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Amazon Fire HD 10 review (2017)

Amazon Fire HD 10
(Image: © Android Central)

Here's all you need to know about Amazon's 2017 Fire HD 10 tablet. It has Alexa built in. It runs all the Android apps Amazon has in its own Appstore. It's got access to Amazon Books and Music and Games and Photos and everything else Amazon has.

And it starts at $150.

That's it. It's a middle-of-the-road, won't-break-the-bank, no-frills tablet.

And it's the only one I'd ever buy for that kind of money.

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Amazon Fire HD 10

OK, OK. There's a little more to this story. Only, not really. Amazon keeps doing what it's been doing with its tablet hardware for some time now. You get something that works, and works surprisingly well, for not a lot of money.

The intent, of course, is to make up the difference buy buying things from Amazon. Preferably, Amazon would tell you, all the things from Amazon. The Fire HD 10 is the upsized gateway, just like the Fire HD 8 is the smaller, even less-expensive model.

Watch this ...

The Amazon Fire HD 10 video review

None better for the money ...

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) Review

The Fire HD 10 specs are exactly what you'd expect in an Amazon tablet at this point. It gets the job done, it gets it done reasonably well enough, and it doesn't make too much of a fuss about it. There's no talk of cutting-edge processors. No display resolution so dense that it threatens to question reality itself.

Display10.1-inch IPS LCD (1920x1200 resolution)
OSAmazon Fire OS 5.3.4 (based on Android 5.1)
PriceStarts at $149
ProcessorMediaTek Quad-Core 2 @ 1.8 GHz and 1.4GHz
Storage32GB or 64GB internal, up to 256GB microSD
Weight17.7 ounces (500 grams)
Size10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches (262 x 159 x 9.8mm)
Cameras2MP rear, VGA front
ColorsBlack, blue, red

Nope, it's just a good, inexpensive tablet, with a whole lot of apps at its disposal, and pretty much the same content (or in some cases even more) than you'll find on the mainstream offerings from Apple and Samsung.

For a lot of folks, that's plenty good enough. For those who don't mind wading into the gray areas of life, it's simple enough to install the Google Play Store and then get access to everything you're used to.

Really, though, this all comes back to the fact that we're looking at a tablet that starts at $150. That's for the version "with special offers," which means ads on the lock screen that while awful on principle really aren't all that bad in actuality. And if you don't want to deal with that sort of thing, it's just an extra $15. And $165 for a 10-inch tablet that can actually play basic games and show shows and do email ain't bad at all.

That bare-bones price is also for the model with just 32GB of storage. You have about 28GB free to do whatever you want with, though, and for a lot of folks that's going to be plenty. And it can be augmented with a microSD card of up to 256GB — and that's just what we call (in technical terms) a butt-ton of storage. There's almost no reason to buy the 64GB model.

See the best SD cards for a Fire HD tablet

Watching video on a 10-inch, 1080p display still isn't my favorite thing to do. That's just 218 pixels per inch. Video is certainly watchable, despite my snobbery. And if you're not used to something with a higher resolution, it'll be just fine for you. And the stereo speakers (they fire downward from the left-side long edge) are decent, but nowhere near what you'd find in, say, an iPad.

Would I want to use this tablet myself? Not if I could get away with spending five times that amount on a nice iPad. But I also wouldn't fault anyone who just wants something basic that works. Because the Fire HD 10 very much fits that bill.

Amazon Fire HD 10 with case

The Amazon Fire HD 10 with case. ($39 at Amazon)

Would I want to hand this tablet over to my kids? Absolutely. I've said in the past that the Fire HD tablet is the best there is for kids — not just because it's inexpensive, but because Amazon has some excellent screen time controls, and you get an email anytime a new app is installed. And this tablet continues that tradition.

And it's worth spending a few extra dollars for a case for this thing. For one, it'll protect your investment. Even though you didn't pay out the arm for the Fire HD 10, you still want your money to go just as far as it possibly can. Amazon's own case (opens in new tab) isn't inexpensive at $40, but I'm glad I picked it up. In addition to protecting the screen, it does a fine job of proving up the tablet for watching video.

So all told, we're about $210 in for a perfectly capable tablet whose true purpose is to pump Amazon content at you as often and as fast as possible — while also doing other normal tablet things.

The Fire HD 10 isn't the best tablet that's out there. But it's the best one for the price you pay — less than $200 — that you'll find anywhere.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

  • The Kindle Fire's "are what they are" and that isn't a bad thing. They pretty much define what a tablet is really good for and that is consumption. I had a Fire HD 8 but decided that I didn't want to miss with installing Google Services on it and went with the Samsung Tab S3 (Verizon Model.) There are pros and cons to both (Samsung has Fast Charging, Full Gambit of Google Services but also no update Since May) but I truly think the Fire tablets are the best at consumption.
  • I had a second generation Fire tablet. HATED IT! It's been sitting in a drawer somewhere for years now.
  • I love my Fire HD 8 (2017 model). Good performance, great for video consumption and browsing. It also has a ridiculously good battery life, around 9 to 10 houts SOT. Standby is close to a week (Wi-Fi on all the time). Installing Google Play on it is also ridiculously easy. Just follow the tutorial (link is on the article). You just download 4 APK files from Apkmirror and install them in the order that the tutorial says. Reboot the tablet and you're good.
  • Same with me, absolutely best tablet for p/p. The HD 8 has an advantage over the HD 10 is that you can hold it with one hand in bed. For movies, 10 inch is still too small to watch on, maybe for short youtube videos. I also brought a Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad to use with it as a notebook replacement for browsing tasks.
  • Phil is spot on. These are great tablets for kids. More so when you get them on sale during events like prime day, Black Friday etc. I bought a 7 inch for our daughter for a 16 hour drive to Florida. Got it on sale for $35 and it was and has been the best $35 I've spent. Would I use it myself... no. I would go more for this one. But at these costs, if my daughter drops her's and it breaks, Who cares,
  • I agree 100% with you on the the kids part for the 7 inch, did the same thing for our 4 year old last Christmas,black Friday same price and it is a God send when you need it to be and it even has ABC Mouse which is good. But the 10 inch for Adults ? Why Not? Everyone I know with an iPad does nothing but watch YouTube, facebook, games, reading and watching content. I know of nobody who uses an iPad or any tablet for that matter for work and productivity. So why not if it does all those things well. $150 for a 10 in tablet to consume media, it's a steal as long as the screen is good enough.
  • I'm sorry I didn't really convey my opinion very well. The 7 inch isn't for me. The 10 inch, in my opinion is perfect for adults. I would use this in a minute and have thought about picking one up around the holidays. So I am in complete agreement with you.
  • It's $100 right now for Prime members. Bought it even though I have an 8-inch Fire HD that's only 4 months old (I'll use it to test the Play Store hack) and yes I do watch movies on it!
  • This is perfect for reading comics on. That's enough for me. I can use my phone for the rest.
  • Serious question, why should I get this over a Galaxy Tab A?
  • $70 difference?
  • Then the question is, would the Tab A provide a better experience for that $70? The Tab A has a better processor, 1GB more RAM (?), a better front and rear camera, Bluetooth, a gyroscope, and runs Android rather than FireOS. It comes with all the Google stuff preloaded and I can still get the Amazon apps after the fact, if I really wanted them even though Google typically has the latest and greatest versions. Amazon not always guaranteed. Supposedly, if you want, you can load Google on a Fire, but I know it used to be a bit of a hassle and caused me issues on my old Fire HD. I honestly think that's what killed it. I'm seriously asking, because I'm in the market for a reasonably priced tablet for my daughter, but I'm really leaning towards the Tab A instead of the Fire HD 10.
  • I see the S-pen version of the Tab A is the one with 1GB more RAM, which is actually another $50, and the better processor is a questionable statement. And for some reason I can't edit my previous comment.
  • I can't speak for the Tab A. But it is very easy to get Google Services/Play Store on the Fire. It is literally copying and installing four files; which you can get from APK Download, so they are legit. I did this on my Fire HD8 and it works very well. I now use my Fire instead of my phone to play games, and since I was able to get into Google, I have all my saves from Google Play games.
  • Chromecast?
  • I love the 10.1" tablet size, especially with my older (older than Phil) eyes. But I ended up picking up a refurbished Asus ZenPad, with case, for under $150. IF I was to do it over again, I get a 10.1" with a Sim slot.
  • Dayyyyum, that's old! :p Getting a tablet with cell data in the U.S. is hard, unless it's an iPad, unfortunately. :(
  • Great review, but i would change the wording in your statement, "...pretty much the same content (or in some cases even more) than you'll find on the mainstream offerings from Apple and Samsung." Don't you mean Apple and Google? Samsung doesn't control the Google Play store, Google does. Anymore these days people think Samsung and Android are the same thing, when Samsung is just a piece of hardware that runs Android. Sorry to be nit picky, but Samsung has not impressed me as of late, and I think they get way too much credit for the OS that Google built.
  • We have 5 Fire tablets in our house (1 for each child). They do fulfill their purpose, but Amazon has yet to fix one very annoying quirk. When one of my littler kids, whose tablet is set up with the Free Time kids mode (or whatever it's called) apps cannot be updated easily. So every time My Singing Monsters has an update, I have to login to my profile, install the app on my profile (taking up valuable space of which there is hardly any to begin with) and then update it. I then have to uninstall it from my profile so that there is enough free space for it to run properly. THEN my daughter can log into her profile and play the game. This is ridiculous. Why can't Amazon fix this so that already installed apps on a kids profile can be updated? If the app is already installed, that means that I have added it to the allowable content for their profile. There is no longer any point in restricting it!
  • I have the Fire HD8 and it works like a champ, albeit not a heavyweight champ. I only paid $85 for it. I put the Google Store on it and Nova. It now looks more like a Nexus tablet than an Amazon tablet. I'm completely satisfied.
  • When you install Google services on this, does it allow you do download content, like movies, to the SD card or is that restricted to the onboard memory only? Being able to download movies to the SD card for trips might push me over the edge to get one.
  • I have yet to put movies on my HD8, but I have the switch chosen to put it on the SD card. I have all my apps on my SD card. The 8 is OK but it seems really slow. I don't know if it the Google apps or that I have all my apps on SD card (fastest card available). But, yes, there is a setting to have all movies go to the SD card.
  • My first Amazon table was the HDX7 - loved it! One of the best screens! Then I went to the first HD7 and HD10 - hated them! Awful screens - watching video was painful. Got one of the new (2017) HD8s - was good. When the HD10 came out with a better screen than the HD7 and HD8 - I jumped on it. I'm a Prime member. All my books, all my videos/movies/TV, all my music is stored with Amazon. The 2017 HD10 screen might not be as good as some - but it's way above the initial HD offerings, and above the 2017 HD7 and HD8. I did load Google Account Manager, Google Services Framework, Google Play Services and Google Play Store which seamlessly intergrates the Fire with Google - the Fire shows up as a device on settings. I loaded Launcher Hijack v3 - and then Action Launcher. There is no way to change "default" app settings for Fire settings - unless you install Launcher Hijack. If you don't install Launcher Hijack the system keeps defaulting to the original Fire launcher. Anyhow - I love it. I bus-commute to/from work - read my books .. at night I read or watch videos. For $150 it's a great piece of hardware - and not just for kids!
  • This works out without ads and case at £210 GBP. For that price I can get an iPad Air 2 or a Tab S2 second hand with a two year warranty. Both much better options.
  • Greetings Modern Godfather... For $160 I bought the Asus ZenPad Z10 the one with 4g that has the much bigger battery than the non 4g version. All metal build, beautiful 2k display, incredibly smooth and fluid performance. It is much better than my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2... 8 plus hours of Screen on time. It is a very good looking tablet with a lot of power under the hood. I got it brand new in the box with a really nice $50 case. Gotta love offer up!!! Keep up the good work!
  • The Fire HD 10 (2017) is my first Fire tablet and I loved the price and performance. Hands free Alexa works great. It does all I need it to do. I don't look for a tablet to act as a camera anyway so that wasn't a factor. Installing Google services was quick and simple, so now it is even more of a perfect fit. I do have a question, I noticed that the volume buttons flip depending on orientation in landscape. I think that is awesome. I don't have to think about it. I'm still learning the unspoken features, but it's has been the best little money I will ever spend on a tablet with no regrets.
  • I just sold my HD 8 for the HD 10 and I'm so glad I did. The screen looks very good, the processor seems snappier than the HD 8 and with all of my apps and media I still have over half my 32 GB space left. An excellent tablet for the price.
  • Has anyone purchased this to replace the previous generation HD10? I have the last gen, and I am wondering if it is really worth the upgrade.
  • Nick,
    Quick question. Now that a lot of Black Friday adds are leaking, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" tablet is going on sale for $169 at many places. Which, in your opinion, would you recommend purchasing? The new Fire HD 10 or the Galaxy Tab A? In my instance, it will be used 99% of the for media and games. The person using it 90% of the time will be a child.
  • Amazon is going to knock off $50 on the HD10 for Black Friday.