Laptop Mag Verdict
The $199 Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet brings the familiar parental controls of Amazon FreeTime to a bigger body with impressive battery life.
Extensive parental controls
Included 2-year warranty
Impressive battery life
So-so camera quality
Overload on Amazon content
Speakers could be better
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Amazon doesn't blame you if you don't trust your drop-prone child with a pricey, high-end tablet. That's why it made the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, a variant of its all-new Amazon Fire HD 10. Like its Fire HD 8 Kids Edition and Fire 7 Kids Edition predecessors, this child-friendly version of Amazon's latest tablet packs extensive parental controls. Plus, it comes with a complimentary two-year worry-free warranty for the accidental, inevitable damage that's to come with the mundane mishaps of childhood.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition costs $199.99, which is a bit more expensive than our current pick for best kids tablet, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. But the Fire HD 10's bigger body supports a more immersive display and better battery life, making it an excellent option if you can afford the premium.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition price and availability
The one model of the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition comes with 32GB of storage (expandable by up to 512 GB with a microSD card) and retails on Amazon for $199.99. Though it's $70 more than the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, it costs less than the $329 2019 iPad 32GB base model.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition also costs $50 more than the standard Fire HD 10, but the kids version comes with a protective case, two-year warranty and FreeTime. However, the Fire HD 10 will be on sale as a part of a Black Friday Amazon deal for $99. The Kids case alone costs $35, and it's about $25 for Amazon's accidental damage protection plan. So you can end up paying $40 less for a childproof tablet if you snag the Fire HD 10 when it's on sale.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition design
The appearance of the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet is identical to that of the big-bezeled, 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4-inch Fire HD 10. But the standard 17.7-ounce tablet is consumed by the Kids Edition's primary design feature: its chunky, 11.5 x 8.1 x 1.0-inch protective case. Available in blue, purple and pink, the case essentially devours the tablet in a quirky, colorful rubbery material that swells around the corners, where drops could cause major damage.
While the hexagonal, honeycomb-esque pattern on the back of the tablet begs to be touched, kids might reach first for the hinged kickstand unique to the 10-inch model of this tablet.
The kickstand is useful for propping the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition on a desk or table, but it makes the device a hefty 27.4 ounces. Considering my arms tired after 10 minutes of testing the tablet, I'd imagine smaller arms would struggle.
Along the top edge of the tablet is a volume rocker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microphone, a USB-C port and a power button. On either side of the kickstand are two openings for the Dolby stereo speakers.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition display
The display on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition 10 was better than expected. For starters, its resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels (which is less than the iPad's 2160 x 1620 pixels) really let me see details in whatever I watched. While viewing an adorable Amazon Prime original called Lost in Oz, I could pick up on all the nuances of the animated show, from the rumpled ribs of Dorothy's sweater to the tangled tufts of Toto'’s fur around his dog collar. The vibrant greens of Emerald City made streaming on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition only that much more magical.
According to our colorimeter, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition produces 103% of the sRGB spectrum, which isn't far off from the 113% tablet average. It's more colorful than the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (79%) and is on a par with the 2019 iPad (105%).
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition has a max brightness of 411 nits, which is solid. It's not quite as bright as the 423-nit tablet average, and much less bright than the 450-nit iPad. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (395 nits) is even less bright. When I tilted the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition around, the colors didn't shift. The folks sitting at desks on either side of me could easily see what I was watching.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Audio
Audio seems like an afterthought with the Fire HD Kids Edition. Sure, kids aren't using their tablets to DJ playtime, but it'd still be nice if it sounded louder. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus' Audible narrator sounded hollow, and it worsened as I turned the volume up. Watching Lost in Oz sounded better, but the suspenseful music still fell short.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition camera
The 2.0-megapixel rear camera and 720p selfie cameras in the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet are passable for video chats, but not much else. A selfie I captured with the front camera came out blurry, and an image of a model airplane on my desk taken with the rear camera produced a similar result.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition performance
With its 2.0 GHz octa-core CPU and 2GB of RAM, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition performs well. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition had a 1.8GHz chip and the same 2GB of memory, but the improvement is noticeable.
For the most part, switching between programs on the tablet's FreeTime OS felt smooth. Sometimes I had to tap twice to open or close apps, but not often enough that it worsened my experience with the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition. Only when I had to return to the home screen did the tablet truly hesitate.
The FreeTime OS doesn't pack demanding games. I played Sonic Dash, a Temple Run-like mobile game, and thought my character moved well as I swiped to protect him from Dr. Eggman's explosives. Again, not a game with extensive controls, but I imagine kids will have no problem with the response rates of the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition kids interface and parental controls
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime, Amazon's parental control platform. FreeTime is fundamental for this tablet's "Kids Edition" label, as it transforms the traditional Fire OS into a vibrant, Alexa-free mobile playground.
With FreeTime, parents have control over what their children can and cannot access. It comes preset with an easy-to-navigate selection of PG games and shows, and parents can toss in additional websites and content at their discretion.
Assigning a PIN for parental controls can be helpful for blocking in-app purchases, blocking access to the Amazon store and setting a bedtime, which shuts off the device at a designated time. Parents of young children would probably want to use these controls to block web browsing, email, purchases and Prime Video. Here's how to enable parental controls on the Fire HD.
I will say, though, that the interface can feel like an Amazon content overload. Thankfully, the Kids Edition interface doesn't have ads, but it's still very obviously a marketplace for Amazon shows, movies and books.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition battery life
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition lasted an epic 13 hours and 29 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi. That's considerably longer than the tablet category average of 10 hours and 41 minutes, and more impressive than the 10 hours and 12 minutes you get on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
In anecdotal testing, the tablet's battery dropped by 20% after 6 hours of light use, during which I took some photos and played a few rounds of the addictive crocodile game Where's My Water? When I switched over to streaming a season of SpongeBob SquarePants, the battery dropped about 10% every hour of spongy comedy. On a full charge the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition will outlast long car rides and most flights, should you take it to go.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is fun to use and feels more premium than the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, shortening the quality gap between the iPad and other tablets for kids. While you're relieved of iPad-style costs, $199 does seem pricey for a children's device. But the included warranty, free year of FreeTime and cute protective case add to its value.