I often marvel at my daughter's computing experience. My first computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000, hers was an iPad 2.
My Timex-Sinclair is in a box, in my basement. Short of taking a hammer to it, it's pretty hard to break. Sadly, tablets and children don't get along as well. I got sick of replacing Apple iPads, and decided I'd try a refurbished Amazon Fire HD 7. For $50 I didn't think I could go too far wrong. I'm happy to say this tablet is fantastic!
The size, quality of the screen, and feel in my hand are all great. Video plays back and looks fantastic. The web browser is a tablet web browser and works pretty much just like Safari did. Apps are apps. If I was getting a new tablet, I'd get one of these.
Managing the iPad for my daughter was OK. Keeping her from buying things or adding apps I didn't approve was pretty easy, but I didn't much care for the parental controls. Amazon supplies a $3 a month walled garden of children's content, metered by age, called Amazon Free-Time. I decided to try the subscription out and was immediately pleased. A lot of kid-appropriate games, video and apps were instantly loaded, and when logged into her profile, content is filtered at a 9-year-old level.
She still watches a lot of Brataley.
We've gotten a few weeks out of the tablet with no signs of wear and tear. Battery life goes quick, and needs recharging daily, but thats about the only complaint I've got. For $45 I won't even mind much when she does break it.
** I also have the RAM expansion pack for my Timex-Sinclair.