You want to get your youngsters an Amazon Fire Tablet, but which should you buy? There are several different size options in the Fire Tablet lineup, and some are made specifically for kids. We're taking a look specifically at the 7-inch form factor today, so let's take a look at what makes these tablets different, and which is the right fit for you and your family.
Adult-focused vs. kid-proof
The Amazon Fire 7 Tablet is a great buy for just about anyone looking for an inexpensive, entertainment-focused tablet. It's capable enough to keep the kids entertained while not costing enough to pull your hair out if it gets accidentally destroyed. You can also get all the (non-Google) major content services on there as well as a dedicated kids mode to keep those little fingers from buying a new dollhouse or even a real tiny house on your Amazon account.
However, you may notice that when hover your mouse or your finger over that Buy Now button that there's both a regular Fire 7 Tablet and a Fire 7 Kids Edition, so what gives?
Break it down now...
Spec-for-spec, there isn't much difference between these Fire Tablets. In fact, under the hood, they're basically the same device. However, it all comes down to the extras.
|Fire 7 Tablet||Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet|
|Weight||10.1 oz||16.1 oz|
|Dimensions||7.6 " x 4.5" x .4"||8.7" x 6.3" x 1.0"|
|Storage||16 or 32GB||16GB|
|Expandable Storage||Up to 512||Up to 512|
|Screen Resolution||1024x600 (171 ppi)||1024x600 (171 ppi)|
|Battery life||Up to 7 hours of multimedia||Up to 7 hours of multimedia|
|Camera||2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording||2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording|
|Alexa enabled||Yes - hands-free||Off by default|
|Colors||Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, Sage||Pink, Blue, Purple|
|Audio||Mono speaker||Mono speaker|
|Case||Not included||Kid-safe case included|
|FreeTime Unlimited||Not included||One year included|
Price is one of the main differences. Depending on what deals Amazon is promoting, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is anywhere from $10 more to double the price of the regular Fire 7 Tablet. So what do you get for that price difference? A few features that may be very important to parents, particularly parents of younger children.
For starters, the Fire 7 Kids Edition comes with a free year of FreeTime Unlimited, ordinarily $3 per month for a single child or up to $70 per year for a family plan. FreeTime Unlimited provides enhanced parental controls and puts the device in a kid-friendly mode with a different user interface and tons of content that is specifically geared towards younger children. With this FreeTime Unlimited content, you won't have to constantly buy new games or shows to entertain your little ones. FreeTime also prohibits children from accessing social media apps and prevents them from using Alexa. However, Amazon acknowledges that you know your kids best, so you as a parent do have the ability to exit FreeTime mode with a passcode.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition also comes with a durable and practically kid-proof case that will protect the tablet from all kinds of mishaps. That case alone would cost you around $25 if you were to purchase it separately. Additionally, the Fire 7 Kids Edition includes a two-year worry-free guarantee. The regular Fire 7 Tablet only comes with a 90-day limited warranty, and if you wanted to extend it to two years it would cost you an extra $10 or so. With the way kids treat their toys and, well, everything else, you can easily see the value in this included service.
Just in case
The FreeTime case that is included with the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet certainly offers great protection, is friendly to small hands, and still allows easy access to all the ports and buttons.
However, you don't have to get Amazon's FreeTime case to protect your Fire 7 Tablet from the kids. There are a number of other cases available at various prices though that will also do the trick. So if you wanted to save a bit of money, buy the regular Fire 7 Tablet and pick up another protective case for less than the one that is included with the Kids Edition.
So which should you buy?
If you're purely buying a tablet for your kids, spend the extra money and get the Kids Edition. It's worth the investment, not least for that worry-free two-year warranty. It's also a single purchase that comes 100% child-equipped, with that tough-as-hell case and the included one-year subscription to kids content.
You can provide the same experience by buying a regular Fire Tablet at $50, but you should probably only get one of those if you're going to be buying for an older child/teenager or it's going to be used by yourself a decent amount of the time. If that sounds more like your scenario, then this option is for you. Buy a more grown-up case and slap in a microSD card and use it as a grown-up would!
Hot kids tablet
Peace of mind in a 7-inch tablet
The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is more expensive than its regular sibling, but what you get for that price is a whole lot of peace of mind and security.
Frugal fire favorite
The cheapest decent tablet experience
With hands-free Alexa, multiple fun colors, and access to tons of great content, the Fire 7 Tablet is a great little entertainment gadget to have around.
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