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Top Tablets for Kids & Families for Christmas 2016

As our children become more tech savvy at a younger age, 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 2016 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 2016.

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Tablets for Children

nabi DreamTab

Suggested Age: 3+ years

DESCRIPTION

nabi Dream tablets for kids

The nabi DreamTab is an 8″ tablet specially designed for children. It has a multi-touch screen and comes with the nabi dream pen and a robust case. There are robust parental controls and the ability to set time limits on apps, browsing and viewing.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Hi-Res 8″ Multi-Touch Screen
  • 16GB built in storage with a micro SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS
  • 6 to 8 Hour Battery Life (re-chargeable lithium battery built in)
  • Camera with reverse function and the rear camera has flash function
  • Headpone jack and comes with a nabi dream pen
  • Robust web browsing controls and a time limit function
  • BayTrail-T Atom processor allowing for greater speed with 2MB RAM.

APPS & GAMES

The nabi DreamTab comes preloaded with approx 70 apps including great video and drawing apps, Dreampro Studio and Wings educational apps. It comes with access to Netflix, Youtube and Dish network and you can set controls on access.

SAFETY & PARENTAL CONTROLS

The nabi DreamTab comes with time management controls so you can set up limited access to games, apps or general reading. It also has the ability to give your child access to a private social network, so you can ensure your child is only talking to approved contacts.

LeapPad LeapFrog Epic

Suggested Age: 3 – 9 years

Description

eapFrog Epic Top tables for kids 2016

The all new LeapFrog Epic is an Android based tablet that features a 7″ muliti-touch capacitive screen with sharp graphics and a quad core fast and powerful processor. Children can design their own home screen, plus it has a wrap-around bumper and a shatter-safe screen making it durable and able to withstand a few knocks!

Main Features

  • Hi-Res 7″ touch Screen
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Kid-Safe Web
  • 6+ Hour Battery Life (re-chargeable lithium battery built in)
  • Front & Rear Camera with video function
  • Access to 800+ games designed and approved by LeapFrog Educators
  • Robust Parent Controls
  • Quad-core processor allowing for greater speed

Apps & Games

The LeapFrog Epic comes with access to 20+ games with more available to download or buy. All games have been designed or approved by LeapFrog educators with some featuring Just For Me™ Learning.

There has been some criticism that parents cannot override the controls to give them full access to all android apps but can only download apps from the Amazon app store.

Note: The LeapFrog Epic is not compatible with LeapFrog cartridge games. 

Safety & Parental Controls

As the LeapFrog Epic is designed for younger children, it comes with a safe, protected LeapSearch 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. However the LeapFrog Epic has been designed to grow with your child, so parents can easily add websites as their child grows.

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 7 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 consider the new Kindle Fire HD 10, with a 10.1″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 child’s 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.

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.

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.

Kano computer kits are available to purchase online at www.kano.me with worldwide shipping available.
Recommended Reading: Why Building a Computer is Good for Your Child

Tablets for Families

iPad Mini from Apple

Suggested Age: All the family

Description

iPad Mini 2

Rumours suggest that Apple will release the new iPad Mini 5 in time for Christmas 2016, and speculation is that it will have more RAM to allow easy use of iOS10’s multitasking ability.

If your budget does not stretch to the iPad Mini 5, 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.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Suggested Age: Suitable for all the family

Description

top tablets for families samsung Galaxy S2 Tab

Rumours suggest that Samsung will release the Galaxy Tab S3 in time for Christmas 2016. If your budget does not stretch the to new version the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes in a choice of 2 screen sizes, 8″ and 9.7″ and is ideal for both adults and kids.

Main Features

  • Super AMOLED multipoint touchscreen for enhanced viewing
  • Microsoft Office for Android is preloaded
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 8 mp camera and a 2.1 pm webcam
  • 2 x Quad core processers and 32GB storage
  • Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and has a micro USB point and an audio jack.
  • Easy to install Parental Controls & Tools

Apps & Games

The Samsung Galaxy 2 comes preloaded with Microsoft Office for Android and OneDrive cloud storage, perfect for students. You can access a full range of games and apps through the Google Play Store.

Safety & Parental Controls

Setting parental controls the Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab is easy. You can block or filter Google Play and add passwords for purchases to avoid your child ‘accidentally’ downloading inapproiate content or making in-app purchases.

As the Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab is not specifically designed for kids, there is no ‘kid-mode’ available so parents have to choose the level of blocking they want.

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

Top Tablets for Kids & Families for Christmas 2016

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