Amazon Fire tablets are one of the few high-end, ultra-affordable tablets. Prices seem too good to be true – and in some ways they are – but Fire tablets are also fully functional devices with reasonable options. To help you decide if one of these tablets is right for you, we’ve reviewed each model. These are our unfiltered recommendations. We list Amazon’s base price, but we suggest you spend an additional $15 to get the ad-free model.
Be sure to check out our other buying guides such as Best Tablets, Best iPads, and Best Alexa Speakers.
Updated January 2023 We’ve updated our Fire HD 8, Fire HD 8 Plus, and Fire HD 8 Kids tablets to the latest models and added a new section on useful Fire HD accessories.
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Best fire tablet
The Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s largest and fastest tablet. Amazon updated it in 2021 (7/10, recommends WIRED) with a brighter screen and 3GB of RAM. Along with it, there is Fire HD 10 Plus, which boosts RAM to 4GB and adds wireless charging, which is worth the extra $30 if you plan to do more than watch movies and surf the web. And Amazon hopes you will do more as there is”performance package”, which includes a beautiful keyboard (albeit without a trackpad) and an annual subscription to Microsoft 365. Working with the Fire HD 10 isn’t bad if you don’t need Google apps. None of the Google office apps work on the Fire HD 10, not even in the browser. (There is a workaround.)
The Fire HD 10 has a larger screen with more pixels (1080p) than its brethren, making it more comfortable to watch videos. And just like with the Fire HD 8, you can shout Alexa commands from across the room. To use Alexa Show Mode, swipe down on the notification overlay and check the Show Mode box. After that, you can install the HD 10 on the stand (if you choose the Plus model, we like official wireless charging stand) and essentially becomes an echo show.
You can choose between 32GB or 64GB models (with a microSD slot on both, so you can add up to 1TB of storage in the future if you need more space). Whatever you choose, Amazon will display ads on your lock screen. To get rid of this, you will need to spend another $15 for the version without “special offers”.
Inexpensive fire fighting tablet
Amazon’s recently updated 2022 Fire HD 8 (reviewed 6/10 WIRED) features a faster processor and a slightly thinner design, but it’s a very gradual upgrade. The processor upgrade is welcome and makes this a more travel-friendly tablet nearly as fast as our top pick. The big difference is the screen, which is nowhere near as good as the Fire 10 HD’s screen. On this smaller model, pixels often remain visible and videos often appear flat.
However, 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 Magnetic Suitcase 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.
The best Fire tablet for kids
Understanding that “kids” covers a wide range of hand sizes and other factors, Amazon offers two different Kids Edition Fire tablets. There is a regular children’s version and a “Pro” model. The latter, intended for older children, has a streamlined body with less padding. We are thinking, 2022 Fire HD 8 Kids ($150) the best device for young children, and the 2021 model Fire HD 10 Kids Pro ($200)which Indeed large in children’s hands, better for older children. Fire 7 Kids ($110) it’s an even cheaper option for younger kids, although my 7″ screen has always been more difficult to use.
The Kids Editions are exactly the same as regular Fire tablets, except they come with a rugged chassis and a two-year worry-free warranty, which means Amazon will replace the tablet for free if your kids break it. It also comes with one year Amazon Kids+, offering access to movies, books, games and apps for kids. It costs $5 per month after the first year ($8 for Prime subscribers if you don’t have Prime). Be sure to check out our Amazon Kids+ content management guide.
Best Budget Fire Tablet
Last year, Amazon updated its smallest Fire tablet, a 7-inch model. The 2022 version has a slightly more powerful processor, double the RAM, and longer battery life. It also charges via USB-C. Unfortunately, a measly 16 gigabytes of storage remains, although the size of the supported SD card has increased to 1 terabyte, so if you want more memory (and trust me, you do), you can add it. Also for this release, the price jumped from $49 to $59.
We’ve recommended avoiding it in the past because it wasn’t powerful enough and the small screen made it less useful. After a few months of testing, it became apparent that the processor was actually quite good – not fast, but quite adequate for web browsing and watching videos. The screen, on the other hand, remains small. We still think you’d be better off spending $40 more on the Fire 8, but if that’s out of your budget, the new Fire 7 will do as well.
The best fire accessories
Fire tablets are quite sturdy, but I found the screens to scratch quite easily. It is worth protecting your investment with coverage. Amazon cases are good – they’re not too bulky and provide good protection – but they’re pricey. At $30, Fintie folio cases aren’t much cheaper, but they often sell for $15 to $20; if you can get one at that price, they are worth it.
Get a keyboard for work
I won’t go as far as suggesting a Fire Tablet to replace your laptop, but I’ve found that I can get a pretty good job on my Fire HD 10 when I pair it with Finitie. Bluetooth keyboard ($50). This is the same keyboard that Amazon sells as part of their performance package. It doesn’t have a trackpad, and the keys are slightly smaller, but otherwise quite pleasant to type on. If you win a $55 Fire HD 10 during the sale, buy a $55 keyboard (it often sells for less) and follow our guide to install the Google Play Store and you’ll have a very useful working device for around $100. . It’s hard to beat.
Amazon sells old Fire tablets. Don’t buy them
Buy only one of the 11th or 12th generation Fire tablets. We suggest sticking to the models we talk about in this article (also listed here). Older Fire tablets will not receive software updates for as long as the current generation. You will also lose a faster processor and more RAM in the newer models. It’s much better to wait for Prime Day or another sale where you can get new models at a 30 to 50 percent discount.
If you’re not deterred from buying an old Fire tablet right now, be sure to check with the latest update available for the tablet you’re considering buying (find it on this sheet) With Latest version of FireOS to find out how up-to-date your software is. And be aware that Amazon disables older devices from accessing its content.
What we know about all Fire tablets
Amazon Content Collector: If you subscribe to the Amazon Prime service, you can enjoy all the included movies, music, TV shows, and books, buy all the items you can get with free two-day shipping, and browse Amazon’s free photo storage. You can do much the same from an Android tablet or iPad, but the Fire OS interface is built specifically for Amazon’s product delivery, with page-flipping for every type of media Amazon sells.
Built “well enough”: Physically, the Amazon Fire tablets are made of cheap plastic, but they’re designed with enough care that the build quality doesn’t bother you too much. The Kids Editions are also some of the best quality tablets for kids, housed in a rugged bumper, and they all have microSD slots so you can add extra storage. (We recommend this 128 GB microSD card for $17.)