 1 year of Amazon Kids+ (FreeTime Unlimited), a Kid-Proof Case with built-in stand, and 2-year worry-free guarantee—versus items purchased separately.
As for the camera, this has 2 MP front and rear cams. If there’s one upside here compared to Fire HD 10, it would be the lighter weight. It’s only 550 grams as compared to Fire HD 10 that packs 778 grams of weight.
For this tablet, you will get a 1-year Amazon Kid+ subscription. This will give you full access to English, and Spanish content all made and curated for kids. Like most Fire tablets, the HD 8 is covered by a 2-year warranty.
Anyway, the Fire HD 8 is available in the 10th generation, which was released this 2020. This is an advantage over Fire HD 10 that’s one version behind (9th generation).
- Lighter build, ideal for small kids
- 1-year Amazon Kids+ access
- Full-featured kids tablet
- The backlight isn’t bright enough when used on direct sunlight
5. LeapFrog Epic Academy 7 Tablet
For toddlers, the LeapFrog Epic Academy 7 is a great option. It’s packed with learning content together with a massive library of apps, games, music, and videos that your child will enjoy. It’s made to nurture your child and make the most out of his or her screen time.
Aside from that, this has parental controls that ensure safe and age-appropriate content. It’s child-friendly right off the box, so you only have little to work on before handing it out to your child.
- Product will either come in original packaging that is in less than perfect shape and has been opened to inspect contents or will come in non-retail packaging (brown/white box or white/clear bag). This android-based learning tablet includes exclusive full-access to LeapFrog Academy, the new learning subscription service from LeapFrog
- The tablet is packed with on-board learning content plus access to leapfrog's award-winning library including hundreds of games, apps, videos and music
Moreover, this as a customizable home screen where your child can add stickers, create an environment, and initiate creative play. This is an excellent starting tablet for youngsters, so they wouldn’t try to steal your phone.
This is a great buy for young kids, as well as those with autism and other learning disabilities. It’s made durable and with a protective case so the tablet will remain safe even if your child throws tantrums.
While it works on the LeapFrog OS, there’s a workaround to play YouTube on it. But considering the built-in resources on this tablet, your child won’t need other apps.
- Child-friendly straight from the package
- Creative home screen
- Durable and can withstand tantrums
- Mild learning curve if your child is used to Android or iOS devices
How to choose a tablet for kids
Screen size and weight
The first thing you should consider when picking a tablet for your child is its screen size. For toddler and post-toddler age, you’d want something smaller. Around 8 inches is already a great choice. For older kids, 10 inches is the common option among parents.
Take note that the bigger the screen gets, the heavier the tablet becomes. It can range from 400 grams to 700+ grams. This part is a critical consideration since you don’t want the tablet falling off your child’s hands and into his toes. Also, dropping the tablet frequently since it will cause premature damages.
Storage and memory
Next, consider how much memory your child needs. For light schoolwork, about 32 GB of memory space and 3 GB of RAM is enough. But for toddlers who are into learning and entertainment, 2 GB of RAM is already a good buy.
If you want the tablet to be sustainable, consider one with expandable memory. This will allow older kids to utilize the gadget.
The most important feature of a kid’s tablet is its parental controls. It should allow parents to set limits on screen time and access to the child. There should also be a way for parents to monitor which apps their kids used and how much time they spent on it.
The tablet should only allow age-appropriate content on ‘Kids Mode’. I also like the kids’ tablet with a multi-user mode that allows parents to review their kids’ tablet usage.
Content and resources
For young kids, always look for tablets with pre-downloaded learning materials. For example, the Fire HD tablets are teeming with educational videos, music, books, apps, and games. It’s ready to use straight from the box. This is a great diversion for your child who’s addicted to YouTube and other apps on your smartphone.
You should also check how your child can be connected to the internet. Some kids’ tablets are on a Wi-Fi only basis.
Aside from that, you should check the ports available so you can connect the tablet to the TV or another gadget. You can also find kids’ tablets with a wireless Bluetooth connection.
Decent battery life will keep your little one busy. It will also prevent you from charging the tablet multiple times in a day. Just note that the battery life of a tablet depends on the usage level and brightness setting. But in general, about 5 hours of runtime per charge would be enough since a young kid isn’t supposed to have excessive screen time.
Kids’ tablets should always have a protective case to cushion falls and hits. As you know, kids can be pretty careless, which means tablets flying off the couch, smashed on the floor or thrown in the middle of a tantrum. The protective case should provide a level of protection against the impact.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a tablet good for a child?
A: Mobile tablets can be used for your kid’s learning. Just make sure that it’s packed with educational content and excellent parental controls. In the midst of technological advancements, you can utilize mobile gadgets to educate your child.
Q: Should a two-year-old have a tablet?
A: It’s not advisable to introduce kids under the age of three to screen time. Toddlers of this age should be playing actual toys that will boost their motor skills. Even with screen time, kids should still be moving physically. It’s best to limit screen time per day, even for older kids.
Q: How do you child-proof a tablet?
A: It’s important to set parental controls properly and block sites and apps that your kid shouldn’t access. Lockdown features and password-protected apps are also good ways to child-proof a gadget. As much as possible, don’t let your child download anything without your knowledge.
The best affordable tablet for kids will give you an avenue to teach your child in a fun way. Still, parental controls and supervision are needed to combat any adverse effects of screen time. It’s best to have a strict schedule for gadget use so your child will still socialize and interact with other people.