Amazon does a great job of continually updating its Fire tablet line-up, and the Kids Edition tablets are no different. These tablets offer a relatively low-cost option of tablets for kids that they’ll love and parents can feel comfortable handing over to them. The parental controls that come on the Kids Edition tablets are some of the best in all of tech, and the curated kid’s content is expansive enough for kids of all ages. However, on the surface, the Fire HD 8 and the 7 Kids Editions only have a 1-inch difference, so which should you choose?
Size isn’t the only difference
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition sits squarely in the middle of Amazon’s tablet lineup for children, but the capability is at the top. While it doesn’t have the same screen size or resolution that the 10-inch behemoth does, the smaller tablet does have that same raw power. Though the 7-inch model doesn’t have as impressive specs, it does still get the fantastic parental controls and children’s content as its more expensive counterparts.
|Fire HD 8 Kids Edition||Fire HD 7 Kids Edition|
|Weight||19.4 oz||16.1 oz|
|Dimensions||9.2″ x 7.2″ x 1.0″||8.7″ x 6.3″ x 1.0″|
|Expandable Storage||Up to 1TB||Up to 512GB|
|Screen Resolution||1280 x 800 (189 ppi)||1024×600 (171 ppi)|
|Battery life||Up to 12 hours of multimedia||Up to 7 hours of multimedia|
|Camera||2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording||2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording|
|Alexa enabled||Off by default||Off by default|
|Colors||Pink, Blue, Purple||Pink, Blue, Purple|
|Audio||Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos||Mono speaker|
|Case||Kid-safe case included||Kid-safe case included|
|FreeTime Unlimited||One year included||One year included|
|Ports||USB C, 3.5mm headphone jack||Micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack|
Even though these two tablets look very similar at a glance, some important variations make a significant difference in what the overall experience will be like. Depending on the age of your child, they may or may not notice any difference. However, as your child ages and experiences more capable pieces of technology, the less advanced internals of the 7-inch tablet will start to show.
If we start with the part of the tablet that will be used every time you turn it on — the display — the differences are minor. The improved display on the 8-inch version is worth considering because as your child grows and learns, the higher PPI (pixels per inch) matter — especially when they are learning to read. The higher resolution means that not only is the fun stuff they do on the tablet going to look better but so is the text they are trying to read.
Getting the best viewing experience possible is important for little eyes to ensure there’s less squinting.
Moving on to the other part of the entertainment experience that’s improved on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition versus the smaller 7-inch option are the speakers. On the larger tablet, you get dual speakers with Dolby Atmos support. This means that there will be less straining to hear what’s being played on the tablet. Don’t worry parents, there is still a headphone jack.
When we look at what’s below the surface, the increased RAM and built-in storage of the 8-inch model means that the faster processor will have no problem handing programs for your child. The tablet will be a much smoother experience, which is vital so that your young child doesn’t get discouraged thinking they didn’t do something right.
The increased internal specs also mean that the tablet will be able to keep up with your child’s demands as they grow up. This allows them to continue using the tablet longer, saving you money. I have a 7-old that uses a Fire HD 8 Kids Edition from two years ago, and while it still does fine for most things, it’s lower specs are starting to show some age in the speed category.
When you can afford to buy technology with better specs, it’s good to do so if you intend on it being used for years to come.
While the Fire 7 Kids Edition doesn’t have the best specs, it still has some of the best software — as all of the Amazon Kids Edition tablets share that software. Packed with a wide range of parental controls, you can control what content your child can access, when they can access it, and for how long.
Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited is the place where your child can access over 20,000 books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games that have all been curated specially for kids — and it’s free for the first year. With the parental controls, you can set the age range of content your child gets to see from this library.
On top of the great software, Amazon is also helping to protect the hardware. Each Kids Edition tablet comes with a fun colored foam rubber case with a kickstand that makes holding the tablet easier as well as keeping it safe. However, should the tablet get damaged, it’s backed by a two-year “worry-free” guarantee in which Amazon will replace the device for free should something happen to it.
Which should you buy?
Each of these tablets come with enough great content that your child will likely be happy with either. My son was just excited to have a tablet he could call his own. That being said, if you can afford the additional cost of the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, it’ll be worth it. From its improved display, better internal hardware, and not to mention the additional 5 hours of battery life over the 7-inch model, the larger tablet is the way to go.
Because it has improved hardware over its smaller sibling, the 8-inch option will be a device that will age better than the Fire 7 Kids Edition. However, if you are looking for a tablet that you can start your child off with, and the price is a primary consideration, then the 7-inch version will still get the job done. Since each of these tablets offer the same excellent software experience, the content and parental controls are still there.
Slight size advantage
Bigger internal separation
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes with all of the great specs that the biggest Amazon kids tablet has, in a smaller package. The HD screen and Dolby Atmos-enabled dual speakers will make great use of the library of over 20,000 kid-approved titles in FreeTime Unlimited. The parental controls make sure you are at ease as your child plays.
Though still quite capable
Even though the 7-inch tablet isn’t packed with the same high-end specs as the larger members in the Kids Edition family, it is still a capable device for young children. Since it still has all of the great perks of the FreeTime Unlimited children’s content library to keep your child happy as well as the parental controls to help you feel comfortable, there’s plenty of good times to be had.
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