Amazon's new Fire HD 10 tablets boost the specs, keep the low price
Amazon's budget Fire HD tablets offer a more affordable alternative to the Apple iPad, and the 10.1-inch models just got a refresh. With brighter screens, a tweaked design and improved specs, they're the best tablets Amazon has put out to date.
While the 10.1-inch, 1,920 x 1,200-pixel LCD display is the same size and resolution as the 2019 model, Amazon says the new panel is 10 percent brighter. The MediaTek MT8183 processor is unchanged too, but the RAM gets a boost to 3 GB, which should ensure smoother app performance.
In terms of looks, the bezels have been slimmed down around the display, and the front-facing 2-MP camera has been shifted so that it's positioned for making video calls while the tablet is in landscape (not portrait) mode.
There's built-in Dolby Atmos sound here, as well as Alexa support of course, and Amazon is promising up to 12 hours of battery life between charges. Storage options are 32 GB and 64 GB, the same as on the previous model, and that can be expanded with a microSD card.
For the first time there's also a Plus model, which ups the RAM to 4 GB, adds a premium "soft touch" finish, and introduces Qi wireless charging support – that means you can use any charging mat or stand as well as the official Made for Amazon dock.
There's a US$30 premium on the Plus model: the 11th-gen Fire HD 10 for 2021 starts at $149.99 with 32 GB of storage, while the Plus model starts at $179.99. Amazon is also selling the Plus model in a productivity bundle – with a Bluetooth keyboard and a year of Microsoft 365 – for $249.99.
All those prices are with Amazon ads on the home screen – to get the ad-free models you'll need to pay an extra $20 – and black, denim, lavender, and olive are your color options. These tablets go on sale on May 26, but you can get your pre-orders in starting from now.
That productivity bundle suggests that Amazon is gearing these tablets more towards home working as well as media consumption this time around. As always, the devices run Amazon's Fire OS, its own adaptation of Android, so you're using Amazon's app store rather than the Google Play Store and Google's apps won't be available.
Amazon has also introduced a kids version of the 10.1-inch tablet, too, with a colorful protective case and a ton of kid-friendly content on board, including one year's subscription to Amazon Kids+. That will set you back $199.99, with pre-orders open now and shipping on May 26.
Finally, there are new Kids Pro versions of all the tablets – the 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10.1-inch models. Amazon describes these as more "grown up" offerings aimed at ages 6 to 12, with a less childish interface and options for parents to open up some of the restrictions on web browsing, video calling and app access.