All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Amazon’s Fire HD tablets are still worthy options if you just want a competent media consumption device for as little money as possible, and within that lineup, the Fire HD 10 provides the best value for most. This is especially the case when the device is discounted, and as of this writing the 10.1-inch slate is back on sale for $75 at Amazon and Best Buy, among other retailers.
While this isn’t the absolute lowest price we’ve seen — the tablet was briefly available for $55 at Target earlier this year — it does match the price we saw during last year’s Black Friday sales and Amazon’s latest Prime Day events. The 32GB model here technically has an MSRP of $150, though a handful of smaller discounts have dropped its average street price closer to $130 in recent months.
This is a nice price for what was already one of the better values on the tablet market. Like Amazon’s other Fire tablets, the Fire HD 10 is a no-frills device: It’s largely made of matte plastic, the front and rear cameras are mediocre, and very little about its performance or design feels as premium as what you’d get from even an entry-level iPad. But for the money, it’s all good enough if you’re just looking for casual web browsing, ebook reading, video streaming, and Alexa stuff. Its eight-core MediaTek Helio P60T processor and 3GB of RAM won’t blow anyone away — don’t expect much in the way of gaming — but it can handle the basics without consistent slowdowns, and it’s generally more fluid than the lower-cost models in the Fire lineup.
Similarly, the 10.1-inch panel isn’t the brightest or most vibrant you’ll see, but it’s plenty fine for $75. Again, its 1920 x 1200 resolution is a firm step-up from the lower-res Fire 7 or Fire HD 8, and simply having more real estate makes it more pleasing for Zoom calls and video streams. The tablet gets a good 12-ish hours of battery life per charge, and it charges over USB-C. While the discounted model here only has 32GB of built-in storage, you can expand that with a microSD card. (A version with 64GB of storage is also on sale for $95.)
The caveat with any Amazon tablet is, as always, software. Amazon’s Fire OS is still a forked version of Android that lacks access to the Google Play Store — and thus, native Google apps like Gmail or YouTube — and frequently pushes you toward the company’s own apps, services and online store. There are still lock screen ads, and it still costs a $15 fee to get rid of them. It remains easy enough to sideload the Play Store and its more expansive app library, but that’s clearly not the most user- or security-friendly solution. Instead, a Fire tablet will work best if you stick to Amazon apps like Kindle and Prime Video, popular apps like Netflix or basic web browsing. All that said, the OS is still fairly robust when it comes to parental controls and supporting multiple user profiles, and there’s still a handy “Show Mode” that can essentially turn the tablet into an Echo Show-like smart display when you’re not holding it.
The deal here comes as part of a wider sale on Amazon tablets. The Kids and Kids Pro versions of the Fire HD 10, for instance, are both back to their all-time lows at $120. Those come with large protective bumper cases (the Pro’s is a bit slimmer), two-year warranties and a year of Amazon’s Kids+ child-focused content service, though their hardware is otherwise identical, and it’s worth noting that you can set up a kid-friendly profile on the base Fire HD 10 as well.
The Fire HD 10 Plus, meanwhile, is on sale for $105, which matches the lowest price we’ve tracked. That one adds another gigabyte of RAM and wireless charging support, which are nice upgrades — particularly if you want to use that smart display functionality — but nothing we’d call essential for most people in the market for a good affordable tablet. We’ll also note that the Fire 7 is down to a new low of $42, but we’d recommend waiting for the recently-updated Fire HD 8 and its altogether superior hardware to go on sale if you’re simply looking for the cheapest usable slate.
Buy Fire HD 10 Plus at Amazon – $105
Buy Fire HD 10 Kids at Amazon – $120
Buy Fire HD 10 Kids Pro at Amazon – $120
Buy Fire 7 at Amazon – $42
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.
Leave a Reply