As an avid reader I have to say I was a teeny tiny bit envious that this Fire HD 6 Kids Edition tablet has been put through it’s paces mainly by M, aged 8 years. A tablet especially designed with children in mind with a robust kid-proof case. The tablet comes with 1 year of Fire for Kids unlimited (more about that later) and a two year guarantee.
This is not a toy, it is a real grown up tablet- a quad-core processor, HD display, camera and access to films, apps, books and more. However, it has parental controls that protect the child from the dreaded ‘evils’ of the internet. Parents can choose how long they want to allow their child to spend on the tablet playing games, or perhaps allow unlimited reading. Children can also be given educational goals to complete before they are allowed ‘free time’. And whilst they are in their own personalised profile they cannot access the internet, or download anything unless it is age appropriate content as part of Fire for Kids Unlimited.
Fire for Kids Unlimited gives children unlimited access to thousands of different books, apps and videos, all included for the first year, and then £1.99 per month for prime customers, £3.99 if you are not a prime customer. There are also options for families- £4.99 for prime customers and £7.99/month if you are not. The apps include educational ones, as well as games. The book titles are endless, and videos available can range from short episodes to full length films.
What we love about the Fire HD 6 Kids Edition…
- The robust case (it comes in two colours by the way- pink or blue) which protects the tablet.
- The two year guarantee, definitely peace of mind especially if the tablet is being used by very young children. If your child breaks it, return it and it will be replaced for free.
- The battery life is really good.
- The availability of content such as books. M doesn’t have to ask me if he wants to read a book within the Fire for Kids Unlimited content, I am reassured that anything he has access to there is safe. It has meant he has read a ton of books that he wouldn’t normally…ask him anything about Persian and Siamese cats, Bulldogs, Pugs…he has the low down. He has a book downloaded about World War 1, Harry Potter and lots of other fiction.
- Of course other content is available from the Amazon store and this can be put onto the child’s profile from the parent’s zone. M is Minecraft mad so we bought that and he has that on the tablet as well as some other games that were free. He also practises his time tables and spellings using apps on the tablet.
- The one year subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited.
- The parental controls, I can limit how much time M spends playing apps, yet allow him freedom to read as much or as little as he wants. And I can also shut it down between certain hours so he can’t do any middle of the night play.
Things I am not so keen on…
- I found changing profiles quite tricky at first, however the upside is it’s hard for a young child to do and is passworded.
- The cost of Fire for Kids Unlimited after the first year, not so bad if you have one child and are an Amazon prime member but if you’re not then I think £3.99 is a little steep, especially as children aren’t going to be downloading new games all the time and I am not sure how often the books and videos content is updated to justify the expense. (Maybe I am a little mean but I am not keen on any subscriptions for children).
- The memory fills up really quickly. We have an 8GB tablet, it’s available in 16GB too, and I think the extra £20 is well worth paying to double the memory capacity. The videos within the Fire for Kids Unlimited are streamed so space is not taken up by films, in our case it has been books, and apps.
However, I am really impressed overall, it has been a huge hit with M and I feel comfortable knowing that he can’t post to social media or stumble across anything he shouldn’t…or do any in-app spending. It is definitely something I would recommend to others. Edited Dec 2015: After a couple of months we have found the lack of memory a huge issue and it’s made the tablet virtually unusable so I cannot at the moment recommend this.
Fire HD Kids Edition is £119 with 8GB memory and £139 with 16GB of memory and is available now from Amazon
Disclosure: We received the Fire HD 6 Kids Edition to review and all opinions are my own.