This model features Fire's largest screen yet: a 10.1-inch display with HD image. Alexa allows for hands-free use. Also compatible with Echo. Boasts a durable build plus speedy apps. Dolby sound is rich and clear.
Owners of previous generation tablets may find it bulky. Mixed experiences with the battery life. Minor issues with WiFi connectivity were also noted.
Provides a streamlined build and a practical 8-inch screen with HD resolution. Offers better expandable storage (400 GB) than the 7th generation model. Easy to set up, and can be controlled via Alexa. Features dual-band WiFi.
Battery life is shorter than previous generations. Occasionally freezes, which sometimes requires rebooting. No access to Google Play store.
Kids' version of the popular Fire tablet line that's updated to include 400 GB of expandable storage and dual-band WiFi. Comes with a rugged kid-friendly case. Features HD resolution and versatile 8-inch screen. Has parental controls and access to the Amazon Kids+ app.
Some found the home screen interface less user-friendly than previous generation models. A bit challenging to set up.
Updated version of the most affordable Fire tablet that now includes dual-band WiFi and 400 GB of expandable storage. Can be used hands-free with Alexa. The 7-inch screen appeals to users who prefer a more compact tablet that's easy to stash and go.
Not as speedy as pricier Fire tablets. Prone to freezing, and occasionally drops WiFi connection. Some issues pairing with Bluetooth devices.
An updated version of HD 8. Features 3 GB of RAM for faster speed—an extra GB over HD 8. Offers wireless charging. For loyal fans of the HD 8 who need a bit more speed and ease, the HD 8 Plus is worth exploring.
Some users found the camera to be less than expected. Lacks access to Google Play store. Some consumers complained of too many unnecessary default apps.
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It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Amazon makes a lot of products – it’s known for having its own brand of everything from gym socks to batteries – but there are only a few product categories where Amazon is truly thinking outside the box, and one is tablets.
Amazon Fire tablets are based on the Android mobile operating system but run a customized version that’s designed around the company’s services, so the tablets do all of the things that other tablets do, but they also integrate with Amazon services, Amazon Kids+ for kids, or Prime Video for Amazon Prime members.
If you’re a fan of Amazon’s ecosystem of services, content, and products, you’ll get a lot more out of a Fire tablet than you will from a traditional tablet. Read on for our shopping guide to Amazon Fire tablets to discover which one is right for you!
Tablets are everywhere, and just about every tech manufacturer out there makes its own. To stand out from the crowd, Amazon offers several features you can’t find anywhere else. Here are our favorites.
Amazon’s Alexa is a voice-controlled digital assistant, like Apple’s Siri or Google Home. With a Fire tablet, you can use the built-in microphone to access everything Alexa offers, from news updates to control over your smart home devices.
One of the best features of Amazon’s Echo line of digital assistant products is how each can be used for audio and video calling with one another. And now Fire tablets are getting in on the act. When paired with the right charging dock, you can use the built-in camera and microphone to call a loved one’s Echo device or accept calls from the Amazon devices of friends and family.
Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition tablets aren’t just built for surviving your child’s rugged lifestyle – they’re also designed to keep children engaged with healthy content and safe from online dangers. Whether you need to make sure your kid is only using educational apps, or you simply want to manage screen time, Fire Kids Edition tablets offer a higher level of control and safety.
Amazon offers a variety of Fire tablets, each designed for unique uses. Here’s how to tell them apart.
These are typically on the small side (around 7 inches) and feature low-resolution screens. Standard Fire tablets do the basics well: run apps and play media, and they’re snappy and responsive. However, entry-level Fire tablets do cut a few corners. For example, each has only one speaker instead of two and much less random-access memory (RAM) than other models.
These come in larger sizes and offer significant upgrades to standard Fire models, like an HD screen, more memory, and premium audio options (like Dolby Atmos for headphones). If you need a capable tablet that will last several years before it starts to slow down, go for a Fire HD.
These are built around the needs of little ones. They come in colorful, durable cases that are built to handle all kinds of abuse, while still including the capable hardware of the Fire HD tablets. Every Fire Kids Edition tablet comes with one free year of Amazon Kids+, Amazon’s digital service that offers access to kids’ books, videos, and educational games. The tablets also include robust parental controls, so you can manage what your children see and how much time they spend in front of the screen.
Each of the different Fire tablets can be upgraded, but not every upgrade is worth it. This is what you’ll get for your money when you shop for an Amazon Fire tablet.
Between $50 and $149: At this price, you’ll see Amazon’s most basic tablets. Models in this range are limited to a 7- or 8-inch screen and include lower storage options (for example, models with 32 GB of storage are easy to find in this price range, but if you’re looking for one with 64 GB, you’ll have to pay more). If you need a basic tablet for everyday tasks, you can easily find a good deal in this price range, but if you need a bigger screen or a tablet for frequent use, it’s worth considering other models.
Between $150 and $200: Amazon offers its best and brightest in this price range – Fire tablets that include plenty of storage space, plenty of RAM, and bigger, more resolute screens. If you need a tablet that can keep up with you all day long, or you just want one with a better screen, look into Amazon’s more expensive models.
Restarting a tablet is always the best first troubleshooting step. If your Amazon Fire tablet ever freezes or starts behaving erratically, hold down the power button for 40 seconds to force a restart. This will resolve most problematic experiences. If your Amazon Fire tablet continues to act up, contact Amazon’s support team, which is known for its customer care.
Move all your most frequently used tablet apps to the home screen. You can customize the order in which your apps appear by simply tapping and holding them to rearrange them. Put the apps you use most on the default home screen so you’ll never have to go digging around for your favorites again.
Q. Can I buy apps for my Amazon Fire tablet from the Google Play Store?
A. Not by default. While it’s definitely possible to install the Google Play Store (and apps from the Google Play Store will indeed work on Amazon’s Fire tablets), installing it can only be done by “side-loading,” a process by which you use a separate computer to manually force an app onto a tablet or smartphone. Side-loading isn’t tremendously difficult, but it can require some trial and error. Keep in mind that while it’s certainly an option to use the Google Play Store on Fire devices, there aren’t that many benefits because most useful Android apps are already available through Amazon’s Fire-specific app store.
Q. Why are some Amazon Fire tablets described as coming with “special offers”?
A. Amazon offers two ways to purchase its Fire tablets: at full price, with no restrictions, and at a discount, with “special offers.” That means personalized ads appear on the lock screen. If you don’t mind seeing an ad every time you unlock your Fire tablet, this can be a great way to save money on your purchase, but if you consider ads a hassle, it might be worth paying full price. If you buy a fire tablet with “special offers,” you can always change your mind later and pay an upgrade fee to have the ads removed.
Q. What are the differences between an Amazon Fire tablet and an Amazon Kindle?
A. Amazon’s Fire tablets are Android-based tablets that run a wide variety of apps. Tablets are basically touchscreen computers that can be used for both “lean back” activities (like streaming movies or browsing social media) and “lean forward” tasks (like word processing or gaming). In contrast, Amazon’s Kindle devices are e-readers – black-and-white tablets tailored to the activity of reading e-books. Kindle devices can be used to purchase and borrow digital books and boast a much longer battery life, but they don’t run traditional apps.