Chances are if you’re looking for a tablet the entire family can use, you are considering an Amazon Fire tablet. But there’s so much choice, how do you decide which one would best suit your family? Amazon has a diverse line of tablets specifically for kids, including models designed for kids as young as toddlers up to teenagers. But there are also affordable non-kid-version Fire tablets that might be better suited if it’s a device everyone in the family will be using.
Unsure what to get? Here’s a breakdown of how they all compare.
Amazon Fire Kids tablets
At the entry level is the basic Amazon Fire Kids tablet, which comes with a 7-inch screen, 16GB of storage space, and a bumper case. The latest models are the Amazon Fire HD Kids tablets, which come in versions with an 8-inch screen and a blue bumper case or a pink bumper case, or 10.1-inch screens (with blue or lavender bumper cases) and storage up to 32GB, but expandable via microSD card.
What sets these apart from other tablets is the curated access to educational and entertainment content designed specifically for younger kids, including toddlers, preschoolers, and grade school kids up to about the age of 6. The Amazon Kids tablet (without the HD screen) comes with a bumper case in blue, as shown above, or a pink case that can withstand bumps, scuffs, drops, and falls that are common among youngsters.
The Amazon Kids HD tablets, meanwhile, come with a black or pink (8-inch) or sky blue or lavender (10.1-inch) bumper case. The cases not only protect the tablet, but they also double as a stand for propping it upright.
With both types, parents get a one-year warranty along with a free trial to the Amazon Kids+ service, which affords access to tons more kid-appropriate content, from games to apps, videos, and more. They also have robust parental controls so parents can set time limits, block access to certain websites (either entirely or after specific times), and even block music with explicit lyrics.
These tablets are designed specifically for younger kids, so they only make sense if you plan to hand them to a young child and have them use it exclusively. This isn’t the tablet that mom and dad will want to use after-hours to binge Netflix. Though you could theoretically download compatible apps using the parent login, the tablet is limited in features and capabilities, so it isn’t one you’ll want to enjoy with the whole family.
Amazon Fire HD Kids Pro tablets
One of the newest additions to Amazon’s line-up are the Amazon Fire HD Kids Pro tablets. These are designed for older kids with more discerning needs than wee ones but that still require some level of parental control. They come in three iterations: with a 7-inch screen, 8-inch screen, or 10.1-inch screen.
Each size is available in three fun finishes: black, intergalactic, and doodle. They are more powerful, designed to meet the needs of older kids who might want to use them to play games or stream videos. With 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD card, they can store tons of content, from photos to apps, videos, and more.
These are great for kids 6-12, but again, the focus is on kids. You get all of the same features as with the Fire HD Kids tablets, including parental controls, free one-year trial for Amazon Kids+, and the durable kid-friendly case included. It also has a screen that has been strengthened with aluminosilicate glass, making it even more resistant to scratches and scuffs.
This tablet could more easily be shared among family members. But if you’re looking for a tablet that everyone in the family can use, you might be better off with a standard Amazon Fire tablet. One of the biggest reasons is that, because they run on FireOS, Amazon’s custom version of Android, you would need to find a roundabout way to load the Google Play store and be able to download whichever apps are available.
Amazon Fire tablets
The Amazon Fire HD tablets are regular tablets that don’t come with all of the cool kid-specific features though you can still set basic parental control if you plan to hand it over to a child. If you don’t feel the need to limit your child’s usage or filter content, or you’re comfortable managing this another way, a standard Amazon Fire tablet might be the ideal option that everyone can enjoy equally.
Perfect for families with older kids, Amazon Fire tablets come in a variety of options, including the smaller 8-inch model and the larger 10.1-inch model, perfect for watching movies, enjoying video calls, playing games, and more. But keep in mind that they do not support the Google Play store so you won’t get the same experience you would with an Android-based tablet from another brand, though you can access apps like Microsoft Office, Zoom, Netflix, Instagram, and others.
It might not be the ideal tablet if you’re just getting something for the kids. But to share among everyone, letting kids watch videos in the car during road trips while you read eBooks on the deck at the cottage, it’s an affordable family-friendly option. Kids will love features like Game Mode that optimizes the gaming experience while parents will love the HD screen that makes reading, browsing the web, and watching videos a pleasurable experience. Thanks to the generous battery life and USB-C charging, it takes a lot to drain the battery and even when it is depleted, the tablet will recharge in no time so you can get going again.
If you want something simple everyone can knock around with but you won’t be too worried since it’s super-affordable, you can look into the 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet, which has a pared down feature set, 16GB hard drive, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0 port, and parental controls that make it a limited option but one that you won’t worry handing over to your kids. For occasional family use, it will get the job done even though it’s not as fast or powerful as the newer models, nor does it have as high-resolution a screen or long battery life. But if affordability and simplicity are your priorities, this one might be worth considering as an option that will suit a toddler as much as an adult.
Which Amazon tablet is best for your family?
If you have young children under the age of 6, you will find value in an Amazon Fire Kids or Fire Kids HD tablet. But these aren’t ideal for sharing with older siblings or parents. For kids aged 6-12, the Amazon Fire HD Kids Pro models have value in that they still let you set customized parental controls to ensure your child isn’t looking at or listening to content that isn’t age-appropriate, nor engaging in too much screen time. But, unlike the Amazon Fire Kids tablets, they offer access to more apps and have better specs.
Still, even the HD Kids Pro models don’t offer the full tablet experience you’d get with another Android-based tablets, so while mom and dad might enjoy using them after hours (the version with the 10-inch screen will be ideal for watching videos or reading eBooks), the best option for entire family use would be a standard Amazon Fire HD tablet. These might only offer basic-level parental controls and don’t come with the free trial to Amazon Kids+. But Kids+ content is more for younger children anyway.
No matter your needs, nor those of your kids, Amazon has a Fire tablet that can meet them with lots of useful features, all of which are available at Best Buy Online.