Amazon has discovered a niche market, releasing more of its popular Fire tablets with a few nifty additions aimed at kids, so it’s hardly a surprise that it’s just announced another.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is virtually identical to the tablet Amazon released last year. The moniker comes from a few additions: a thick, rubbery case that adds extra protection to an already durable device, the excellent Fire for Kids Unlimited service pre-installed, and a 2-year guarantee.
The tablet itself sits at the high-end of Amazon’s Fire line, with a 1080p screen and 32GB of internal storage. In my review of the tablet, I said: “If you want a cheap, durable device to play and consume Amazon’s vast array of Prime content then the Amazon Fire HD 10 will fit your needs. It isn’t revolutionary or overly interesting, but it will get the job done.”
“If you’re not deep inside the Prime ecosystem, or simply want a tablet that can be productive, then you should look elsewhere. There are too many compromises here, not least the complete lack of support for Google services such as YouTube and Gmail.”
On the software side of things, this Kids Edition device will look slightly different when you boot it up. Instead of the usual Fire OS interface, there’s an altered UI that puts suitable content front and centre.
It will display games, apps, movies, book and other content aimed at the age you’ve specified in the kids profile. There’s a dedicated web browser, featuring sites that are suitable for the chosen age range, and you can add your own, too, if there are particular ones your kids visit often.
This package comes with a year’s subscription to the Amazon’s Kids Unlimited service, which will set you back £1.99 a month after the year is up. The tablet will continue to work fine without the service, but it will lose access to the streaming content included. Amazon says the service comprises of more than 5000 age-appropriate books, videos and educational apps, alongside a bunch of games too.
Another benefit of choosing the Kids Edition over the regular Fire 10 HD is the included kid-proof case. This is a hulking rubbery bumper available in either bright blue or pink. While it’s a decent, grippy case, I’d like to see Amazon offer a wider variety of colours – blue and pink feels a bit old-fashioned.
While the kids are the main focus of the tablet, the level of control afforded to parents makes this a great device from their perspective too.
Amazon’s online parents dashboard provides a birds-eye view of everything your child sees and does via the tablet, along with how much time they spend doing it. If you’re unhappy with something they’re seeing, you can easily delete it via the web portal; it will no longer show up on the device.
You even have the ability to set usage timers, blocking off content – a game, for example – until a certain amount of reading has been done.
For £199.99, the Kindle HD 10 Kids Edition is £50 more expensive than the version without the extras. That seems a fair price to pay for the bumper case, subscription and guarantee.amazon