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The Kindle Fire 7 Tablet is without a doubt one of our favourite travel accessories for kids, and is the one we recommend as a best buy tablet for international travel with kids.
For the absolute bargain price that they are, I don’t think you can get a better tablet to keep the kids amused on long international travel journeys. If you’re looking at buying one (and I’d advise getting this over the Kindle Kid’s Edition tablet – reasons below), I’ve done a little Amazon Kindle Fire Tab review. It’s not a super technical one, just parent’s view. Hope it’s helpful…
Why did we opt to buy the Kindle 7″?
We originally bought a Vtech Innotab for little man, but, as he’s got the attention span of a gnat, it soon became a pain to keep switching cartridges every five minutes. There just wasn’t enough to do on each game to keep his attention and it was also bit too chunky for him to lug around in his backpack. We looked at other options, and finally settled on purchasing the Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ Tablet simply due to the really cheap price.
It has the lowest spec of the Fire range and isn’t HD, but exactly how fast a processor does a child need, and, on a 7 inch display, does HD really matter? I’ll tell you, no it doesn’t.
The internal storage is 8GB, which does get full quite quickly once you start adding games. The great thing about this tablet is that you can expand the storage by simply adding a Micro SD card. This means we can load it with films and his favourite TV programmes and don’t have to worry about games taking up the hard drive.
At the time of purchase, this was a big factor in buying this one over the Kindle Kids Edition tablet, as this is something that the older Fire Kids Edition don’t have. Double check this if you are buying an older Fire Kids tab. This is the link to the new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, if you want to compare.
Amazon runs its own Appstore for Android store, so you can’t buy apps from Google Play or Apple App Store. Don’t be put off by this. You’re looking for apps and games for toddlers and young children, and there’s so many to choose from – over 400,000 – so you’ll certainly find something you want.
With it being so popular recently, if your kids are into coding, there are apps for that too. Find out more about coding and relevant apps with the Ultimate Guide to Coding for Kids.
All apps and books are also backed up should you need to reset or change device, as there’s free unlimited Cloud storage for all Amazon content. You’ll be able to find this in your account settings.
There is a monthly Fire for Kids Unlimited subscription (UK only), but, as we discovered you couldn’t access the content during international travel, there was no point in continuing with the subscription. It is a great idea though, if you’re staying in your respective country, as it has unlimited access to games, videos and books, which are updated on rotation.
Parent Tip: You get the Fire For Kids Unlimited subscription for free for 12 months with the Fire Kids Edition, but be aware that all apps, books and videos have to be downloaded to the device for you to use. On OLDER kids edition tabs, you come across the lack of storage quite quickly, as you can’t upgrade the memory with the older Kindle Kids Edition tablets. Again, another reason that, at the time, we didn’t think the Kindle Kids Edition was worth the extra money. Be aware of this if you are buying an older edition Kids Tab.
If you don’t take the Fire for Kids subscription, you can buy apps and books individually. There’s plenty of paid for apps and books, or you can get plenty for free.
We mostly download lots of ‘Actually Free’ games. What are Actually Free apps and games? Well, they no longer exist, although they are still on our Kindle. These Actually Free games were available via the Amazon Underground app. Once downloaded, the Amazon Underground app had a great selection of premium apps and games downloadable for free. Actually Free is no longer around, but there’s still a whole heap of free apps and games to access.
Child Safety on the Fire Tablet:
You can easily make a child profile and then manage the content they can see by adding apps, books and videos to the child’s profile by simply ticking and unticking.
Furthermore, within the Parental Controls section (access can be protected via a password), you can block or password protect access to in-app purchases and any other built-in Kindle apps.
The Fire for Kids app, which is already loaded on the home screen, once opened, will come up with your child’s profile. You simply click on this and then they are locked into their very own section and can’t get out of it without a password.
This lovely little child-friendly section houses all the games, apps books or videos that you’ve previously added to their profile and there is also a safe web browser, already pre-loaded with child-friendly websites and YouTube videos.
As long as you’ve set the parental controls up properly, and it’s fairly easy to do, your child will not be able to get out of the Fire for Kids app and won’t be able to complete in-app purchases, nor will they be able to see any nasty content on the internet.
Parent tip: Swipe down from the top of the screen when in Fire For Kids mode to exit the child’s profile. It’s not obvious!
Fire 7″ Battery Life:
As we don’t allow little man to use it continually, the seven hours continual usage time from a full charge will last him a few days without charge. As I write this, it was last charged about ten days ago, was used once for about an hour that day, and is now at 39% battery. This shows that if it’s just used for half an hour here and there over the week, it should only need one charge.
While we were on the road, we strapped the Fire tablet to the back of the car seat (see our hi-tech solution on the picture below!) and it kept little man quiet for HOURS. When in the car, he only watched films which were already pre-downloaded onto our memory card. We didn’t allow him to play games in the car, as he normally likes us to play the games with him and we needed to concentrate on driving. My goodness, this awesome tablet was an absolute godsend on some of our seven or eight-plus hour drives. As you can imagine, this would make it worth it alone for anyone as a best buy tablet for international travel with kids – think of the long drives/train/plane journeys.
I don’t think that it ever lasted the full seven hours it’s supposed to, but I suppose it also depends on what you are doing on it as to whether you get the full seven hour continual use out of it. We did find we had to attach a powerbank on our longer drives, after about four or five hours. You can find plenty of Powerbanks on Amazon,and I do advise you get one for long journeys – even for your own electronics. I use mine ALL the time, even at home.
It has both front and rear facing cameras, which aren’t amazing, but it’s fine for Skype and for little people taking funny pictures.
Other good points about this tablet are that if it happens to get lost, damaged or stolen, the great price means it’s replaceable without totally breaking the bank. It’s also thin and light, and perfect for international travelling.
In addition, charging with a USB or USB plug means it’s the same as our own tablets and phones (not if you have an iPhone or USB-C!), so less wires and chunky plugs to carry.
I’d definitely advise you to get yourself some Kindle Tablet Accessories, especially a case and screen protector straight away too. I dropped ours onto a tiled floor about an hour after I put the case on. D’oh! Thankfully, it still works perfectly. Just check you are ordering accessories for the right size and model year, as there are many versions of this fab tab.
In summary, as a general tablet for a child or if you’re just browsing the web or using it yourself for watching Prime shows or reading books, I don’t have a bad word to say about the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. I have actually been very impressed with this it in the few months we’ve owned it, and especially while travelling – think of the airport waits, drives, planes without screens, trains, the list goes on. I’ve recently even bought myself one, with a bluetooth keyboard, as it’s fab for just grabbing and doing my writing.
All of the above, together with the teeny price, means I can’t say anything other than it’s absolutely fantastic, and is a cracking bargain. No wonder it’s one of our recommendation for best buy tablet for international travel with kids – so much so, our entire family, including grandparents, now have them too!
The Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ Tablet = Fabulous!
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