Today (Wednesday September 30th), Amazon is releasing their new  Fire Kids Edition 7″ e-reader.

It’s a full featured tablet in a kid-proof case, and it comes with a 2 year guarantee. If the kids break the tablet, Amazon will replace it, no questions asked.

disposable-technologyYour kid also gets access to a ton of content, via a free year of Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service. It looks like the ongoing cost for the service after that year, is $4.99 a month, but drops to $2.99 a month if you’re a Prime member.

The cost of the kid’s tablet is $99.99.

Meanwhile, there’s a new Fire tablet out on the same day for $50.

Both devices have the same display size, the same internal storage (8GB), and share the ability to add another 128GB with a microSD card. 

It sounds like they’re exactly the same device.

The extra $50 on the Kid’s Edition must be for the case, the warranty, and the “free” year of FreeTime.  

What if you have more than one child? Mine are past the age where a tablet specifically designed for young children is a concern, but thinking back, I believe I’d be more likely to buy two of the $50 tablets, manage the content for the kids myself, and teach them to be careful with the devices. Having saved a hundred bucks on hardware, I could turn around and spend some on content. Not the content Amazon wants to deliver (though I’m sure it’s great and there’s a lot of it), but the content I want them to own forever.

As a side note, we should be teaching our children to respect technology. The “no questions asked” warranty sounds great, and accidents do happen, but we’re quickly training our children that technology is throwaway.

It’s an easy lesson to pass on, because we’ve been conditioned as adults to upgrade our phones every year, even though there’s nothing wrong with the old ones.

 The amount of environmental waste that goes into creating a single iPhone or a laptop is scary.

 The bits and bobs that make up our favorite devices have to come from somewhere. Let’s teach our children to treat them with the care they deserve, rather than allowing them to think there is no cost associated with dropping your Fire in the toilet.

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