I’ve told you before how much I absolutely love Amazon Fire tablets. I think for the price, they are the nicest piece of hardware out there. Their $50 7″ tablet is an unbeatable bargain. Frankly, most $50 tablet options aren’t great tablets. Fire tablets are, and Amazon backs it up with some pretty good customer service.
They’ve added a bigger, pricier models to the lineup. And I think they all look pretty sweet. The 10″ Fire HD, has a lot of cool stuff going on.
First I’ll point out a couple of drawbacks of Amazon tablets. You can’t access the Google Play store to download things like Microsoft Office Apps and some of your favorite games. You are limited to the apps available through the Amazon App store. They do have office suite substitutes and plenty of games available. Plus, you’re stuck with using the Amazon Silk browser. I like it, so it’s not a problem for me. But if there’s something you absolutely must use, you’ll want to check to make sure that app is available in the Amazon app store before making your tablet choice.
Also, you cannot read Nook books on your Kindle Fire tablet, though you can download the Amazon app to newer Nooks. The Fire is really designed to focus on Amazon content like books, music, and movies. And it’s a great device for that. I surf the web, watch Netflix, play my Amazon music, read eBooks, send email, and all that good stuff on my tablet.
If you have different needs, and iPad or a nice Samsung tablet are also wonderful choices. Also, Fire tablets are only available through Amazon. If none of this is a deal-breaker for you, let’s check out this fancy new tablet.
The 7″ model comes in Blue, red, yellow, and black. The screen has a 1024 x 600 IPS display. It starts with 8 GB of storage.
These devices have expandable storage, something I’ve never had before in a Kindle. Up to 256 GB with a memory card. I’ve never had a problem running out of space, since most of your Amazon library is streaming or cloud-based, but I like the option of downloading all of my music so I can listen when I’m offline.
The 8″ model starts at $79.99 for a 16 GB model. But you can expand to 256 with the memory card. It offers up to 12 hours of battery life.
Starting at $149, the new 10″ Fire HD has a full HD 1929 by 1200 display, a 10.1″ screen, and 32 GB of storage to start with (a 64 GB model is available, too). The memory for this device is also expandable with a 256 GB card. Amazon promises up to a 10-hour battery life for this device. The tablet comes in red, blue, and black.
All of these models have a neat new feature. You can control it with your voice. As long as the tablet is connected to WiFi, you can say the wake word, “Alexa” and even if the tablet is asleep, it will respond. “She” can set alarms, make appointments, check traffic, write lists, and even allow you order from Amazon with your voice.
You’ll be able to control apps like Amazon Video & Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and more with your voice. If you have smart home devices you’ll also be able to control lights, security cameras, thermostats, and more.
It’s great for watching videos from Amazon Prime, Netflix and more. And, of course, you can read Kindle books.
All three models feature both rear and front-facing cameras. But at 2 MP, the cameras are more for Skyping that taking great quality photos.
When you purchase the models with Special Officers, you will see an ad screen on the front of your device when you unlock it. Though, I’ve found they are pretty good at tailoring that ad to stuff I’m actually interested in. But it only pops up when you unlock it, so you aren’t bombarded with ads. Without the special offers, you’ll pay $15 more.
You can pre-order now. The tablets should be in stock October 11.
We are an Amazon Associate site. So if you click on our links to purchase a tablet (or anything else) on Amazon, we will receive a few pennies per purchase. Normally, I tell you that you should always try to shop local and look around for better prices. But you probably won’t find a better price on Kindle Fire. You will sometimes see them in stores and at military exchanges, though.