Amazons Fire tablets are some of the only high-profile, ultra-affordable tablets available. The prices seem to be too good to be true – and in some ways they are – but Fire tablets are also fully functional, reasonably suitable devices. To help you decide if one of these slates is right for you, we have reviewed each model. These are our unfiltered recommendations. While stating Amazon’s base price, please note that we suggest you spend the extra $ 15 to get an ad-free version.
Be sure to check out our other guides, such as the best tablets, best iPads, and best Alexa speakers.
Updated June 2022: We have noticed the new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids tablets, the upcoming Prime Day deals and updated prices and links.
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Wait until Prime Day
If you are planning to buy a new Fire tablet right now, you should wait. With Prime Day on the way (July 12-13), Amazon’s series of tablets will be at least 30 percent discount. Of course, these slates are already affordable compared to others in the market, but you can save even more. It’s worth the wait.
Best fire tablet
Fire HD 10 is the largest and fastest of Amazon’s tablets. Amazon updated it this year (7/10, WIRED recommends) with a brighter screen and 3 gigabytes of RAM. Next to it there is a new one Fire HD 10 Plus, which supports 4 GB of RAM and adds wireless charging, which is worth the extra $ 30 if you plan to do more than watch movies and surf the web. Amazon hopes you can do more too, as there is now a “productivity bundle“, which includes a nice keyboard (though no touch pad) and a 1-year subscription to Microsoft 365. Working on Fire HD 10 is not bad as long as you do not need Google apps. None of Google’s office apps work on Fire HD 10, not even in the browser.
Fire HD 10 has a larger screen with more pixels (1080p) than its siblings, making it better for watching videos. And as with Fire HD 8, you can shout commands to Alexa from across the room. To use Alexa’s Show Mode, swipe down on the notification overlay and check the Show Mode field. Then you can put your HD 10 on a stand (if you choose the Plus model, we like official wireless charging stand), and it will essentially be an Echo Show.
You can choose between a 32-gigabyte or a 64-gigabyte model (with a MicroSD slot on both, so you can add up to 1 TB of storage along the way if you need more space). Whatever you choose, Amazon will display ads on the lock screen. To get rid of it, spend $ 15 more on the “no special offers” version.
Best value fire tablet
The 2020 version of Fire HD 8 is possibly one of the best values available for a tablet. The travel-friendly size, combined with a processor upgrade and a Plus model ($ 110) with 3 gigabytes of RAM and wireless charging, the Fire HD 8 series makes it almost as capable as its bigger siblings. It’s portable enough to take with you everywhere, and its screen will not torture your eyes when you watch Netflix. That said, the screen is not quite just as nice as the one on the larger Fire HD 10, which boasts a higher pixel density.
Still, the HD 8 has most of the benefits of the HD 10, including hands-free Alexa, stereo sound, USB-C and nearly 12 hours of battery life. I recommend picking up Amazon’s magnetic stand-up case if you plan to watch movies or TV, or, if you choose the Plus model, Wireless charging dockwhich turns your tablet into an Echo Show speaker.
Best fire tablet for children
Recognizing that “kids” cover a wide range of hand sizes and other factors, Amazon now has two different Kids Edition Fire tablets. There is the regular Kids Edition and a “Pro” model. The latter, aimed at older children, has a streamlined case with slightly less padding and the option for parents to install apps from a dedicated Kids app store. We believe that HD 8 ($ 140) is the best device for younger children while 2021 Fire HD 10 Kids Pro ($ 200)which is really large in toddler hands, is better for older children. The new Fire 7 Kids ($ 110) is an even cheaper option for young children, although mine have always found the screen size of 7 inches harder to use.
The Kids Edition versions are exactly the same as the regular Fire tablets, except that they come with a sturdy case and a two-year worry-free warranty, which means that Amazon will replace the tablet for free if your children break down. It also comes with a year Amazon Kids +, which offers access to kid-friendly movies, books, games and apps. It costs $ 5 per person. month after the first year (for Prime subscribers, $ 8 if you do not have Prime). Be sure to check out our Amazon Kids + Content Management Guide.
Best budget fire tablet
Amazon has finally updated its smallest Fire tablet, the 7-inch model. The 2022 version has a slightly more powerful processor, twice as much RAM and longer battery life. It also charges with USB-C. Unfortunately, the meager 16 gigabytes of storage is left, even though the supported SD card size has gone up to 1 terabyte, so if you want more storage space (and believe me, you do), you can add it. Also up for this release is the price, which jumps from $ 49 to $ 59.
In the past, we have recommended avoiding this because it was understated and the small screen makes it less useful. We have not yet had a chance to test the new model, but based on the new specifications, the Fire 7 now has enough power to keep up with the Fire OS. That said, we still think you’re better off spending $ 30 more for Fire 8. However, if it’s out of your budget, the new Fire 7 will do.
Amazon sells older fire tablets. Do not buy them
Buy only one of the “10th Generation” or “11th Generation” Fire tablets. We suggest that you stick to the models we are talking about in this article (also listed here).
Older model Fire tablets will not get software updates as long as the current generation will. You will also miss the faster processor and more RAM in the newer model. A far better idea is to wait for Prime Day or another sale when you can get the new models with 30 to 50 percent discount.