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Best tablet for kids 2022: The 4 top options we’ve tested

Read Trusted Reviews' definitive ranking of the best kid-friendly tablets. We help you find the ones best for entertaining and educating your little ones.

Buying a tablet for kids is a tricky endeavour, since the one they want may not be the wisest choice for their specific age group.

If your five-year-old asks Santa for an iPad Pro “just like mummy and daddy’s”, trust us when we say that this wouldn’t be a good idea. Putting aside the fact that the device is prohibitively expensive, we can personally confirm that even the most mild-mannered of child could easily break it during a tantrum.

Equally, just because a tablet is cheap and looks like it will play Netflix just fine, doesn’t mean it will keep your tween or teenager happy long-term, or be a good enough option for them to complete schoolwork. Based on our experience reviewing many of the lesser-known tablets on Amazon, sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for a known brand that includes proper software and customer support.

If you’re looking for a tablet to regularly keep the kids entertained on long car journeys then it’s important to consider audio and battery life, too – two features that you can’t really assess using a spec sheet alone.

Here to help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve compiled a list detailing the best tablets we’ve reviewed for kids that covers a variety of age groups, prices and user cases. Whether it’s a rugged, toddler-proof tablet to keep the little ones distracted while you work from home, or a top-end tablet that your 10-year-old can use to safely browse the web and complete homework, this list will have you covered.

Every tablet that features here has been thoroughly tested by one of our product experts using a mix of lab and real-world tests to see if it’s up to scratch for your progeny. We’ve ranked these models based on the key criteria that makes a tablet suitable for kids, which includes battery life, parental control support, ruggedness, app support and price.

If you’re after a device for for an older teenager, or a shared family tablet, and you can’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our best tablet, best Android tablet and best iPad guides.

How we test

Find out more about how we test tablets below

Every tablet in this list has been throughly tested and used for an extended period of time by one of our product experts. We categorically do not recommend a product unless it’s been put through our lab tests and used by the reviewer as their main tablet for at least five days.

Lab testing includes colorimeter checks to gauge screen accuracy and max brightness levels, synthetic benchmarks to evaluate graphics and general performance, and battery drains to assess average discharge rates for basic schoolwork, streaming video and gaming.

Our reviewer will then move on to consider the tablet’s performance for everyday use. This will see them use it as their primary tablet and enact common tasks such as movie streaming, gaming, web browsing and video calling. We’ll then attempt to review how an age appropriate child finds using the device to gauge if it’s worth considering for this list.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids

The best tablet for young kids
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Pros

  • Super-chunky case offers a lot of protection
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Worry-free guarantee
  • Bright screen

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Limited app library

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids 2021 is the tablet we’d recommend for children aged seven and below. The main reason for this is that it’s impressively rugged. The 10-inch tablet sits inside a bumper case, which comprises a shockproof foam and plastic outer shell.

The case is a little chunky, and likely means most older kids wouldn’t be caught dead walking around their school with it – as confirmed by our Editor-in-Chief, Alastair Stevenson’s god-daughter, who told him she’d “rather not have a tablet” if that was what she’d get when offered one. However, the exterior here also makes the tablet the only one on this list that we can 100% confirm will survive a full-blown toddler tantrum. During testing it survived everything from animated throws across the room to a game of tug of war with a dog without issue.

In addition, Amazon offers this tablet with a guarantee and kid-specific extras that make it a perfect option for younger kids. The most significant is its returns policy, which will see the company replace any broken Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids (2021) free of charge, no questions asked, for two years after purchase.

For adults and older kids, though, we found the HD 10 Kids FireOS software a little prohibitive – which is was the case with past Amazon tablets we’ve tested, too. The OS here is a custom version of Android that swaps Google’s traditional Android UI and app store for Amazon-specific equivalents. It pushes Amazon Prime shopping, Video, Music and Kindle to the forefront of the UI, actively encouraging you to shop.

However, based on our time with the device, the customised version of the software for kids on this tablet works very well given its intended audience. For young kids, who we’d really rather didn’t have access to a completely unrestricted app store or media library, the locked-down nature of FireOS is actually a blessing.

In tests, we were seriously impressed with the intuitiveness of the device’s parental controls. Within minutes of launching and completing the setup process – which takes about 10 minutes and requires a live Prime subscription – we were able to easily filter content, restrict or block in-app purchases, and set limits on how much screen time the tablet allowed each day.

Using the bundled one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, our test subject toddler was able to find numerous age appropriate videos, books and games to keep them entertained for at least half an hour. The only time we experienced any issues related to the device’s hardware, which can cause some frustration, even for younger users.

The 10-inch LCD screen is more than sharp enough for kids, although compared to an iPad, it undeniably looks a little washed out. The MediaTek CPU at the heart of the device is very low power, which means that certain apps do sometimes chug. While an adult might have the patience to see through any delays, we found that it could occasionally cause frustration in younger users, with our toddler tester occasionally slapping the device or throwing it when a slowdown caused them to lose a game.

This, plus its design and locked-down ecosystem, is the reason we recommend parents invest in a higher-cost tablet such as a non-Pro iPad or a reliable Android tablet for older kids.

Battery life also leaves little to be desired. During our tests we found it is all too easy to drain the battery life in less than four hours when streaming video or playing games. This means you’ll need to invest in a battery pack if you want the tablet to make it through longer car or train journeys, without risking a tantrum when it dies mid-way through an episode of Paw Patrol.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Review

Apple iPad 9

The best tablet for older kids
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Pros

  • Wide selection of optimised apps
  • Very good front camera
  • Sharp screen

Cons

  • Design feels a little tired
  • Doesn’t work with newer Apple accesories

If you have a tween or teenager who wants a cool playground-worthy tablet on which they can complete schoolwork, then the iPad 10.2-inch is our tablet of choice.

Although it’s undeniably pricey compared to Amazon’s Fire range of devices, the tablet hit the sweet spot for technical performance, long-term software support and price during our tests.

The tablet doesn’t have the modern stylings of the iPad Air 2022 or current-generation iPad Pro, which come with far smaller bezels around their screens and are slimmer too. However, in tests we found the slightly retro design was still great for kids. The aluminium frame proved suitably rugged to survive being slung into a satchel, and capable of surviving the odd drop.

Our reviewer had more than one scare with the tablet, it being knocked onto a hardwood floor, plus it was carried in a satchel to and from work for more than a week without a case. However, at the end of the testing period, the tablet’s metal back and glass front remained in pristine condition, leaving us assured that the device is capable of surviving the average tween and teen’s day-to-day usage.

Hardware-wise, the iPad 10.2-inch is also a significant step up on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition and most of its Android competitors. Putting it head-to-head with the Fire tablet and Xiaomi Pad 5 – which is the tablet we recommend to most people in our best Android tablet guide – the iPad’s display performed well.

Although to the naked eye it couldn’t quite match the deep black levels of more expensive OLED tablet screens such as the panel on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the IPS screen here looked sharp, with Netflix and Disney Plus content more than high-enough quality to keep our 8-year-old test subject immersed with zero distraction. High brightness levels are also a boon, with the screen remaining usable in sunlit outdoor conditions that rendered the Amazon Fire illegible.

Our experience was borne out in lab tests using a colorimeter, which detected a peak 450-nits max brightness in daytime use. A nit is a measurement of brightness, with 450-nits well above the 300-350 nits we’d usually see on competing sub-$400/£400 tablets. The iPad’s battery life is also enough to keep kids entertained on long car journeys, offering just shy of 10 hours of video playback during our tests.

But the hardware isn’t the main reason for us to recommend the iPad over competing, similarly priced tablets such as the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. It’s the tablet’s iPadOS software. The fact is, Apple is much more stringent about the services it will run on its platform. Every app is security checked and it’s far more difficult to sneak malicious software on to Apple’s iPadOS than on Android, so kids won’t so easily be able to download malicious data-scraping apps on to the device, or stumble on a duplicate app laced with malware.

As an added bonus, the tablet will also offer software support for longer. Apple tends to update its devices to new versions of iPadOS so long as their hardware can handle it, making it a much better investment than most Android tablets, which only tend to receive 1-2 years of support based on our experience.

This, coupled with its significantly more developed tablet app library that features all the stuff any kid will need for school, a selection of family friendly games and all the streaming services you can think of, make the iPad 10-inch the safest and most flexible choice for most youngsters.

Add to this the optional folio keyboard, and within seconds of setting up the device we were able to install every app and feature any tween or teen would need for entertainment and to complete homework.

There are a few compromises you should be aware of before buying the device, however. For starters, the iPad 10.2-inch only supports Apple’s folio keyboard. Coming from an iPad Pro with the newer Magic Keyboard, this felt like a huge compromise; our reviewer commented on how squished and less comfortable the Folio keyboard proved to type on for prolonged periods. As a result, we’d suggest the iPad be used as an aid to school work, but not as a kid’s primary laptop.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPad 9 review

iPad Mini 6

The best small tablet for kids
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Pros

  • Great new design
  • Works with the second-gen Apple Pencil
  • Super-speedy thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset
  • 5G option makes for great portability

Cons

  • Odd storage sizes
  • Expensive
  • Some iOS elements are too small

We’d recommend the iPad 10.2 for most kids, since its larger screen makes it a better device on which to watch films, play games and complete school work. However, if you child wants a more compact device then the iPad Mini 6 is the best option.

As we noted in our best tablets guide, the iPad Mini 6 is the best small-form-factor tablet we’ve tested. While its smaller size proved a bit of a pain for adults wanting to use the device for work, or to get the best movie-watching experience possible, for parents simply wanting a small tablet that could easily and safely fit into a kid’s rucksack, it was a blessing.

The compact 8.3-inch slate easily slotted into our 8-year-old’ test subject’s Ben 10 bag. To our surprise, it also proved sufficiently rugged with the official Apple case attached to survive a full week of use, including trips back and forth to school, without any noticeable scratches or signs of damage. The robust parental controls are identical to those found accompanying the larger iPad 10.2, which offered peace of mind when letting younger kids use the tablet unsupervised during testing.

Among older kids, Mini 6’s design has enough playground street-cred to make it desirable to most teenagers. It looks like a shrunk-down iPad Air 5, which is our current recommended tablet for most adults.

Performance-wise, while it isn’t powerful enough for most adult power-users, or older kids looking for a laptop replacement or tablet on which to digitally paint or edit video, the Mini’s hardware is up to scratch.

Note that the A15 Bionic chip running the device isn’t Apple’s latest, and during synthetic benchmarks – simulated tests to gauge a product’s performance in key areas such as web browsing, gaming and content creation – it didn’t come anywhere close to matching the iPad Air 5 M1 chip’s scores.

But our test subject didn’t experience any issues with the Mini’s performance, nor did they make any complaints about using it – despite being different to the more expensive hardware being used by their sibling. Based on our experience, the tablet remains fast enough to play every game on Apple Arcade and the App Store. The only time we suffered any issues was when attempting more demanding creative work, such as large-scale vector graphics projects in Procreate.

Our tester remained equally unbothered by the fact the tablet doesn’t support more premium Apple features such as the iPad Pro’s Promotion. This is a clever bit of tech that lets the screen ramp up its refresh rate to 120Hz, making it feel more fluid and reactive during games. We love the feature – but, again, our tester never bemoaned its absence over the review period.

The more serious issues stem from the Mini 6’s size. While younger kids may appreciate the more compact dimensions, it does come with a few drawbacks. For starters, older kids who want to use the device for schoolwork will struggle with the iPad Mini’s lack of support for an official Apple keyboard dock. This is one of the main reasons we recommend the 10.2-inch iPad over the Mini for most older kids.

Battery life also isn’t quite up to scratch for prolonged, heavy use. In tests, the iPad Mini struggled to survive a full day of heavy use. Streaming video on loop, the tablet lasted only 5-8 hours, which will be an issue if you plan to use it to keep kids entertained during long journeys or camping holidays.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPad Mini 6 review

Realme Pad

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Pros

  • Fantastic build quality
  • Detailed screen
  • Powerful speakers

Cons

  • Not the most powerful device
  • Screen isn’t that bright

If you want a tablet for your tween or teenager, but aren’t a fan of Apple devices, then the Realme Pad is the best option we’ve tested to date.

Despite costing less than $250/£250, the 10-inch tablet offers fantastic build quality and a decent enough experience to keep kids entertained during long car trips, as well as for happily streaming video or playing games at home.

Out of the box, we were immediately surprised by the tablet’s build, with it featuring a robust, distinctly iPad-looking aluminum body. The body isn’t quite as rugged as that of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids edition, and we’re not certain it would survive a full-on tantrum. However, for older kids, the chassis is suitably scratch-resistant, the device surviving a week’s back and forth to school without issue.

Although there were a few grumbles from our test subject about wanting an iPad, once the Realme Pad was setup and their favorite streaming services and games installed, there were no problems.

Using the device for entertainment, the tablet performed well. The 10.4-inch panel doesn’t offer the best-in-class screen quality seen on more expensive tablets such as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. That tablet delivers deeper blacks and better max brightness levels, making for much more immersive viewing. In addition, head-to-head with the iPad 10.2, colors on the Apple slate were slightly more vibrant and blacks deeper. But for the money we’re yet to find a better panel, with screen quality still being a clear step up on Amazon’s Fire tablets. Note, too, that we didn’t experience any performance issues streaming shows from Netflix and Disney Plus.

The Realme Pad also has a key selling point that differentiates it from the iPad: it features a microSD card slot. This may not sound significant, but it’s a big deal if you want to locally save an emergency stash of your kids’ favorite TV shows, books or comics to appease them when away from a Wi-Fi connection. This lets you expand the tablet’s built-in 128GB of space. Prior to going on a holiday, we were able to cram multiple series of SpongeBob SquarePants, an entire library of comic books, and more games than the kid could ever want onto the tablet by taking advantage of the feature.

For such situations we also found battery life to be generally okay, with the Realme Pad matching the 10 hours of video playback we recorded on the iPad 10.2.

The only real downside is the Android software. Android isn’t optimised to run on a tablet sized screen in the way iPadOS is. As such, many apps appear blown up on the tablet; they don’t look as polished on an Android tablet as they do on an iPad. Key examples include everything from Twitter to Disney Plus.

However, the bigger issue is the OS’ long-term software support. Apple famously pushes software updates to its devices so long as their hardware can handle it. Android, meanwhile, has a pretty poor track record when it comes to software updates, with past experience showing us that the majority of tablets will at best receive one, maybe two upgrades to new versions of the operating system.

This isn’t ideal, since the tablet won’t get access to new features year-on-year. It also means the Realme Pad may not receive security updates for as long as it should, potentially leaving you in an awkward position where you need to get your kid a new tablet in only a couple of years – which diminishes the Realme Pad’s long-term value for money. This is one of the main reasons the iPad 10.2 sits higher on this list.

Reviewer: Ian Morris
Full review: Realme Pad review

FAQs

Are tablets safe for kids?

Whenever you allow kids access to the internet, there are some steps you should take to ensure they’re safe. Most tablets come with specialist parental controls that let you do key things such as allow only age inappropriate content, block app downloads and in app purchases, and limit screen time. We’d recommend any parent take advantage of them before handing over a tablet to younger users.

How much should you spend on a kid’s tablet?

The answer to this depends on the age of the child and the purpose for which the tablet will be used. If you’re simply looking for a tablet on which a toddler can watch Paw Patrol, there’s no point spending big. Instead, opt for a cheap, well-made device. If the tablet is for an older child for school work as well as watching TV, it’s worth spending a little more ($200/$400) for a device with decent keyboard cover support.

What should you look for in a kid’s tablet?

For younger kids, consider lengthy battery life, decent parental controls and rugged build quality. Hell hath no fury like a three-year-old whose tablet dies halfway through an episode of Paw Patrol on a long car journey. Despite good work by Apple and Android, app stores still aren’t safe places for kids to navigate without guidance. Build quality is key, since most premium tablets aren’t designed to survive full-on tantrums or being launched in a fit of rage.

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

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Trusted Reviews test data

The table below details all the test data we collected reviewing the products included in this list. The iPad 10.2 is clearly the most powerful tablet in the guide, offering superior benchmark scores and screen quality. But it’s perks cost a premium and for younger users the rugged nature of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids makes it our recommended device for ages 7 and below.

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Sling Shot Extreme

Comparison specs

The table below offers a full breakdown of the specifications of all the tablets in this list. Once again, while Apple’s iPads remain the highest specced and most powerful options with A15 Bionic chips, their premium price means younger children aren’t likely to take advantage of that added power. As such, the Fire tablet may be a better option for younger users.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

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