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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Phil Nickinson