If you’re considering purchasing a tablet for your children, it’s important to be aware of how different age groups will thrive with different devices. The tablet that you buy needs to fit the age of your child, yet if it can suit their needs and desires for a few years or more, that’s even better. Aside from cost, the primary criteria for choosing a tablet should be the quality. Is it going to last through some tough love? Will it give your child what they need for school as well as what they want for fun? Below you’ll find our top picks on the devices that will give you the best bang for your buck:
Small Fry - Ages Under 5
LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition features 2 cameras, 5 hour battery life, and a shatter-proof screen - if only our smart phone screens had that feature! It also comes with a learning library, perfect for exploring any subject your kids can dream up. This encourages problem solving and critical thinking skills within your bundle of joy. You also have the unique ability to create user profiles for multiple children under one account. While LeapFrog apps can be pricey, you can save by side-loading from the Amazon Appstore.
In Between - Ages 3 - 12
An overall choice that pleases both parent and child, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, is hard to beat. Even kids well over 12 can appreciate this capable device that boasts dual cameras, a vibrant 8” display, 12 hour battery, and up to 32 GB of storage. It comes with an impressive selection of kid-friendly content including shows, books, and educational apps. The device is very sturdy (though no screen protector) and should anything happen to it, it is protected by a 2 year warranty. Best of all? A set of parental controls.
Tweens - Ages 13 - 15
Lenovo Tab 4is a superior tablet with an 8” high res display, powerful dolby speakers for music lovers, and a 20 hour battery life. It runs Android’s new Nougat operating system and comes with a full suite of Google apps. Lenovo offers cool cases to keep the tablet pristine, and a keyboard if you choose. It will also work with an Alexa-enabled speaker if you want to use it with a Home Assistant. Everyone can have their own account, with options for add-ons for younger kids.
The older versions of the Apple I-Pad Mini are also good options. Though not the newest mini from Apple, the 2 or 3 are a great deal, especially for the younger age set. Using the iOS 9 operating system, you can access parental features to make it more suitable to hand over to your kids. If you purchase the older versions, definitely get the warranty.
Teens - Ages 16 - 18
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8” is perfect for active teens. At a reasonable price it is light and sleek, has dual cameras, and 14 hour battery life. It’s user-friendly, easy to navigate, and chock full of software goodies. This tablet also runs on the Android Nougat operating system, and it’s capable of handling a large amount apps, games, photos, and videos thanks to 32 GB of storage capacity. It comes stocked with Microsoft Office apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint - which is a nice addition for students. Utilizing those features are easier with a keyboard case. You also get some free perks, such as Audiobooks by Audible, Evernote Premium, and Blinkist, as well as some games and apps.
Young Adults - Ages 18+
And of course, it’s hard to beat the Apple I-Pad in any size you prefer. Yes, it comes with a premium price tag, but the pros are it follows your teen into adulthood and so far, there isn’t one they would likely want to trade up for. It offers the widest range of apps, educational content, and games along with Apple’s beautiful high resolution screens, as well as Apple’s cool accessories such as the Apple Pen. You can also purchase sturdy cases to avoid damage to your investment, as well as keyboard cases to create a work station as a laptop alternative.
Any of these devices are a sound choice. The last remaining tactic to help you finalize the decision would be to take your kids and give them some hands-on time with tablets you already know you would be willing to purchase. Allowing them to be part of the process gives them some incentive to take care of that investment. All you may need to worry about is separating your kids from these beauties when it’s time to come to dinner!