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I have a fair amount of experience using tablets. In the past, I have primarily used iPads, yet I sometimes struggle to justify the high cost for something I mostly use only to view media, browse the web and play the periodic app-based game. So, when it came time to purchase a new tablet, I decided to forgo another pricey iPad and opted instead for Amazon’s new budget-friendly Fire HD 10.

After giving the tablet an extensive amount of use, I feel good about my choice and have many great things to say about it. The Fire HD 10 is just as intuitive as my previous iPad and, while it may not have the same high-end look and feel, it functions almost as flawlessly. In fact, there were only a few situations where I felt it lacked in performance, and this was mostly when trying to use the new split-screen function. 

The regular price of the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is between $150-$200, depending on the configuration, but is currently on sale for just $99 for the base model, making it around $200 less than an iPad.

What is Amazon’s Fire HD 10?

The Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s newest tablet that is designed to compete with the likes of the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It features a vibrant 1080p display with more than 2 million pixels and offers up to 12 hours of battery life.

The Fire HD 10 is available with either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage space, which can be expanded up to 1 TB through the use of its microSD card slot. Those who travel with their tablet or use it for basic productivity will appreciate that it is notably lighter and thinner than previous iterations, while boasting 50% more RAM. 

How Amazon’s Fire HD 10 works

Like most other tablets, the Fire HD 10 is essentially a streamlined computer with most of the same hardware under the hood, such as a CPU, RAM and storage memory. It has a responsive touchscreen display that is used as the main interface for the tablet, but you can also connect an external keyboard to enhance its functionality. The Fire HD 10 comes with many basic apps pre-downloaded and you can add more programs as needed.

What you need to know before purchasing an Amazon Fire HD 10 

The Fire HD 10 is quite possibly the best tablet you can buy in its price range. It offers hardware specs to rival many premium models from other brands, but at a much more palatable price.

The process of setting up the Fire HD 10 is simple, with guided prompts that allow even the most tech-challenged individuals to do it with relative ease. Downloading apps is equally intuitive, but it should be noted that the Fire HD 10 does not include Google’s Play Store. Instead, Amazon has created its own app store, which has a much more limited selection. I found this to be the main drawback of the device, as there were some apps that I use regularly that I did not have access to. This includes popular apps like YouTube, Gmail and Slack. That said, you can still access these programs via the web browser, so it isn’t a total deal breaker.

Overall, the size and weight of the tablet felt right, with the screen being large enough to comfortably view media and play games without the device feeling bulky or overly heavy in my hands. The 10-inch screen also allowed Amazon to add split-screen functionality to the tablet, which is a nice touch for those who like to multitask. Unfortunately, I found the device a bit sluggish when using the split-screen feature, so I don’t foresee myself getting much use out of that feature.

The Fire HD 10 is a good choice for anyone who wants a tablet for consuming media and basic gaming. The front and rear cameras are adequate, so it also works well for video chatting, but it takes lackluster photos. As a bonus, it can act as an Alexa smart display, which allows you to increase the functionality of Alexa Echo devices in your home without having to purchase one of the company’s newer or more expensive models. 

If your main use of a tablet is for productivity, though — especially if you rely on Google apps or other specific apps in the Play Store — it may be worthwhile to consider other tablets if your budget can accommodate them. At the very least, you’ll want to check to make sure the software you need is accessible on the Fire HD 10 before purchasing it.

Where to buy the Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10

The Fire HD 10 is available for purchase on Amazon.

Other products worth considering

Apple 10.2-inch iPad

Apple 10.2-inch iPad

A powerful tablet with a sleek interface and premium build, the 10.2-inch iPad is a popular choice for viewing media, app-based gaming and productivity. It is more expensive than the Fire HD 10, but features better speakers, better cameras and a snappier processor, and is available with more storage memory. Sold by Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

The Tab S6 Lite is Samsung’s mid-range tablet, though you wouldn’t know it based on its performance. It boasts a high-quality display and audio, and it rarely lags even when running multiple apps at the same time. The inclusion of the S Pen makes it ideal for digital artists and those who like sketching and scribbling down notes. Sold by Amazon.

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.