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Top Tablets for Kids and Families this Christmas 2015

From the very young to older kids and teens, having access to, or (better yet) owning, a tablet is top of any wish list, and tablets continue to feature on top toys for Christmas 2015 lists. For parents tasked with purchasing a tablet, the choice can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider including price, parental control, durability and ease of use. To help you out, here are the Top Tablets for Kids & Families this Christmas 2015.

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Tablets for Children

LeapPad Platinum Tablet from Leap Frog

Suggested Age: 3 – 9 years

Description

LeapPad PlatinumThe all new LeapPad Platinum Tablet features a 7″ muliti-touch screen with sharp graphics and a quad core fast and powerful processor. It has a wrap-around bumper and a shatter-safe screen making it durable and able to withstand a few knocks!

You can upload custom spelling and maths lists and have peer to peer play.

Main Features

  • Hi-Res 7″ Multi-Touch Screen
  • Wi-Fi with Kid-Safe Web
  • 5 Hour Battery Life (re-charagable lithium battery built in)
  • Camera with video function
  • Access to 800+ games designed and approved by LeapFrog Educators
  • Toughest LeapPad Ever!
  • Robust Parent Controls
  • Quad-core processor allowing for greater speed

Apps & Games

The LeapPad Platinum comes with access to 800+ games with more available to buy. All games have been designed or approved by LeapFrog educators with some featuring Just For Me™ Learning.

You can also unlock interacitve gameplay using the LeapFrong Imagicard™. It comes pre-loaded with 10 apps and 6 imagicards and a mini game.

Safety & Parental Controls

As the LeapPad Platinum is designed for younger children, it comes with a safe, protected web browser only allowing access to kid-appropriate videos and games etc. All content that can be accessed has been reviewed and approved by learning experts.

The LeapPad Platinum also features robust parental controls including password-protected time limits and customised experiences for each age and stage.

Cost

Amazon.co.uk from £99.99, Amazon.com from $129.99
Smyths Ireland from €114.99 Smyths UK from £99.99

Kano Computer Kit

Suggested Age: 6 -14 years

Description

kano computer kitsKano is an award winning computer that anyone from age 6+ can build themselves.

Get started by assembling the hardware and then writing games from scratch, thus teaching kids to build, learn and create through code.

Main Features

  • The Kano Computer Kit comes with 11 plug-and-play components
  • A Raspberry Pi 2
  • Wireless keyboard with a trackpad
  • A DIY speaker
  • Cables to connect to a TV or Monitor and power source
  • USB Wi-Fi dongle
  • Kano OS memory card
  • Two illustrated story books “Make a Computer” & “Code Powers”
  • Customisable case and accessories.

Apps & Games

You can build/write your own games from scratch –  from retro games like Pong to modern hits like Minecraft.

Safety & Parental Controls

Parents can apply security and access controls on Kano to protect their families whilst on the Internet. There are 4 levels of parental controls on the Kano Kit. These range from blocking blacklisted websites to only allowing access on Kano World.

Cost

Kano computer kits are available to purchase online at www.kano.me with worldwide shipping available.
Prices start from EU €149.99, UK £119.99 & USA, Asia, Canada, Australia $149.00

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Suggested Age: From 3 years

Description

Kindle Fire HD for KidsThe Amazon Kindle Fire HD comes in a Kids Edition with 1 year free subscription of Fire for Kids Unlimited included (with access to thousands of books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games), and sports a durable rubber case, which can be removed.

You can set profiles for up to 4 children and when selected, the fonts change to a kid-friendly design and they can only see titles that you have allowed them access to. The home screen carousel shows their recently views titles making it visually easy for them to navigate based on characters or topics.

For older children the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 is great value and can be purchased in a range of funky colours. If you wish to spend more and get a longer battery life, you can buy a Kindle Fire HD with 7″ or 8.9″ screen.

Main Features on Kindle Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

  • 6″ HD display screen
  • 2 Year worry-free guarantee including “if they break it we’ll replace it no questions asked”
  • Robust rubber storage case in a choice of colours and gorilla glass
  • 1 year free subscription of Fire for Kids Unlimited included
  • 8GB or 16GB storage options available
  • Quad core processor
  • Front and Rear Cameras
  • Easy to use parental controls

Apps & Games

The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition comes with 1 year free subscription of Fire for Kids Unlimited, which includes access to thousands of books, movies, educational apps and games.

Safety & Parental Controls

The parental controls are easy to use, and allow you to mange usage by setting limits to content and time for each childs’ profile and also allows you to set educational goals. A child’s profile does not have access to the Fire HD built in web browser, in-app purchases, e-mail or social media features.

Using a password, parents can take the Fire HD out of Kids edition and set up less strict limits.

Cost

Kurio Smart Tablets

Suggested Age: Kurio Xtreme 2 for younger members of the family; Kurio Smart Windows Tablet for older school-going kids, teens and students.

Description

Kurio have 2 great tablets aimed at kids – the Kurio Xtreme 2 for younger kids and the Kurio Smart Windows tablet aimed a school age kids and students. Below we take a look at the best features of both.

Main Features of the Kurio Xtreme 2

  • Kurio Smart Xtreme2Internet filtering System
  • Detachable keyboard included
  • Built in App Management System & Time Controls
  • Set up to 8 user profiles
  • Body Motion Gaming to get kids moving
  • 60+ pre-loaded age appropriate apps and games and content
  • Quad core processor
  • Comes with an integrated stand and protective bumper case

Main Features of the Kurio Smart Windows

  • Kurio Smart Windows TabletAll the comfort of a PC in tablet format, with a Windows operating system
  • Microsoft Office is included with free unlimited storage
  • Parental controls including time management, app management and internet filtering.
  • Includes Body Motion Gaming to get kids moving
  • It comes with pre-loaded popular games and has access to thousands of apps and games on the Windows Store
  • Quadcore Intel Processing for speed.
  • 8.9″ IPS capacitive touch screen
  • Rear and Front Camera
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity capabliity
  • Micro SDHC Card Slot to add an extra 32g of memory

Apps & Games

Both the Kurio Xtreme 2 and Kurio Smart Windows include Body Motion Gaming to help get the kids up and moving.

The Kurio Xtreme 2 comes pre-loaded with 60+ apps, games, entertainment, video, ebooks and educational content. More can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. It also had a Kid-Safe email free for 6 months.

The Kurio Smart Windows comes with some popular games pre-loaded and access to 100% parent-friendly Toon Goggles. Thousands of extra app and games can be downloaded from the Windows Store.

Safety & Parental Controls

The Kurio Xtreme 2 allows you to create up to 8 profiles which offer fully separate controls for each profile. It has an inbuilt internet filtering system, an app management system, and a tablet usage system, including time limits for every day of the week.

The Kurio Smart Windows Tablet parental controls are managed by Windows Family Safety and allows you to set time limits, block apps and set internet filtering.

Cost

Currently available from ToysRUs but coming to Walmart Stores soon. Kurio Xtreme 2 starts from $129.99 and Kurio Smart Windows starts from $199
Amazon.co.uk for Kurio Smart prices start from £210.00
Amazon.com for Kurio Xtreme prices from $179.00
Smyths Ireland for Kurio Smart prices start from €269.99

For details on the Kurio 7″ Tablet and more Kid Friendly Tablets check out what was popular for Christmas 2014.

Tablets for Families

iPad Mini from Apple

Suggested Age: All the family

Description

iPad Mini 2Rumours suggest that Apple will release the new iPad Mini 4 in time for Christmas 2015, and speculation is that it will have more RAM to allow easy use of iOS9’s multitasking ability.

If your budget does not stretch to the iPad Mini 4, we would suggest the iPad Mini 2 as a good alternative.

If you are looking for a general family use tablet, then iPads are ideal for both parents and children.

Main Features of the iPad Mini 2

  • 7.9 inch retina display with 3.1 million pixels for razor sharp text and images
  • Thin & Light Design making it easy to hold and carry
  • A7 Chip which means it is incredibly responsive and still gives up to 10 hours battery life
  • Great apps included and over 500,000 available on the App Store
  • iOS8 which allows family sharing and access to an iCloud Drive for storage
  • Built in Camera
  • Comes with 16gb or 32gb memory options
  • Wi-Fi + Cellular model available.

Apps & Games

The iPad Mini range has access to over 500,000 apps and games on the App Store. It also comes pre-loaded with GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, iWork, iBooks, Siri, Safari, Mail, iTunes, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Photo Booth, Contacts and a Game Centre.

Within game centre, there is an option to have multi-player games and invite friends to connect with you on games such as Minecraft.

Safety & Parental Controls

In the settings you can easily un-tick an app or feature to restrict access to it. You also have the ability to create a profile and enforce restrictions to that profile.

As the iPad is not currently aimed solely at children it means it is more difficult to have a completely child-safe web browser. You can implement guided access which can temporarily restrict your iOS device to a single app, and your child will not be able to navigate onto another app during play time.

Cost

iPad Mini 2 from Apple USA prices from $299.00, Apple UK prices from £239.00 and Apple Ireland prices from €309.00

Tesco Hudl

Suggested Age: Suitable for all the family

Description

Tesco Hudl2The second generation Hudl2 is the current available tablet from Tesco, but there are rumours they may launch the Hudl3 before Christmas 2015.

The Hudl2 features an 8.3″ full HD touchscreen and Dolby optimised sound, making it ideal for games and movies.

It comes in a choice of 8 colours and has easy to use parental controls including one which makes it switch off at bedtime! It’s also a good value for money option.

Main Features

  • 8.3″ full HD TouchScreen
  • Dolby Optimised Sound
  • Soft rubber cover in a choice of 8 Fun Colours
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Up to 8 hours battery life
  • Intel Atom Quad-Core processor and 16GB memory
  • Built in Wi-Fi with access to the Google Play Store
  • Easy to install Parental Controls & Tools
  • Tesco Clubcard points can be used towards purchase price

Apps & Games

The Hudl2 is an android tablet with access to the Google Play Store which features a million+ apps and games, so you and your child will be spoiled for choice. Profiles for each family member can be set up easily, to allow age-appropriate gaming and viewing.

Safety & Parental Controls

The Hudl2 comes pre-loaded with a Get Started app, which includes the Child Safety App, to help guide parents through the process of creating multiple profiles with limits on content and time for each family member.

You can set different time limits for weekends and weekdays and have the Hudl2 turn off at bedtime. And it is simple to set viewing and browsing restrictions within each profile too.

Cost

From Tesco UK prices start from £99.00

Top Tablets for Kids & Families Chriistmas

Over to you! Have you chosen/used any of these tablets – anything to add in terms of features, pricing, practicality? 

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