Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (2017) review
An incredible incentive from the children’s menu
Children and tablets in some cases go together like bulls and china shops. I’ve seen crushed screens, sticky catches and gadgets covered with a fine film of gunk, nourishment and who recognizes what. Furthermore, that is before you get to managing all the wrong applications and sites children can access on a tablet.
Giving over an iPad is to a lesser degree a white-knuckle involvement than it used to be, with beginning costs dropping from $500 to $329 in the course of recent years, yet that is still a great deal of confidence to put into minor hands that may not see exactly how sensitive these gadgets can be. And keeping in mind that claim to fame children’s tablets and children’s PCs have been around for quite a long time, they’ve normally been low-end machines that don’t do much, and do it gradually. Some are bolted into a bunch of preloaded no-name applications, others are about as amusing to use as a terrible Black Friday doorbuster.
Amazon’s Fire line of tablets has a characteristic interest for guardians, with low costs, not too bad specs and access to a wide universe of applications and highlights. However, despite everything they’re universally useful machines, went for grown-ups, and particularly at Amazon Prime individuals over that. Beginning in 2014, in any case, a parallel arrangement of Kids Edition Fire tablets took a similar fundamental equipment and included frill and programming (and higher costs), trying to make something helpful for the more youthful set.
This audit is particularly about the Kids Edition. You can read about the general brilliant Fire HD 8’s equipment and execution in this survey, and the likewise great, however more restricted Fire 7 here.
A numbers diversion
The present Amazon Fire line, last refreshed in 2017, comes in 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch renditions, with on special costs dropping as low as $35 for the (exceptionally) essential Fire 7. It’s the tablet as motivation buy, sponsored by the expectation that you’ll purchase content – books, recordings and applications – from Amazon and make a repeating income stream for the online business goliath.
Other than the standard models, there are additionally the previously mentioned Kids Edition renditions of the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. These child well disposed models are physically indistinguishable to the consistent variants, and the distinction originates from embellishments, programming and support. At first look, it appears to be insane to pay an additional $50 for a tablet that normally costs $49/$70 (for the Fire 7/Fire HD 8), yet the math really bodes well than you may might suspect.
The Kids Edition costs $100 or £100 for the 7-inch, and $130 or £130 for the 8-inch form of the Fire tablets. (Apologies, Australia: Amazon hasn’t yet chosen to offer its tablets Down Under.) Here’s what that additional money gets you:
A rubber treated guard case: Amazon offers this independently for $30 or £20. I’ve had a comparative one on my child’s rummage iPad 2 for quite a long time.
A two-year “no inquiries asked” substitution guarantee: The case is decent, yet this is the place the genuine significant serenity comes in. Crushed screen? Dumped in the mud? Amazon will swap it complimentary for the initial two years.
Twofold capacity: For each situation, Amazon knocks up the capacity from the gauge “grown-up” display. Purchasing the Kids Edition of the Fire 7 gets you 16GB rather than 8GB, while the HD 8 gets you 32GB rather than 16GB. Both are further expandable by means of microSD cards, which are abundant and shabby.
One-year membership to FreeTime boundless: This Netflix-like membership benefit is packed with kid-suitable ebooks, recordings and diversions. Following multi year, the administration costs $2.99 multi month for Amazon Prime individuals ($4.99 for non-individuals), which is about $35 every year. That all means well more than the $50 premium for the Kids form over the standard tablet.
Remember additionally that Amazon consistently puts these gadgets on special. The Fire 7/Fire 7 Kids Edition can now and again be as low as $35/$75 and the Fire HD 8/Fire HD 8 Kids Edition can be found for $55/$95 amid Amazon deals in the US, with comparable value cuts regularly running in the UK.
Amazon Fire costs
The concealed charms of FreeTime
Of the additional items incorporated into the Kids Edition of the Fire tablets, the membership to FreeTime Unlimited may appear the minimum valuable, at any rate contrasted with the cushioned case, additional capacity and no-bother substitution design. It’s really Amazon’s mystery weapon, and having utilized the administration broadly finished the recent weeks, it’s criminally low-profile for the esteem and adaptability it offers.
I’d already caught wind of the administration, which consolidates the in reality free FreeTime highlights, including point by point booking and utilization devices for guardians to restrict how and when kids utilize their tablet, with the membership Unlimited part, which goes about as an everything you-can-eat smorgasbord of ebooks, applications and recordings.
A youngster (or kids, as you can set up numerous profiles at an additional cost) gets a custom interface, very different from the standard Android-like Fire interface. FreeTime has a blue foundation and a bunch of extensive class symbols. It’s likewise scene just, albeit some applications and ebooks work in representation mode while they’re being utilized.
As is regularly the case with content perusing, real revelation can be all in or all out. There’s not a reasonable ace rundown of what particular substance is incorporated, or a genuine comprehension of what features the application surfaces. All things considered, the offers are so expansive and quite a bit of it is of high caliber, that children will appreciate simply attempting arbitrary new things.
My 6-year-old child Dash has been utilizing FreeTime Unlimited on his as of late obtained Fire HD 8 for half a month now, and is a major fan, particularly of the possibility that he can pick and download his own recreations without getting me or his mom to approve each individual one.
When setting up FreeTime, you select the age scope of media you need showed, and that progressions the level of books, recordings and applications. I set Dash’s range at up to 8 years of age, just to ensure he was tested by new things.
The video seems, by all accounts, to be from Amazon Prime, so you’re not getting anything new there, but rather the ebooks and applications include awesome esteem. Books are genuinely all around arranged for the screen. Some work on either scene or representation mode, yet others are limited to one view or the other. There’s no squeeze to-zoom to peruse content, which can get little, yet twofold tapping on content pops it up in a bigger air pocket. Read one ad spot, at that point swipe left with one finger to naturally propel the content. I can’t state it will energize self-coordinated perusing for each child, yet it dealt with the one I know, to a great extent since he could pick what to download without anyone else’s input.
The applications are for the most part amusements. Numerous are of the free or freemium assortment (and no, kids can’t make extra buys individually), however a decent number are very premium. I was agreeably shocked to locate an expansive library of applications from Toca Boca, distributer of Toca Life, Toca Lab and other child neighborly applications. Dash is a major devotee of these, and I’ve already bought a couple for around $3 each. One download like this for each month takes care of the expense of the whole FreeTime Unlimited administration once the included one-year membership terminates.
Getting in character
One intriguing approach to look for content is through a best menu symbol named “characters.” There, children can look through symbols that keep running from nonexclusive, similar to Dinosaurs, to quite certain brands, similar to Lego, Sesame Street, Marvel and Star Wars. Tapping on any of these raises a rundown of all accessible ebooks, recordings and applications from that class, and tapping on every individual thing downloads or streams it.
It’s an extraordinary method to find content, albeit a few brands have just applications and recordings, however no books, or just books and recordings, yet no applications, et cetera. Some, be that as it may, have each of the three, and Dash currently has a moment Phineas and Ferb book accumulation.
This helps feature one of the UI’s deficiencies, be that as it may. Making sense of what content you have really downloaded is troublesome, as you see symbols for “accessible” and “downloaded” content combined and essentially indistinct from each other. The giveaway is a little checkmark on the base left corner of downloaded content, so look out for that.
Talking about downloading, the 8-inch Kids Edition begins with 32GB of SSD stockpiling, twofold that in the non-kids base model. The 7-inch has 16GB, up from 8GB. On the off chance that that gets topped off, there’s a microSD card opening that can take up to a 256GB card. A 256GB card can be more than $100, yet a 64GB one, tripling your capacity, can be found for as meager as $20.
Timing is everything
The piece of FreeTime that you can access without a membership is a profound arrangement of parental controls. Key among them is the capacity to set time limits for tablet use. (That is likewise a typical element on contraptions from the Nintendo Switch to the Apple iPad.)
For instance, you can set the framework to rest at 8 p.m. furthermore, not initiate again until 8 a.m. Diverse timetables can likewise be set for weekdays versus ends of the week. In any case, that is only the start.
I can constrain the aggregate sum of screen time to 60 minutes, 4 hours, or abandon it boundless. Or on the other hand, I can set time restricts on particular classifications of substance, from books to applications to recordings to the fundamental included internet browser (which goes to an affirmed whitelist of sites). Or then again, I can set what Amazon calls “instructive objectives,” and require 30 minutes of digital book perusing previously enabling access to applications and recordings. A parent can blend and match these controls to tweak the experience, and it gives a lot of granularity, if that is what you’re searching for.
One parental tip I’ll share here: Using the inherent clock, and disclosing to your kid that the Fire tablet will close down at unequivocally 8 p.m. (or then again whatever time you pick), might be a considerable measure simpler than doing it without anyone else’s help. I’ve discovered that with both FreeTime and Amazon’s Alexa individual colleague, kids are more receptive to cautions and clocks, and generally (however not generally) assent without having a tantrum. My hypothesis: Even the most confiding in tyke may believe you’re shorting them on time in the event that you announce, “Five minutes until sleep time!” and time it on your watch. Yet, in the event that Alexa or their Kindle Fire is doing the commencement, will probably confide in they’re getting the full time they’ve been guaranteed in the event that it originates from (what they see as) a trustworthy AI-controlled machine. I haven’t completed a logical report on this, however it’s been my recounted perception more than quite a long while with a few youngsters.
The Amazon Fire‘s parental time and substance settings aren’t really novel – you can discover comparative apparatuses for most gadgets – yet I acknowledged how they were spread out in one basic page (which requires an uncommon parental PIN to get to), and that they offer such a high level of detail. They can likewise be gotten to from the web.
Both the 7-and 8-inch models have a 1.3GHz ARM processor, yet the HD 8 includes 50 percent more RAM, 1.5GB versus 1GB. The Fire HD 10 beats both, with 2GB of RAM and a 1.8GB quad-center ARM processor. (Note, however, that there’s no Kids Edition for the 10-incher.)
The final product is that, even with a similar CPU, the HD 8 feels fundamentally speedier, on account of that additional RAM. Applications stack slower, swiping between pages is slower, and the Fire 7 includes simply enough slack and stammering that it can be irritating, particularly in case you’re utilized to the quick execution of an iPhone or iPad.
In a test utilizing the 3DMark benchmark (accessible in the Amazon application store), the Fire 7 scores 4,654, while the Fire HD 8 scored 5,700 (higher scores are better). The Fire HD 10 flaunts its better equipment with a considerably higher score of 13,217.
All things considered, testing a few children amusements, including Subway Surfer and Riptide 2, once the recreations were completely stacked and running, the Fire 7 played them similarly and additionally the bigger form. Be that as it may, the Fire 7 battled more with the illustrations on Star Wars: Puzzle Droids, a more up to date portable amusement.
One other huge contrast between the two sizes is the sound. The Fire HD 8 has two speakers on the base of the tablet, which fire through two patterns in the elastic case. The Fire 7 has just a solitary speaker, situated on the back upper right corner, alongside a clumsy single pattern in the elastic case that doesn’t exactly agree with the speaker itself. The sound from the littler tablet is far mediocre. Sufficient for an easygoing video spilling session, however not precisely fulfilling. (Gratefully, the two tablets have standard 3.5mm earphone jacks, which are ending up progressively uncommon on telephones.)
Where things become real
With its thick cushioned froth elastic case, the Kids Edition of the Fire HD 8 is plainly set apart as good to go. Under that defensive hindrance, nonetheless, is a similar Fire HD 8 that we preferred such a great amount in its standard variant, on account of not too bad execution, a not too bad screen and respectable battery life, all at a value that is short of what 33% that of the slightest costly iPad.
The 8-inch rendition is preferred in such a large number of courses over the 7-inch one, with a higher-determination screen, speedier execution, more stockpiling and even more pleasant sound, that it’s an advantageous redesign. You’ll endure the Fire 7, you’ll like the Fire HD 8.
Nothing about the genuine equipment of the Fire HD 8 will wow you, however at the cost, it feels like you’re getting more than your cash’s worth with either the standard or child well disposed variants. For a higher-end involvement, the 10-inch Fire HD 10 has a superior processor and show for under $200, however – again – does not arrive in a Kids Edition variation.
While the value hop for the Kids Edition in the 7-inch and 8-inch Fires may appear to be steep just to include a cushioned case, additional guarantee, more inner stockpiling and a one-year content administration membership, it’ll feel like an outright deal the first run through junior hammers the screen against the side of a foot stool.
I was a genuine cynic of the estimation of Amazon‘s FreeTime Unlimited administration, however as a parent, I’m presently a change over and can see myself paying for it in future years after the included year membership terminates.
Because of discrete parent and youngster profiles, this tablet can do twofold obligation for you and your posterity, keeping children’s applications and recordings isolate from your Kindle books, R-appraised films and adult recreations. The principle issue will battle about who gets the chance to utilize it. Be that as it may, at these costs, you should get two.