Don’t Waste Your Money: Best Tablets for Kids

Posted at 7:31 PM, Dec 05, 2012

If you’re not wild about sharing your tablet with the kids, there’s good news. This year you’ll find more tablets made especially for children. Consumer Reports checked out 5 of the newest, costing between $150 and $200. They’re made for kids but they’ve got features that are all grown up. Some come with with real Android operating systems and features like Wi-Fi and expandable memory.

Consumer Reports examined the tablets, including display quality. Some screens proved hard to view from an angle. Another test measured battery life, tapping the screen to keep it awake until the batteries run down. Consumer Reports also asked a dozen young testers to play games, read books and create artwork on the tablets. They answered questions, such as how easy the tablets are to turn on, and which activities are fun. The tablets all come loaded with child-friendly games and learning activities. Not surprisingly, the kids liked the games the best.

For bookworms, the Meep! Tablet from Oregon Scientific has the clearest display screen. And if you want to limit your child’s Internet access, parental controls are on all the tablets. The most extensive for younger kids are on the Meep!, the Kurio 7 and the Nabi 2. Some tablets have Internet filters, which means kids can surf only to approved websites. And on some tablets, parents can limit their kid’s time online.

And which tablet did the kids like best? The Nabi 2 for $200. It has a friendly interface,and the longest battery life.

Consumer Reports notes that some “grownup” tablets have parental restrictions, too.  You’ll find them on tablets including the Galaxy Nexus, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Amazon Kindle Fire models.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to