Amazon’s Fire tablets are some of the few high-profile, ultra-affordable tablets out there. The prices seem too good to be true – and in some ways they are – but Fire tablets are also fully-featured, fairly capable devices. To help you decide if one of these slates is right for you, we’ve looked at each model. These are our unfiltered recommendations. While we list Amazon’s base price, we recommend spending the extra $15 to get an ad-free version.
Be sure to check out our other guides as well, such as the best tablets, the best iPads, and the best Alexa speakers.
Updated June 2022: We learned about the new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids tablets, upcoming Prime Day deals, and updated pricing and links.
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Wait for Prime Day
If you’re planning to buy a new Fire tablet right now, you’ll have to wait. With Prime Day approaching (July 12-13), Amazon’s line of tablets will be at least 30 percent off. Of course, these slates are already affordable compared to others on the market, but you can save even more. It is worth the wait.
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Best fire tablet
The Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s largest and fastest tablet. Amazon revamped it this year (7/10, recommended by WIRED) with a brighter screen and 3 gigabytes of RAM. In addition, there’s a new Fire HD 10 Plus, which increases RAM to 4GB and adds wireless charging, which is worth the extra $30 if you plan on doing more than watching movies and surfing the web. Amazon hopes you’ll do more, too, because there’s now a “productivity bundle” that includes a nice keyboard (no trackpad) and a 1-year subscription to Microsoft 365. Working on the Fire HD 10 isn’t bad, so long because you don’t have any. need Google apps. None of Google’s office apps work on the Fire HD 10, not even in the browser.
The Fire HD 10 has a larger screen with more pixels (1080p) than its siblings, making it better for watching videos. And as with the Fire HD 8, you can yell commands at Alexa from across the room. To use Alexa’s Show Mode, swipe down on the notification overlay and check the Show Mode box. After that, you can place your HD 10 on a stand (if you opt for the Plus model, we like the official wireless charging stand) and it essentially becomes an Echo Show.
You can choose between a 32-gigabyte or a 64-gigabyte model (with a MicroSD slot on both, so you can add up to 1TB of storage later if you need more space). Whatever you choose, Amazon will display ads on the lock screen. To get rid of that, you’ll need to spend $15 more for the “special offers” version.
Best Value Fire Tablet
The 2020 version of the Fire HD 8 is arguably one of the best values for a tablet. Its travel-friendly size, combined with a processor upgrade and a Plus model ($110) with 3 gigabytes of RAM and wireless charging, make the Fire HD 8 Series almost as capable as its bigger sibling. It’s portable enough to take anywhere, and the screen won’t torture your eyes when you’re watching Netflix. That said, the screen isn’t quite as nice as that of the larger Fire HD 10, which has a higher pixel density.
Still, the HD 8 has most of the benefits of the HD 10, including hands-free Alexa, stereo sound, USB-C and a battery life of almost 12 hours. I recommend picking up the magnetic stand-up case from Amazon if you plan on watching movies or TV, or, if you opt for the Plus model, the wireless charging dock, which turns your tablet into an Echo Show speaker. makes.
Best fire tablet for kids
Recognizing that “kids” covers a wide range of hand sizes and other factors, Amazon now has two different Kids Edition Fire tablets. There is the regular Kids Edition and a “Pro” model. The latter, aimed at older kids, has a streamlined body with slightly less padding and the ability for parents to install apps from a dedicated Kids app store. We think the HD 8 ($140) is the best device for younger kids, while the 2021 Fire HD 10 Kids Pro ($200), which is very big in small hands, is better for older kids. The new Fire 7 Kids ($110) is an even cheaper option for young kids, although mine have always found the 7-inch screen size harder to use.
The Kids Edition versions are exactly the same as the regular Fire tablets, except they come with a rugged case and a worry-free two-year warranty, meaning Amazon will replace the tablet for free if your kids break it. It also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, which includes access to kid-friendly movies, books, games, and apps. It costs $5 per month after the first year (for Prime subscribers, $8 if you don’t have Prime). Be sure to check out our guide to managing Amazon Kids+ content.
Best Budget Fire Tablet
Amazon has finally refreshed its smallest Fire tablet, the 7-inch model. The 2022 version has a slightly more powerful processor, twice as much RAM and a longer battery life. It also charges with USB-C. Unfortunately, the meager 16 gigabytes of storage remains, although the supported SD card size has increased to 1 terabyte, so if you want more storage (and trust me, you do), you can add it. Also for this release is the price, which jumps from $49 to $59.
In the past, we’ve recommended avoiding it because it was underpowered and the small screen makes it less useful. We haven’t been able to test the new model yet, but based on the new specs, the Fire 7 now has enough power to keep up with Fire OS. That said, we still think you’d be better off spending $30 more for the Fire 8. However, if that’s out of your budget, the new Fire 7 will do.
Amazon sells older Fire tablets. don’t buy them
Only buy one of the “10th Generation” or “11th Generation” Fire tablets. We recommend sticking to the models we talk about in this article (also listed here).
Older models of Fire tablets will not receive software updates as long as the current generation does. You also miss the faster processor and more RAM in the newer model. A much better idea is to wait for Prime Day or another sale when you can get the new models at 30 to 50 percent off.
This post The Best Amazon Fire Tablet (2022): Which Model Should You Buy?
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