Kids' tablets put through tests

SAN ANTONIO – Tablets are sure to be on a lot of kids' holiday wish lists, so Consumer Reports put 17 kid-friendly tablets to the test.

In the lab, they tested them for battery life, display, readability in bright light , ease of use and responsiveness.  Kids who are used to easily using their parents' devices, may become frustrated if theirs are sluggish.

Kids can be tough on their electronics, so another test replicated kids dropping a tablet from a height of about three feet onto the floor.

Testers also checked the parental controls.

"Nearly all kids' tablets come with filters and browsers that keep them safe online, and parents can regulate how, when and for how long they use the tablets," said Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports.

Top ratings went to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids for $200 and the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition for $190.

Both have more than nine hours of battery life.

"They have excellent response, and they have some of the best screens we've seen on a kid's tablet," Mangis said.

The $130 K-D interactive Kurio Xtreme was named a Consumer Reports' "best buy." It's easy to use and comes with more than 75 preloaded games.

Other tablets the testers recommend are the Fuhu nabi DreamTab HD8 for $200 and the Fuhu nabi XD for $260.

The least expensive tablets tested were the $80 VTech InnoTab 3S Plus and the  $50 VTech InnoTab 3Plus. On the 3S Plus, testers rated the display as fair and the durability as very good. On the 3Plus, testers found the display and responsiveness were only fair.

The $100 Leapfrog Leappad 3 rated very good for durability, but fair for its display.

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