Amazon Fire HD 10in review: Is this the best cheap 10in tablet around?

Price when reviewed

It’s oh-so-tempting to compare tablets such as the new Amazon Fire HD 10in directly with the competition: the likes of the Apple iPad mini, say, or the Google Nexus 9. Even, at a stretch, the £99 Tesco Hudl 2 – if it was available

Amazon Fire HD 10in review: Is this the best cheap 10in tablet around?

It’s tempting, but also wrong.

You can, of course, line them up and look at the specs. Compare the cameras, the screen quality, whether or not there’s a microSD slot (for the first time, this Fire tablet has one). But, in truth, the only way to work out whether the Fire HD 10 is right for you is to consider how it fits into your Amazon life. If you don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime then, unless you like bad jokes, head to Go and collect your £200.

If, on the other hand, you pay £79 per year for Amazon Prime, there are plenty of reasons to like this tablet.

Amazon Fire HD 10in review

The first is that it’s a great way to watch movies. There’s just enough bezel at the left and right extremes for fingers to rest, the screen pumps out vivid colours, the built-in speakers pack enough grunt to enhance the action (and don’t distort the volume), while the processor can more than keep up with demanding scenes.

It’s helped by being so light. Considering there’s a 10.1in display here, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to hold for long periods. As part of the in-depth, strenuous, real-world testing I’m sure you’ve come to expect from Alphr, I watched an hour’s worth of Rush lying on the bed and didn’t notice the 432g weight at all.

Amazon Fire HD 10in review: Battery life

Battery life is pretty decent, too. You can expect around nine hours if you’re just watching video, and bear in mind that you can now download films from Amazon Instant Video. If you have a long plane journey, or need something to entertain the kids for that slog of a drive, then the Fire HD 10 is your friend.

Amazon Fire HD 10in review

This is where the microSD slot comes in very handy. You can buy 64GB cards for £15 from, well, Amazon, which means buying the 16GB version of the Fire won’t hamstring it. With even a few handfuls of apps installed, there was only 11GB of internal storage available from the theoretical maximum of 12.8GB. Note that the 720p version of Rush, a two-hour film, consumed 3.8GB of space.

If the Fire HD 10 is an excellent partner for video, though, its charms start to wane elsewhere. It’s fine for reading books, although I found myself switching from portrait mode because the 16:9 aspect ratio screen extended too far – it was more comfortable to read books in two-column format when held in a landscape position. Personally, I prefer to read on a Kindle Paperwhite, or even an old-style Kindle without a built-in light.

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