Best tablets for kids and toddlers (late 2015 edition)

With the gift giving holiday season just around the corner, many might be wondering which are the best tablets for kids. If that's you, the you've just landed in the right place.

We took the time to scan through the current product offering and we're ready to make our recommendations. We'll get there in a moment, but we'd also like you to be aware of the fact that certain aspects should be be discussed before naming the best tablets for kids currently available to purchase.

As you may have noticed, a growing number of parents worry that our tech-infused society is not a perfect environment to raise their children in. The screen is often argued not to be the friend of young eyes, while the virtual nature of tablet interaction is often considered to be detrimental to acquiring a solid sense of perception.

According to recent studies, however, tablets don't pose any serious threat to the healthy development of children. In fact, in turns out that the tablet can actually be a great tool for learning and for training developing minds. As with most things in life, the trick is getting the balance right.

With all of this in mind, it's now time to talk about the best tablets for kids:

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition

If you're looking for the best tablet for your kid, you should probably start your search with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. Both the 6-inch and the 7-inch versions of Amazon's latest Kindle Fire HD series can serve as a base for a Kids Edition variant. What's different with these kid-oriented variants is that they come with enhanced parental controls, a kid-friendly bumper, as well as a range of apps, book, and games that cater directly to your kid's needs.

Bundled as part of what Amazon calls the FreeTime mode, the parental controls let you create personalized child profiles. When a FreeTime profile is used, the tablets switch their appearance by applying more color to the UI and sprucing things up with more playful fonts. On top of this, each Kids Edition Amazon Kindle Fire hD comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, unlocking access to more than 5000 kid-friendly books, movies, apps, and games.

On the hardware side, customers get a 6 or 7-inch display with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, a quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM, and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage space. Another nice touch from Amazon is that the retailer bundles a 2-year worry-free guarantee service, meaning that you'll be able to replace the slab at any time should your kid break it. The 7-inch version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition is priced at an affordable $99. 

Apple iPad Mini 2

Although the Apple iPad Mini 2 doesn't come with any specific kid-centric features, the tablet is an all-round performer that can cater to nearly all needs and personal preferences. The parental controls that come with iOS are not too advanced, but there are many apps in the App Store that can give parents further control over their kid's tablet. Speaking of apps, games, and movies, the App Store is the main reason why the iPad Mini 2 is one of the best kids currently around: the app and multimedia offering available on Apple's tablets is currently unmatched in the industry. 

On the hardware side, the Apple iPad Mini 2 remains to this date a very powerful slab. The raw specs include a 7.9-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1536 by 2048 pixels, an Apple A7 chip with a dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP primary camera, as well as a 1.2MP secondary shooter on the front. The iPad Mini 2 doesn't come with a bundled protection case, but you'll find many such accessories being sold either online or at your local retailer. 

Compared to the other tablets mentioned here, the Apple iPad Mini 2 is a bit pricier. The 16GB Wi-Fi only version is priced at $269.

Fuhu Nabi Elev-8

Fuhu is a company that has specialized in manufacturing kid-ready tablets. In the context of this article, the best Fuhu tablet for kids is the Nabi Elev-8.

The Fuhu Navi Elev-8 comes with a range of software tweaks and apps that make it perfect for kid use. Bundled with the tablet is the Wings Learning System, a suite that offers 300,000 math, reading, and writing questions that will help your kid progress in school all the way through sixth grade. To help parents check their child's proficiency levels, the Navi Elev 8 also comes with N-Site reports. Furthemore, the parental mode - brought in by a custom Android 5.1 Lollipop version called the Blue Morpho OS - lets you define how much time your kid should spend on the tablet, or deny certain apps from being opened.

On the hardware side, the Fuhu Navi Elev-8 comes with an 8-inch IPS display running a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, a 64-bit octa-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 5MP primary camera, and a 2MP secondary shooter. Since this is a kid-ready tablet, the Fuhu Navi Elev-8 also comes with a red drop-safe bumper which will ensure that the tablet will live past the first accidental drop.

The Fuhu Navi Elev-8 is priced at $170, which is a good price given the specs and the features.

LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum

If you're looking for the best tablet for toddlers, the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum is a very solid choice. The tablet comes with a proprietary operating system which was designed from the ground up with educational purposes in mind. As such, the LeapPad Platinum offers access to more than 1000 educator-approved apps and games while also offering parental control options.

In the hardware department, the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum integrates more affordable components such as a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels, a 1GHz single-core CPU paired with 1GB of RAM, and just 8GB of integrated storage space. The manufacturer, which specializes in kid-friendly tablets, says that the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum is its most durable tablet yet.

Aside from the range of educational apps available, the main advantage of the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum is its low price of just $129.99

B&N Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Nook Edition

The Barnes and Noble Nook edition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is the exact same device as the original version in terms of hardware, but with the book seller's proprietary hardware overlaid on top. Interestingly, this is exactly what makes the tablet an amazing tablet for kids. The parental controls are obviously welcomed on a kid's tablet, but what's even better is the huge selection of children books available in the B&N library.

Otherwise, this is the exact Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 that Samsung sells without the B&N branding. The specs include an 8-inch SAMOLED display with a resolution of 1536 by 2048 pixels, an octa-core Exynos processor paired with 3GB of RAM, an 8MP primary camera, and a 2MP secondary shooter.

On the downside, the Galaxy Tab S2 is priced at $399.99 in the B&N Nook version. That's much higher than the price of the other tablets listed here, but this slab is perfect for adults as well, not just kids.

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