I’ve been fortunate enough to use a Kindle Fire HD 10 for the last couple of weeks, and I think it’s the best tablet that Amazon has ever made. Historically, Amazon has had two main tablet lines – the HDX line, which had better hardware, better screens, and carried a higher price tag, and the HD line, which had weaker hardware but lower prices. I think that the 2017 HD 10 combines the best of those two lines and overcomes some of their weaknesses.
My reasons are below.
-The 2017 Fire HD 10 has an excellent screen, IPS with 1920×1080 resolution. This is a substantial improvement over the previous HD 10, which had only a 1280×800 screen. Usually, screens with resolution that high were only found in the HDX line, and all the previous HD tablets only came to 1280×800. An iPad or a Samsung Galaxy S3 will have a better display, but 1920×1080 is still an excellent screen. Only a few years ago a tablet with a screen resolution like that would have cost $400 at a minimum, and the Fire HD 10 comes in at $149.
-The tablet has excellent sound. It has twin speakers mounted at the top, and they put out strong sound without distortion or warping.
-It’s also the fastest of the HD line. Amazon boasts about the quad-core processors in all its tablets, but what’s more important is that the 2017 HD 10 has 2 GBs of RAM. This really speeds up the performance compared to all the other HD tablets. (And it’s a lot faster than the previous model of the Fire HD 10, which was almost painfully slow at times.)
-The Fire HD 10 has MicroSDHC card slot. This was a huge weakness of the HDX tablets. They were fast and had beautiful displays, but they didn’t have any expansion slots. That meant two or three movies or even a large music collection would fill up the devices quickly. With the Fire HD 10, you can put a big microSDHC card into the slot, and the tablet will automatically download your videos and music to the card rather than the tablet’s internal storage.
-The Fire HD 10 also comes with always-on Alexa, Amazon’s digital voice assistant. With other Fire HD tablets, you had to hold the home button to activate Alexa. With the Fire HD 10, you can merely say “Alexa” and it will respond.
Admittedly, I don’t have much of a use for Alexa – I mostly use it to do quick math problems without having to type the numbers into Excel or the calculator app. And if you find the idea of Alexa listening to you creepy, you can disable always-on Alexa in the HD 10’s settings.
-Finally, at $149, the Fire HD 10 is a pretty good deal. Granted, $149 is still a lot of money. And it’s more than the $50 and the $80 that the HD 7 and the HD 8 cost. But that $149 gets you a lot of bang for your buck, and is still substantially cheaper than a similar Android tablet from another manufacturer.
-It is a bit on the thick side, but that’s only a minor con. Given how Apple tends to make the iPhone thinner at the cost of battery life, I’m pleased Amazon kept the Fire HD 10 thick and then put a big battery into the device.
-The lockscreen will display ads, and sometimes the tablet will serve up notification ads. This doesn’t bother me very much, but some people find it offensive. If it does, you can pay an extra $15 to remove the ads.
To sum up, I think the 2017 Fire HD 10 offers the best value for a tablet that Amazon has produced so far.