Consumer Reports tests best kids' tablets

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Electronic tablets for kids are likely to be a hot gift this holiday season. Consumer Reports tested a wide variety, ranging in price from $50 to $250, and can help you find the best one for your child.

Consumer Reports brought in boys and girls to check out kids' tablets, and the little ones were quickly mesmerized.

Consumer Reports tested 17 tablets in its labs, checking them for battery life, display, readability in bright light, and responsiveness.

A kid who can easily use his parent's device will be frustrated with sluggish performance on his own. So you need a responsive screen.

Consumer Reports has a test that assesses how tough the tablets are.

"The tumbler is a machine that we use to replicate kids dropping the tablet from a height of about three feet onto the floor," said Antonette Asedillo with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports also checked into 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," Consumer Reports' Carol Mangis said.

In the end, top ratings went to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, which retails for $200, and the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, for $190.

"Both have over 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.

Another good choice is the KD interactive Kurio Xtreme, which comes with over 75 preloaded games. The tablet is rated a Consumer Reports Best Buy because it's light, slim, and easy to use for $130.

Tablets for kids aren't necessarily cheaper than some inexpensive adult tablets. Consumer Reports says the advantage is that kids' tablets often come loaded with lots of apps for children. You would have to pay for similar content with an adult tablet.

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