Amazon has put together their first true true tablet aimed at children with the Fire HD Kids Edition. This device launched in late 2014 in the US and gives parents the option to subscribe to Kindle Freetime Unlimited, which includes thousands of apps, books and movies on a À la carte basis. It also has a child proof case that ships with the unit and a two year warranty. This tablet has just launched in the United Kingdom and Germany.
The Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition on a fundamental hardware level is the exact same as the Fire HD7. It has a seven inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 X 800 pixels. The colors look rich and vibrant, but it certainly won’t break any barriers in terms of the 216 PPI. This device also comes in a few bright colors
Underneath the hood is a quadcore 1.5 GHZ processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. There is also a rear facing camera with 3 MP and a fairly woeful front facing .03 MP camera.
When you buy the kids tablet it comes with your choice of colors for the rubber protective housing. There is a few that will appeal to boys and girls, such as blue, pink and yellow. The two year unlimited warranty should also placate parents.
Now the big question is, should you buy this tablet for your kids? Freetime Unlimited is fairly compelling, it gives you thousands of free apps, games and e-books. Amazon does not accept any content with in-app payments, so there are no hidden agendas. The service is not free though, it costs £2 or 3 euros per month, or up to £8 or 10 euros per month for a family of up to four children . Parents can also lock out specific aspects, such as the internet browser, YouTube or social media accounts.
This tablet might be a viable investment for tech savvy families who have WIFI enabled cars and want a tablet that will act as a babysitter. On the other hand, I don’t know if young kids should have fully featured multimedia tablets to use unsupervised. It can lead to sexting, cyber-bulling or adult only content.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.