September 19, 2014

Amazon Has a New Kid-Friendly Kindle Fire

Maybe you have an iPad, or an Android Tablet. Or maybe even a Kindle Fire. You love it. So do your kids. They get their greasy fingerprints all over your greasy fingerprints. (Aside: tablets have got to be a germaphobe’s nightmare. All that touching…)

Ideally, if you can afford it, you’d like to get your kid(s) a tablet of their own. Amazon hopes that you will buy their new kid-friendly Kindle Fire.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet

Called the Fire HD Kids Edition, this is not a kiddie-Kindle. It’s a full-fledged Fire HD, available with either a 6 or 7-inch display. What makes it kid-friendly are the following features:

A “Kid-Proof Case” is included. Basically it’s a protective bumper-style case that you can buy for existing tablets, but with the Fire HD Kids Edition, you don’t have to buy it separately and you can pick between three different colors — blue, green, or pink. More important is this next bit.

– 2-Year Worry-Free Guarantee. Here is the wording from Amazon.com: “Enjoy the peace of mind with an unprecedented 2-year worry-free guarantee—if they break it, we’ll replace it for free. No questions asked.” That’s huge. Really. Kids break stuff. It happens. Usually you have to pay a bundle for an extended warranty, and if the thing actually does break you have to crawl through broken glass to get them to repair/replace it. A 2-year, no questions asked replacement policy is a sweet thing.

– One Year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. Described by Amazon as, “a hand-curated subscription of over 5,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games,” this is presumably the razor blade to the Fire razor. Get a year for free, get the kid hooked, then start making your annual tithe to Amazon after the free year is up. There’s no obligation to do so, though. Sometimes parents forget that they can say no.

That said, here are two quotes from Amazon’s site:

“FreeTime is AWESOME. Age appropriate for each kid and the parental controls are priceless. My son has to read books for 30 min each day before it unlocks videos and games.” – Valerie
“I use Kindle FreeTime & it is PERFECT!!!! I can use the apps that FreeTime has, but also add other apps like Angry Birds, Temple Run, etc.” – Whitney

So you can use the tablet yourself when the kids are done with it. That’s handy. Also, as much as I prefer the idea of actually saying “you have to read a book before you can play video games”, the idea of assigning that task to a machine is… well, it’s future-thinking, it’s where we’re headed as a society (at least those who can afford it) and I like the feature. It’s not clear to me if you would still be able to use the Parental Controls/Kindle FreeTime without a subscription.

Bottom line: not a bad price for what looks like a pretty powerful and useful tablet. Available for pre-order now. Read more about it at Amazon.com, and also check out the articles below (which come from other sites and we take no responsibility for their content).

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