Android Entertainment

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know

Mihir Patkar 22-09-2017

Amazon just launched a new version of the Fire HD 10 tablet with some neat improvements. Its low price (displayed below) makes it a compelling buy. But before you add it to your cart, there are a few things you should know.


Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - without Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - without Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Buy Now On Amazon

The big news is it comes with smart voice assistant Amazon Alexa Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod In this article, you'll learn the differences between the Amazon Echo and Google Home. We'll also take a look at what features an Apple speaker may include. Read More in a hands-free, always-listening mode. There are some other improvements too, and some things sadly remain the same. And that $150 price tag has a catch.

So here are 10 things you need to know about the new Amazon Fire HD 10 before you buy it.

1. Same Size, Better Screen

The new Fire HD 10 has the same size as its predecessor, with a 10.1-inch screen. But the screen’s resolution has been bumped up to 1920×1080 pixels. Technically, this is the Fire “Full HD” 10.

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 mainscreen 670x423


The higher resolution leads to sharper text when reading books, magazines, and comics How To Read Magazines On Your Android Phone Or Tablet I love reading. Given the amount of research I find myself doing here at MakeUseOf that’s not a bad thing, but recently I’ve found my office space becoming encroached with more and more magazines. The... Read More . Your movies and TV series will also look better, but don’t expect a big change.

2. Don’t Expect an iPad Quality Screen

Resolution isn’t everything when it comes to picture quality. Sure, you will notice a difference going from HD to Full HD at this size, but don’t expect the Fire HD 10 to rival an iPad’s screen.

A screen’s quality depends on much more than resolution. The type and quality of the panel, the backlighting, the image processor, the software calibration, and other components all come together to determine how a picture looks.

In short, the 2017 Fire HD 10 is better than its predecessor Your Unofficial Amazon Fire Tablet Manual The Amazon Fire tablet is a great alternative to the basic E-Ink Kindle e-readers, while offering compelling new features more akin to a tablet. Its small size and flexibility makes it the top choice. Read More . And that’s all.


3. Dolby Atmos Sound for Better Audio

Amazon is trying hard to make this your single multimedia tablet at home. The Fire HD 10 is fitted with Dolby Atmos sound, which is a nice tag to have but doesn’t really mean much.

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 sound dolby atmos 670x433

Most reviewers who got a demonstration of this said that the sound is definitely louder and clearer. But it’s not richer or better. The idea is basically to let you watch a quick video or listen to something without reaching for your headphones.

To be honest, that’s something I wish more tablets did. Budget tablets generally come with weak speakers, requiring headphones if you want to hear anything. The Fire HD 10 would be more convenient than any of those.


4. Faster Processor, More Storage, More RAM, More Battery

We have long said that you shouldn’t buy a Fire tablet Why You Shouldn't Buy an Amazon Fire Tablet for Your Kids We recommend avoid buying the Amazon Fire kids tablet for your children. Here's why it's a bad device and what to get instead. Read More for kids. But with the 2017 Fire HD 10, Amazon has fixed many of the issues that stopped this recommendation.

With a better processor and double the RAM, the tablet is faster than before and you won’t get much lag. Amazon has also made it easier for parents to install apps and download videos by doubling the internal storage to 32GB (there’s also a 64GB model).

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 kids 670x458

And if you were worried about an always-listening Alexa draining your battery life rapidly, rest easy. That has been boosted too, now claiming a battery life of 10 hours compared to eight earlier.


5. Alexa is Always Listening

And then there’s “Hands-Free Alexa.” You no longer have to press a button to start Amazon’s voice assistant. It’s always listening, so just issue your commands after you say, “Alexa.”

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 alexa 670x448

So while watching a video, you can play, pause, rewind, fast forward by simply saying something like, “Alexa pause.” Alexa reads books aloud, launches apps, tells you the weather, and has a bunch of other skills you need to try 18 Awesome New Amazon Alexa Skills You Need to Try The Amazon Echo's list of skills is growing all the time. Let's take a look at the most useful and silliest skills from the past few months. Read More .

6. It’s Plastic, and the Buttons Still Suck

Unlike most other tablets, Amazon has stuck with a plastic body for the Fire HD 10 Sure, it feels a little cheap, but it’s sturdy nonetheless. You’ll get used to the feel in no time. And if your kids are using this tablet, you’ll feel a little more secure than with the fragile iPad Pro.

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 buttons 670x188

But Amazon has also kept the buttons on the same side as its predecessor. The Fire HD 10’s buttons are at the top when you hold the tablet in portrait mode. That’s incredibly inconvenient. You can’t reach the buttons from your normal holding stance. And I was quite annoyed with how often I had to brush off the headphones wire. They are small irks that add up, you know?

7. Amazon Really Wants You To Buy Stuff

On the software front, it’s the same old Fire OS as before. But Amazon has added a new “For You” section to give you recommendations. Amazon Prime gives you a lot of content 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. Read More , and the company is doing its best to sell it to you.

The tablet tracks everything you are doing Shopping vs. Privacy: What Does Amazon Know About You? Did you think Amazon was too noble to breach your privacy? You'd be surprised. Here's what the company knows about you, where that knowledge comes from, and how you can control it. Read More . Based on what you watch, read, play, or listen to, “For You” will display recommendations on what to do next. Amazon wants you to spend more time with your tablet, and content is the best way to do it.

8. No Google Play Store Yet

The same old Fire OS means that the same old problems persist. In case you didn’t know, Fire OS is based on Android. But the tablet does not have the Google Play Store.

Buying the Amazon Fire HD 10? 10 Things You Need to Know amazon fire hd 10 stack 670x460

Instead, you are forced to use Amazon’s app store instead, which includes several of the popular apps. But it doesn’t have everything. Don’t worry too much about it though, since you can install Play Store without rooting Remove Ads and Install Google Play on Kindle Fire Without Root Get more from your Amazon Fire tablet! Here's how to install Google Play on a Kindle Fire and remove Amazon Fire ads without root for free. Read More the tablet.

9. The $150 Version Has Ads

Everyone loves that the 2017 Fire HD 10 has a big price cut, as Amazon is selling it for $150. But well, that $150 price is if you are ready to get ads from Amazon delivered to your screen.

When you’re buying, you’ll see two buttons: “With Special Offers” and “Without Special Offers.” In Amazon’s language, “Special Offers” translates to ads that it pushes to your tablet. These ads will appear as a screensaver whenever you aren’t using the tablet, instead of the default black screen.

You can try to remove these ads and make Fire HD 10 look like stock Android How to Make Your Amazon Fire Tablet Look Like Stock Android If you're sick of Amazon's tweaked version of Android, don't worry! You can make your Fire tablet look just like stock Android. Read More . But removing ads costs whatever you didn’t want to initially pay.

If you want an ad-free version, the “Without Special Offers” Fire HD 10 costs about $165. I’d pay the extra $15, but it’s up to you. Either way, that’s the price you should compare the Fire HD 10 against its alternatives with.

10. The Alternatives Don’t Fully Match-Up

The thing is, even counting those extra 15 bucks, the Fire HD 10 comes out on top. But that’s if you want a 10-inch tablet and nothing else will do. It’s a question of choice on which size of tablet is right for you Which Tablet Size Should You Actually Get These Days? With so many tablet choices on the market, it can be hard to know which size is right for you. Our breakdown makes it easy to know the answer. Read More .

The best alternative, in my opinion, is to get the Asus T100 Transformer 2, one of the best mini PC tablets or convertibles The Best Mini Tablet PC or Convertible Hybrid Tablet sales have been declining. However, one category of tablet continues growing: tablets that transform into laptops when coupled with a keyboard. We call these 2-in-1 tablets. We rounded up the best convertibles around. Read More . It costs more, but it runs Windows, so it’s a full-fledged computer too. And you get a keyboard dock as well. Not too shabby!

ASUS T100TAF-C1-GR Laptop (Windows 8.1, Intel Bay Trail-T Z3735F 1.33GH, 10.1" LED-lit Screen, Storage: 64 GB, RAM: 2 GB) Grey ASUS T100TAF-C1-GR Laptop (Windows 8.1, Intel Bay Trail-T Z3735F 1.33GH, 10.1" LED-lit Screen, Storage: 64 GB, RAM: 2 GB) Grey Buy Now On Amazon $355.55

But as far as a media tablet for your home, the Fire HD 10 is an excellent purchase that you won’t regret.

Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - without Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - without Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Buy Now On Amazon

Will You Buy the New Fire HD 10?

The Amazon Fire HD 10 strikes the right balance between features and price for a media consumption device. It’s not a tablet to create new things, like the iPad Pro. It’s a tablet to watch, read, play, and listen.

So will you buy the new Fire HD 10? Do you think there is a better tablet for a similar price?

Related topics: Amazon Kindle Fire, Buying Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jessica
    January 21, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Can anyone tell me whether Fire 10 HD has complex Chinese language input? I saw tht you can download new language on their help page, but I couldn't find the download section on my tablet. Thanks.

  2. Tim C
    May 17, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Nice tablet, but maddeningly slow web browsing. When trying to download a photo to pinterest I just lay the Kindle down and walk away. Doesnt matter if its work or the wifi at home. Absolutely pitiful, I keep looking for the 56k modem. Other than that I really like it, but it's a paperweight if you can't use the internet.

    • Alex
      May 31, 2018 at 4:47 am

      Tim C is exaggerating about how "maddening" slow the Fire 10 HD is. 56k modems sometimes "painted" photos on your screen as they streamed. The Fire absolutely does NOT do that (maybe Tim's does). I use Pinterest, Google Photos, and Amazon's photo cloud is this tablet plugs along just fine. In fact, it's as useful as the iPad Air that I replaced because I didn't want to pay $500 for a new iPad or a Samsung. There are times when some large websites may lag a little but my iPad did that too every now and then. That said, keep in mind that the Fire is $160 and you're getting a lot for that. If you want something else, cough up the bucks. The Fire HD 10 does everything I need it to do and more.

      • Thomas Connolly
        May 31, 2018 at 7:05 pm

        Lucky for you that your Kindle performs as advertised. Mine absolutely does not. Unless you're sitting in my home or office you have no idea how my Kindle is opperating. So keep your comments about my "exaggerating" to your self. In DSL, T3 or work network it just doesn't cut it. Read the other reviews about its speed on Amazon. Maybe since Alex knows all about Kindled he picked a good one, maybe he works for them. Either way the Fire 10 is slow as a snail. I've reverted to my old Kindle. And I have some other electronic doodads Alex was kind enough to suggest I purchase. I bought the Kindle, used it for two months and have it literally to the cats to watch bird videos. Alex isn't here, maybe he can conjure up a fix since he seems to know what's happening with my Kindle.

  3. KimmyG
    October 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Just bought three for the senior citizens in my life.

    October 8, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Useful to all

  5. Andrew Wolfe
    September 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    My main concern is whether Amazon will keep its patches up to date. I got an early Kindle and Amazon never updated it. Now it's little better than a malware magnet.

  6. John A Wallach
    September 27, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I hope the 10 isn't anything like the 8, which developed all sorts of problems 3 months after I purchased it.

  7. Godel
    September 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Just looking at the reviews on Amazon for your recommended alternative, the Asus T100, it looks like a lot of them die after 3 or 4 months and buyers have been less than satisfied with Asus' response.

  8. Baja Pete
    September 23, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Rear camera downgraded from 5 MP and 1080p video recording to 2 MP and 720p.

  9. Mark Jacobson
    September 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    This is what happens when Appleites review other products.

  10. Truthseeker
    September 23, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Apples to oranges. Could only have been written by a truck apple fan boy. Also, Alexa can be disabled so maybe you need to do your homework or find another profession.

  11. Rich
    September 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    It's 1920 by 1200, not 1080.

    • asfasfsa
      September 22, 2017 at 11:03 pm


  12. Chad
    September 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I pre-ordered. Ticks all the boxes for me.

    1080p res
    decent to good speakers
    AC wifi for fast syncing of content

    Honestly google play store isn't as important to me as I originally thought it would be. I really don't need a tablet to do anything other than easily serve me up my media content. I'm not really going to be doing google maps stuff or social networking on it. So I am hoping this will be just fine for me. And if not, amazon's return policy is pretty good so I'd only be out like $6 for return shipping.

    • KimmyG
      October 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Regarding Google Play - same here. So not an issue.

  13. Sharon
    September 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Yeah, the last thing I want is Amazon snooping on me and I can't stop it.