Can’t get your hands on your own iPad?  Looking for the top tablet picks to add to library learning tools in the Children’s Department?  PCMag.com’s lead mobile analyst reviews “good kid tablets” that are cheap, rugged and protected.

The Best Kids’ Tablets of 2017 by Sascha Segan, published July 5, 2017, includes a chart showing recommended devices chosen for a balance of affordability, durability, and kid friendly features. Segan does a quick walk through of how to decide which is the best fit.  His final advice: Buy a case. It will pay for itself.

A Special Note on Device Specs

Just because you’re giving this tablet to a kid, doesn’t mean you should give them a piece of junk. Hardware specs are important. Let’s start with screen size and resolution. An 8-inch, 1,280-by-800 display is good for reading comics and watching videos. That’s the lowest resolution you should consider, aside from the 1,024-by-600 Amazon Fire 7. That tablet has a smaller 7-inch screen, so its lower resolution doesn’t end up looking fuzzy or difficult to read.

Also pay close attention to storage specs. We recommend 16GB of storage rather than 8GB. This will let you install more apps and take more pictures and video. A microSD card slot can’t hurt either, especially if you want to download movies to watch on long trips.

If possible, look for 1.5GB of RAM or more. This will help apps launch and run more smoothly, particularly if there’s anything else running in the background. Battery life is another factor to keep in mind—you don’t want to tablet to die in the middle of a long car ride. Luckily, you can easily extend the life of a tablet with one of our favorite backup batteries.

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.