BEST OF 2014

Top 4 kids' tablets of 2014

These lab-tested models will make any child happy

Published: December 15, 2014 02:30 PM

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Thinking of buying a tablet for your child? We've been testing kids' tablets since 2012, and we've added 17 new models to our Ratings. See what came out on top for the year, and read our tablet buying guide for tips on how to choose the right kids' tablet for your family.

—Carol Mangis

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, $200

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids lets parents limit their child’s access to apps and control the length of time they can play on the tablet, but Internet security is limited: You can merely turn the built-in browser on or off. The tablet has a very good display that works well for viewing movies and other media. It's also easily visible from the side, so kids can share. And with a 9.3-hour battery life, it will stay charged a good part of the day.

For all the details on kids' tablets, check our buying guide and Ratings.

Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, $190

The Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition 7-inch tablet lets parents control the content of games and apps their child can use and minimize their Internet use. It's a fine choice for travel, with a 9.1-hour battery life, and the excellent display works well for watching and sharing a movie. The two-year worry-free warranty and two-year unlimited content from the Amazon FreeTime market is a nice bonus, but bear in mind that the default browser is inaccessible to kids [edited 12/16/14]. Parents have a separate interface, and they can also select apps from the Amazon Appstore.

Fuhu nabi DreamTab HD8, $200

The display on the Fuhu nabi DreamTab HD8 is very good, so it's a nice choice for kids to watch movies or play games together. It comes with DreamWorks themed content, including games and a creativity suite of apps. In nabi Mode, kids can access parent-approved apps. They can also use a special filtered Web browser and have as much playtime as their parents allow. Just bear in mind that for tech-savvy kids, the Maxthon browser's security settings are easy to override.

KD Interactive Kurio Xtreme, $130

A CR Best Buy, the KD Interactive Kurio Xtreme comes with plenty of content and parental controls that can scale according to your child's age: For younger kids, for example, you might block shopping websites, and older kids could be approved for social sites. Other controls include the ability to block apps and set time limits on the amount of playtime on the tablet. It has very good portability and excellent durability (and comes with a protective bumper), but its battery life is relatively short at 5.8 hours. Child-oriented curated content can be downloaded from the Kurio App Store, or parents can choose apps from the Google Play Store.

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