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Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) hands on review

Amazon takes a lot of the spots in our best cheap tablets round-up, proving the company is perfecting its affordable tablets with respectable specs on board and super low prices.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) combines the best features of past Amazon slates with a few big upgrades on the last generation and an even lower price than most people had likely been expecting.

Amazon’s new Fire HD 10 won’t be for everyone, but it comes with a number of features you’d usually have to spend a lot more money on, and if you’re already embedded into the retailer’s ecosystem it may be the best slate for you.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) release date and price

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There are a selection of four cases to buy alongside Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017)

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The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) won’t be shipping until October 11, but you can pre-order the tablet from today on Amazon’s website. That’s the only place you’ll be able to buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017).

It’ll cost £149.99 or $149.99 at launch for the 32GB version, which is less than the last generation Fire HD 10, as that was originally £169.99 / $229.99. It won’t be released in Australia though.

The price will be higher for the 64GB version, but we don’t currently know how much that will cost.

Design and display

The Fire HD 10 (2017) doesn’t pack a premium design, but its plastic shell is comfortable to hold when you’re consuming media and you won’t be scared to give this the odd scratch like you may with a more expensive tablet.

There are three color options, with black being the dullest and the Marine Blue and Punch Red being bolder choices. There are also a few protective cases on sale through Amazon for £25.99 (about $35) that allow you to prop up the tablet to watch video.

The design of the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) is functional, but it won’t thrill anybody.

Amazon has made a major upgrade to the screen on the latest iteration though by bumping up the resolution to Full HD on this 10.1-inch display. That equals 224 pixels-per-inch and the slate also delivers a vibrant image.

We watched a little video on the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) and the display was impressively punchy, especially when you compare it to a lot of the competition around this price point.

If you’re planning to watch a lot of video, the speakers on the Fire HD 10 (2017) are another highlight. The dual stereo speakers included are tuned by Dolby Atmos and from our limited testing sounded far better than most of the competition, making this suitable for listening to music or watching films.

Specs and OS

We don’t know much about how the Fire HD 10 (2017) will perform, but we know it comes with a quad-core chipset and 2GB of RAM. Apps seemed to load quickly in our limited testing and the connection speeds seemed impressive, likely thanks to the dual-band Wi-Fi support that’s included.

You have the choice of either 32GB of storage or 64GB, and it’s great Amazon has ditched the 16GB version, which just isn’t enough space when you’re using a tablet that’s specifically designed to include movies and music.

There’s also room for expansion, as the Fire HD 10 (2017) has a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 256GB.

The Fire HD 10 is a little more limited than your average Android or iOS slate as it’s running Amazon’s own software, but it does come with a few benefits, especially if you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber.

There’s easy access to all of Amazon’s services such as Instant Video or Prime Music, plus there’s also now far-field Alexa support so you won’t need to press a button to wake the voice assistant.

It seemed to work well in our testing and Alexa can open up apps when you’ve got your hands full or you’re in the middle of cooking. We think this should be particularly useful when you’re using the tablet and you can’t reach out for it but need to change the volume.

Amazon’s new For You recommendation screen

Amazon has also included a new feature called ‘For You’, which you can access by swiping left on the home screen. It gives you recommendations depending on what you’ve previously watched, read or listened to.

So for example if you like crime thriller novels, it’s likely the For You section will recommend you books of that genre to purchase directly from Amazon’s Kindle store.

It’s not a huge selling point, but if you’re fully embedded into Amazon’s services such as Kindle or the music streaming service it should help you discover new things to read and listen to.

When it comes to battery, we haven’t had time to test it out but Amazon has claimed the slate will last for up to 10 hours of mixed use. Amazon’s claims have been on the money before, so we’d expect you to be able to use this tablet for a full day without needing to recharge.

Early verdict

If you’re looking for a cheap tablet, the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) seems to offer a lot compared to the average product at this price point, thanks to a Full HD screen, great speakers and Alexa integration.

This isn’t the tablet for you if you’re looking for a top-end powerhouse of a slate, but if you want something to read your ebooks on, watch the odd film and browse the internet, the Fire HD 10 (2017) could be a great option.

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