The "1-Minute" Review
- Horrible cameras
- Limited app selection
While they might not have the biggest market share, Amazon continues to churn out the Fire series of tablets for price-conscious consumers. Their 2017 version of the Amazon Fire HD hopes to entice more people to the Amazon ecosystem with its low price and decent specs.
There’s not much innovation in terms of the design. The 2017 Fire HD looks like a larger version of the Fire HD 8.
Instead of the metal you'll find used on premium tablets, its body is made of plastic. Luckily, it is sturdy and can weather a few knocks and dings. It’s also not IP rated. So don’t expect it to survive a dip in a puddle or poolside splashes.
With a screen that measures 10.1 inches, you can immerse yourself in games or movies despite the fairly large bezels. It offers a 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution for a pixel density of 224 pixels per inch. While not the sharpest on the market, it’s good enough to enjoy 1080p video.
Of course, at this price point, the screen isn’t perfect. While it offers great viewing angles, many reviewers found the display a bit dim. Glare also makes it difficult to read in bright sunlight.
As it uses LCD technology, the screen does not feature the deep inky blacks many flagship tablets offer with their AMOLED displays. Still, they were happy with its overall contrast and vibrant colors.
For such a bargain price, you can’t expect lightning-fast performance. Despite this, the quad-core 1.8GHz processor and 2GB of RAM provided reviewers with solid performance.
Apps opened quickly and reviewers noticed no lag—even with multiple apps open. However, they noticed some stuttering when playing demanding 3D games. While not unplayable, they didn’t find it enjoyable either.
However, the modest specs means great endurance. Overall, battery life impressed reviewers. The tablet lasted a day and a half of moderate usage on a single charge. With power-saving features enabled, they could easily make it to 2 days. Just beware, without fast charging features, recharging from empty to full takes a few hours.
One of the newest features of the Fire HD 10 is its inclusion of hands-free Alexa access. Now you can simply use the wake word “Alexa” to have your tablet perform one of the thousands of Alexa tasks.
While it works well enough, experts were disappointed by the lack of a quick-access mute button. You can turn off the feature by going into a menu, but it isn’t quite as convenient.
At this price range, Amazon had to make sacrifices. The camera is obviously one way they cut corners.
The tablet includes a laughable 2MP shooter. Unsurprisingly, the pictures reviewers took were grainy, muddy, and blurry even in decent lighting. It’s mostly meant for video chatting, but 2MP is lower than the front-facing cameras on smartphones from years ago.
The front-facing lens on the Fire 10 features an even-lower resolution of 640x480. You might as well stick with the rear camera if you intend on video chatting.
Perhaps the biggest drawback for most people is the poor selection of apps on the Amazon store. While it has most of the big name apps, like Twitter and Facebook, you won’t find quite the selection that exists on the App Store or Google Play.
Despite its shortcomings, reviewers highly recommend the Amazon Fire HD 10 for those who want a good tablet at a cheap price. Engadget states, “... the Fire HD 10 is still the cheap slate to beat this year.” Digital Trends adds, “In the low-end tablet category Amazon still reigns supreme…”