If you’re in the market for a tablet, it’s worth considering a few options beyond the popular Apple and Samsung brands. One of those is, of course, Amazon, which has emerged as a major player in the tablet market. Amazon offers a pretty diverse range of tablets under the Fire branded lineup.
As they come from Camp Bezos, Amazon Fire tablets come with a certain seal of approval that other retailers may not provide. Much like the Echo, Fire tablets are reliable, offer good value for money and are packed with features. But there are also a few major differences between each model to consider before taking the plunge on one.
1. Fire Max 11
The 2023 Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s most impressive tablet yet. An expansive 11in display with 2000×1200 high resolution and a speedy 2.2Ghz octal-core processor makes it a top choice for anyone who needs a tablet to handle multitasking. It comes with 4GB of RAM, and offers a long-lasting battery life of up to 14 hours and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. On top of that, you can choose between 64GB or 128GB of storage, which can be expanded by up to 1TB with a microSD card.
Design-wise, the Fire Max 11 features a fresh aluminium design that Amazon says is three times as durable as the 10th-generation iPad. Optional features include a keyboard case and an Amazon Stylus Pen, either of which you can purchase through special bundles. The Fire Max 11 launches in black only.
2. Fire HD 8
Anyone needing a basic tablet for entertainment and occasional productivity, consider the Fire HD 8, which offers an 8in 1280×800 resolution (189 ppi) HD display. The tablet features 2GB of RAM and will run up to 13 hours before needing a recharge. You’ll also find a 2MP front and rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording. Colour wise, it’s available in black, denim, and rose
This device offers fantastic Alexa voice control and can run numerous applications and games. However, it has limited storage options of either 32GB or 64GB, although you can use a microSD card and expand this to 1TB. It also lacks a headphone jack.
3. Fire HD 8 Plus
The Fire HD 8 Plus tablet might look exactly the same as the Fire HD 8, but comes with some improved features beneath the screen. This tablet comes with an 8in display and a hex-core processor, along with 3GB of RAM and a 5MP rear camera. Another added benefit is that it supports wireless charging.
While the display size and battery life remain unchanged to the basic model, the Fire HD 8 Plus stands out due to its increased processing power and larger battery. As a result, it excels at gaming and video editing (for a tablet, at least). The Fire HD 8 Plus also offers a 2MP front-facing with 720p HD video recording, and 5MP rear-facing with 1080p HD video recording.
The best part? The Fire HD 8 Plus is currently just $20/£20 more than the non-HD model.
4. Fire 7
The Fire 7, which is Amazon’s most affordable tablet, has a (non-HD) 1280×800 pixel screen, a 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU, and comes with 1GB of RAM. It is available in either 16GB or 32GB storage options, but those cannot be expanded by an external memory card. The Fire 7 includes 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording, and up to 10 hours of battery life.
The tablet’s budget specs make it ideal for basic activities like reading, streaming videos and work on the go. Although it has limited storage and a relatively slow processor, it’s a solid option for new tablet users and those who need a reliable device to shove in a bag.
5. Fire HD 10
Is an 8in display, not enough? Then you could consider going up to the Fire HD 10. Featuring a 10.1in, 1920×1200 pixel HD display, this tablet includes a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of storage.
Considered a mid-priced Amazon tablet, the Fire HD 10 can support up to 13 hours of battery life between charges. It also supports Dolby Atmos audio and visuals. If you want to be a little more productive, you can also get an optional keyboard case and stylus. It’s an all-around great tablet!
Fire tablets for kids
A major plus for Amazon Fire tablets is the option to buy kid-friendly versions. Basically, they’re the same as the regular versions, but come with kid-approved construction, better warranties, and Amazon Kids+.
By subscribing to Amazon Kids+, you can restrict access to age-appropriate entertainment, and focus on educational content for your kids. You can also set parental controls to monitor their activities.
One thing to note about Amazon’s kids’ tablets: they’re a little bit more expensive than the similarly sized regular models, thanks to the extra perks and kid-proof protection.
Fire 7 Kids (2022)
The latest go-to for parents who want to plonk their kid in front of Peppa Pig for the afternoon, the Fire 7 Kids comes in vibrant blue, red, and purple colours. Ideally suited for kids between the ages of 3 and 7, the tablet comes with a HD Ready screen, and 16GB built-in storage with more storage available with a microSD card.
In addition to receiving one year of Amazon Kids+ content, the tablet comes with a kid-proof case with a built-in stand and a two-year warranty.
Fire HD 8 Kids (2022)
Designed for 3 to 7-year-olds, the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet comes in blue and purple, plus special-edition models that feature Disney characters.
An 8in HD display, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB, up to 1 TB when expanded, should be more than enough to power Nickelodeon for an afternoon. Compared to the Fire HD 8 Kids 10th generation, it’s also up to 30% faster, thanks to the hexa-core processor.
Once again, you’ll find a kid-proof case with a built-in stand, one year of Amazon Kids+, and a longer warranty.
Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022)
The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is designed for children aged 6 to 12 and is available in a range of colour combinations such as cyber blue, hello teal, and rainbow universe. The older children are also provided with a kid-friendly case, which is slimmer than those on other models. The package also includes an extended warranty and an Amazon Kids+ subscription.
Under the hood, there’s not too much difference compared to the non-pro model. It comes with enhanced hexa-core processor, 30% faster than previous generation, 2 GB RAM, a bright 8in HD display and immersive Dolby Atmos, perfect for blasting Baby Shark in full glory…sorry about that.
Fire HD 10 Kids Pro (2021)
Finally, there’s the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro. Coming in black, doodle, intergalactic, or sky blue models, this one is suited more to the older kids who secretly like Disney, but don’t tell their friends that.
Fitted with an expanded 10.1in, 1080p Full HD display and 3 GB of RAM, it’ll handle Fortnite sessions pretty well. It also comes fitted with a USB-C 2.0 port and dual cameras. In our opinion, the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is perfectly suited for a kid who’s grown out of the Mickey Mouse stuff, but for parents who still want to keep a look out for what content they’re accessing.
Fire Tablets: the basics
Amazon tablets run on Fire OS, a modified version of Android. And, perhaps most crucially, they’re affordable, with choices catering to both adults and children.
The Fire tablet was initially released in 2011, and Amazon has made significant updates to its product line over the years. As of now, consumers can choose from 7in, 8in, 10in, and 11in tablets with varying storage capacities.
By using the built-in Amazon Appstore, Fire users can buy and search through a vast library of apps, games, books, movies, and TV shows. Additionally, there is a specialist Kids’ Corner mode that restricts the tablet to child-appropriate content.
The current non-kiddy lineup of everyday Fire tablets includes six different models, all released between 2021 and 2023. For the small ones, there are currently four to choose from. These range in price from $60/£65 to $230/£250, which makes them much less expensive than other tablets on the market. Take Apple’s least expensive tablet, the 9th generation iPad, which starts at $329/£369.