The newest generation of Amazon Fire tablets comes with some major upgrades to the offerings for kids. They are now divided into Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids tablets for kids aged 3-7, and Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets (opens in a new tab)for kids 6 years old and older.
I’m teaming up with my almost-6-year-old Fire tablet aficionado to bring you this review of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro ($199.99). TL;DR? It’s big, bright, and keeps them busy — but it’s best suited for entertainment, not schoolwork.
The tablet has some great upgrades
The foundations of these new and improved kids’ tablets are the new-gen Amazon Fire tablets(opens in a new tab), offering some significant improvements over previous iterations. There have been some design changes, making the tablet thinner and more lightweight. However, the screen is also stronger thanks to the addition of aluminosilicate glass — a definite plus with kids.
It’s bigger, brighter, and its case is great for kids.
It’s also had some serious software upgrades too, with 3 GB of RAM and an octa-core 2.0 GHz processor. Although Fire tablets have a reputation for being slow, this one’s trying to clean up that image. We’ve done a lot of streaming on this tablet, and it hasn’t skipped a beat.
Additionally, the tablet is 10 percent brighter than its predecessor.
On top of it all, it’s got a 2 MP front-facing camera and 5 MP rear-facing camera for video calls to the grandparents, and it boasts a longer battery life — up to 12 hours per charge. For comparison, the 8th gen iPad (starting at $329) offers an 8 MP front-facing camera, a 1.2 MP FaceTime HD camera for selfies and chatting, and 10-hour battery life.
My thoughts? After using a Fire 7 for the past year, the 10 looks absolutely massive and is almost too big for my 5-year-old’s hands. But no surprise here, he thinks it’s perfect. And the cleaner, sharper, brighter display is hard to ignore — you can see the difference plainly.
Its case has a major glow-up
Let’s talk about the case for a second. It’s one of the only features differentiating the Fire 10 Kids and Kids Pro from the Fire 10, and it’s really had a glow-up. It has the bright colors and patterns kids love but the Pro offers a much sleeker and thinner look than previous versions.
While as a tween I wouldn’t have been caught dead carrying around my son’s Fire 7 with its super juvenile-looking case, the Kids Pro cases look pretty sharp.
And once again, the cases come with Amazon’s worry-free guarantee, which means that Amazon will replace the tablet if your kid decides to jump on it, drop it in the pool, use it like a frisbee, etc, etc, within the first two years of purchase. And while the slim case on the Fire 10 Kids Pro may not look as tough as older versions, it’s definitely got some oomph behind it.
The kickstand is really durable and makes the tablet perfect for hands-free streaming, too.
The content and parental controls are incredibly useful
The tablet comes standard with a free year of Amazon Kids+, which is normally $2.99 a month for Prime members and $4.99 a month for people who don’t mind waiting on their packages.
The subscription offers a curated kid-friendly experience with tons of content including games, books, radio stations, songs, and apps. Alongside the case, it serves as the other key differentiator between the Amazon Fire 10 and the Amazon Fire 10 Kids.
Amazon’s parent dashboard gives you a glimpse into what your child has been doing.
In my opinion, as a long-time Amazon Kids subscriber, the content is amazing for younger kids around ages 3-8. However, once they get older is when the parental controls start to really shine. While Prime members can manage parental controls for each individual device, the addition of a Kids+ membership unlocks more options, including child profiles.
Right now, the parental controls on my son’s tablet are pretty restrictive. However, there’s plenty of flexibility for the parents of older kids who are ready to start learning how to navigate the net.
You can allow different levels of browser accessibility, from totally locked down to totally wide open (and some nice in-between options). Also, you can set conditions on-screen time — like X minutes of educational content first, then games become available.
Finally, you can allow them access to the app store for age-appropriate apps and even let your older kids stream PG-13 movies.
If you have more than one child, the Amazon Kids+ family membership ($6.99 per month or $69 per year for Prime members, $9.99 per month or $99 per year for non-Prime members) allows you to create up to four profiles with different parental control settings.
With these profiles, your children can share one device. (Whether they will is another question altogether.) And switching between profiles requires a pin, too — so you’ll be able to keep each child’s profile under lock and key.
Is it good for schoolwork?
Thanks once again to the pandemic, there are record numbers of families homeschooling or doing a virtual school option this year… us included. We’ve been using the Fire 10 Kids Pro for my son’s video lessons each day, and — although we’re managing — there are a few things you should know before you buy this for school:
The built-in browser is a bit clunky and unintuitive. To access my son’s video lessons on his very parentally restricted profile, I had to add the school website to the list of approved sites. Unfortunately, though, the browser completely kicks us out every time the screen goes dark and I have to log back in. Also, it asks each time I log in if I’d like to save my password regardless of how many times I click “never ask me again.”
Screen time hours can be restrictive. If you set screen time hours daily, remember you’ll need to adjust the limit up to compensate for school time, or risk the tablet locking your kid out in the middle of class. Alternatively, you can set a limit for games and other non-school-related content, which shouldn’t interfere with browser use.
App access is severely limited. Amazon tablets can only use apps that are available to purchase through Amazon. Depending on the suite of apps your school system uses (if they use them at all), this may or may not be an issue. Unfortunately, the tablet is not compatible with Google Classroom unless you want to go rogue and bypass some of the system settings to install the Google Play Store.
There’s no keyboard. Although you can buy a Bluetooth one for typing up papers or assignments.
On the other hand, it’s lightning-fast and the video quality is super high. My kindergartener really only needs the tablet to watch his class videos so we’re sticking with it for now. However, a small and inexpensive Chromebook (which is similarly priced to the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro(opens in a new tab)) would be a much more functional choice for an older kid in virtual school.
Add to cart?
I like it, my son adores it, and — for the price — it’s surprisingly fast and clear. For games and streaming, it absolutely can’t be beat, but the tablet needs some remedial tutoring before it’s ready to be your child’s school device.