Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition: first real tablet for children?

Amazon's child-friendly tablet offers robust hardware with strict parental controls

Amazon Fire HD Kid
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has launched its latest assault on the UK tablet market with a new device aimed specifically at children.

The Fire HD Kids Edition is a "fast, powerful" tablet that, Amazon says, can be used by unsupervised children.

The device comes in a reinforced pink or blue case that is designed to bounce when dropped on the floor. The screen is made of gorilla glass, the same material that is used on most current generation smartphones. It is tough, but not completely smash proof.

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The Fire HD Kids Edition also comes with a one-year subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited – an on-demand entertainment service that includes a large library of eBooks, apps, games, and streamed videos. Parents can enter their child's age into the device to ensure that they get age-appropriate content. All apps for the device also have the in-app purchase function disabled so children cannot rack up huge bills buying new release films or add-ons for their virtual village.

The device can also be locked after a set period of use, so parents can limit how many hours their children can watch TV or play games. It can even be programmed to reward certain activities, so 30 minutes of reading unlocks a new cartoon or game. And all of the parental controls are accessed via a six-digit pin, so once they are set they cannot easily be changed.

According to Pocket Lint, "the six-inch screen is bright and vibrant, with a HD resolution, and the device has a quad-core processor which we found kept things moving along quickly".

Laptop Mag says the Fire HD Kids Edition is "an excellent kids' tablet that offers robust parental controls and gobs of free content in a durable design backed by a strong two-year warranty".

After the year's free subscription comes to an end Amazon Prime members can sign up for the Fire for Kids Unlimited subscription, which costs £1.99 a month per child. Non-Prime members can get the service for £3.99 a month for one child or £7.99 a month for the family version, which gives access to up to four kids.

The 8GB model retails for £119 and the 16GB is £139.

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