Amazon is having its annual Prime Day sale on its Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet beating the lowest price it has ever been. We bought these tablets a couple of years ago and they have been lifesavers for distance learning in 2020. However, they work just as well for watching Netflix while you are crying in your bathtub (or so I hear). This time if you have a Prime membership you can get the new Fire HD 10 at its lowest price – $80. You may be able to get it even cheaper. I love the old version so much that I ended up buying two more. This version of the Fire is mostly the same but with a faster processor.
How to get the Amazon Fire HD 10 cheaper
Amazon has a Fire trade-in program that will give you a discount on a future device (which will work your purchase of this device right now) and a gift card. I found that some older tablets were worth $15 and 20-25% off the new purchase. The discount seems to come off the original price, which can be a savings of $30, bring the upgrade to around $35 plus tax ($80 – $30 – $15 = $35).
Let’s get back to the main review…
Amazon Fire HD 10 Review
Readers may (and should) be skeptical about my view in this article. Amazon has a commission program and content producers (i.e. me) make some extra cash by reviewing their products if people decide to buy them. That’s one reason why you see a hundred articles about all the Amazon device deals. Even if I try my best not to be biased, there’s an element of human nature that it isn’t easy to suppress.
With that disclaimer aside, I genuinely like Amazon’s products and services. However, I think the Amazon Fire HD 10 is in another class of value and I wanted to explain why.
Let’s rewind a few weeks.
I sheepishly said to my wife, “There’s a deal on the Amazon Fire, and I think we should get one.” I received the dagger eyes as expected. “How many tablets do you need? You don’t even use them. What are you going to do with the other three we have?”
The truth stings. It stings real bad.
We have a Nexus 7 from 2014. I also bought an Amazon Fire 7″ tablet back in 2014. I also bought a NuVision Windows tablet for $60 on a deal.
These were all great deals at the time, but every tablet was a compromise:
- That Nexus 7 is still our best Android tablet… and we are in the Android ecosystem. I’d love to find a quality 10″ one for a similar price. You’d think in 4 years the technology would advance to that level, but it hasn’t.
- The NuVision Windows tablet is like walking your pet sloth throw a pile of sludge in the wintertime. It’s terrible. I think the only redeeming value is that I was able to grab some free music off Microsoft’s Music service before they shut down. I need to have a Windows 10 device and that’s the only thing that worked.
- Our old Amazon Fire is good for watching videos, but non-expandable 8GB isn’t a lot of media and doesn’t have the best resolution. It’s old technology and it was a bargain at the time. I looked to see what I could sell it for now and could maybe get $25-30. That gives you an idea of the quality of this tablet.
Enter the Amazon Fire HD 10… Amazon’s best tablet. It came out last year, so there is that aspect of it being old technology, too. However, a 10-inch, full HD (1920 x 1080) tablet is very different from the tablets above. In any case, a flagship 2017 tablet is going to be better than a 2014 bargain tablet. Maybe Amazon’s top tablet can’t be considered a true flagship, but maybe it is just a notch below.
My secret reason for wanting the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the Scratch Jr. application for our kids. It doesn’t run on a PC and I think it is the best way to get started with it. I tried to introduce the kids to it on our old Fire tablet, but it didn’t go well. They slogged through it with a very cramped display. They got quickly bored of fighting with it. I’m hoping this will work better.
The biggest problem is that the Amazon Fire tablet is locked into Amazon’s world. There are pluses and minuses with that. For example, this “unlocked” all the old books I’ve had over saved or bought really cheaply over the years. I always had access to them, but I was never going to seriously read them on my phone or my PC. I realize that I’m explaining why a bazillion people read eBooks, but this is a new-ish discovery for me.
The other big thing is free new books and media. I was able to set up my library’s Hoopla and Overdrive applications to borrow easily. There’s next-level cool about borrowing a book for free without leaving your couch.
It’s also the perfect device for watching Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or Amazon Prime. Those work extremely easily, but I was thinking about adding more complex stuff like Plex to access my DVR media. It’s almost like having an extra television around.
The downside is that it is also stuck in Amazon world. Not all of the Android applications are immediately available (though there are hacks to get them). I haven’t even set up a way to check my email on it. I want to learn to make it more of a family device with different accounts. I want to figure out how to get rid of the lock screen as well. I want the kids to be able to use it and not have me needing to unlock it for them. I could teach them the unlock code, which might be easier in the long run.
Last November, I had declared the Amazon Fire HD 10 an exceptional value at $100. Now, I can say from my own personal experience I’ve gotten over $100 worth of value.
The second reason I jumped on the pricing is that I figured, in the worst case, it is a decent digital photo frame. I’m still looking for the perfect app for that, but it is something that I appreciated out of my old HP Touchpad. I’ve been obsessed with Kallax “Cubbie” shelving from Ikea lately, and I think a digital photo frame in there would be great when the tablet isn’t actively being used.
I think it’s not bad for being part book reader, library, television, digital photo frame, and a kids’ supplemental education device. I’m sure that people paying much more than $300 for an iPad can say the same thing and a lot more. I personally like spending less money whenever possible and this works for me.
For latest pricing click here.
I’m struggling with how much to spend to not buy what would really work best. I bought an Fire 7 roughly two years ago for a great deal. I thought it was a great reader and would be good for other tablet functions. It was slow from the start and has gotten slower over time. Also, I used to buy ebooks from B&N, and you have to go through a hack to get their app on the Fire. I think when this gets much slower I’ll look at a refurb iPad mini, where I can easily read Kindle or Nook books, and have something I can at least use the browse the internet.
Lazy Man says
I think that’s probably not a bad plan. I like the idea of a 10″ tablet, but I’ve played with an iPad Mini a little bit and they seem great.
We got one at the last sale for $100 and it is awesome. I put Google Play on it and I can install pretty anything on it now. I love it. We’re a bit addicted to it and need to limit screen time now.
I think you should teach the kids the code. They will learn very quickly.
Alexa was fun for a few days. Did you teach you kid that?
Lazy Man says
I need to put Google Play on it. I just haven’t gotten around to it, because there’s enough already on it for all the screen time I want. I’m more interested in the user management so that it’s truly a device anyone in the family can use.
I have to figure out how to change the lock code. I wouldn’t want them to get access to all the parental control devices and things I have associated with it. It’s buried in the settings somewhere, probably just a 30 second Google search away.
I was one of the first to buy an Alexa. My son had a bit of a speech problem at the time and I thought it would be useful. After all, if Alexa could understand him, then nearly anyone could, right?
Instructions are easy to put Google play store on it. I bought a 128gb SD card and put all the media kids need for road trips.
I just ordered 2 more. I’ll give one to my mom so she can talk to us from Thailand. It’s a great deal.
Did you ever install Google Play?
Lazy Man says
I have a tab open to the instructions on how to install Google Play. Does that count ;-)? I’ll probably install it fairly soon as some Christmas gifts require an Android device and a tablet would work better than my phone.
I wish they ran a deal on the show mode dock. It’s crazy that it would almost half as much as the device itself.
I gifted one of these to myself for Christmas. Since I am pretty poor these days, I took advantage of the “make 5 equal payments” deal that amazon has been doing. My 4 year old kindle died so this is a major step up. I’m very pleased with this and use it every day.
Just submitted for a return today! No Google support out of the box plus a very outdated version of Android (5.0 when the current is 9.0) with no word of an update on the horizon and the fact they “watch” what you do with the device. Just ordered a 2019 version of the Samsung tab a 10.1, granted it’s a tick over 200 bucks, but will likely have a longer shelf life than the fire.
Lazy Man says
Support for Google costs Amazon money for licensing. I looked at how to add Google Play after the fact and it was really easy. I used this guide: https://www.howtogeek.com/232726/how-to-install-the-google-play-store-on-your-amazon-fire-tablet/.
According to Wikipedia the latest Fire OS is off of Android 7 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_OS#List_of_Fire_OS_versions. Unfortunately, the Fire HD 10 is still built off the older one, but I think it will be up to the latest Fire OS soon. I can’t think of anything in the latest OS that I’d need in the Fire – mostly because I keep it with the Fire presentation.
I think Google watches what you do on Android and the Samsung tab, so maybe just trading one company for another?
I think the Samsung tab is going to be a good device, but with two kids, I prefer to pay around $200 (getting the Fire’s for $100 on sale) vs. $450 for two of the Samsung Tabs.
Considering that a newer version of the Fire 10 HD will likely be released this year, will you consider it wise to buy this version at the $100 price?
Also do you know when exactly the newer version will be released?
Lazy Man says
I think they keep the newly revamped version at around $150. If it comes out before Black Friday, I think they may discount that new one to $135 or $140. I would be surprised if the new version comes out and it is available at the $100 price point.
I don’t know when the new version will come out. The current version does most of what I would want it to do with the Google Play store hack.
Keeping up with technology is not so easy but at least its cheap. I bought myself a tablet last year but it has been hijacked by the wife and kids. My wife is not into technology at all so im surprised by how much she uses it now. I guess because they are similar to a phone that anyone can use them. Ill have to take a look at this Amazon Fire one, be good to have a 2nd one in the house.
Jim Barr says
Thanks for the article refresh. My Father-in-law has transitioned to home hospice, and while his body is weak, his mind is still sharp. He can’t use the desktop computer like he used to to play solitaire games, so our plan is for him to us a Kindle Fire HD 10 and run a good solitaire app. I’m hoping that can quickly learn to manipulate the cards with the touchscreen without much difficulty. For $100, it’s worth a shot!
I’ve had an original Nexus 7 (2012 model), a cheap “Unbranded” (yes, that’s the brand name) 10? WIndows tablet. My most recent that I still use is a Kindle Fire HD 8 from 2016. I keep it stripped down, so it’s lean and surprisingly quick. I did add Google Play for Google Books, but otherwise it’s a great little tablet!