Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 10 gets a meaty hardware upgrade

Amazon's Kindle Fire 7 is probably the undisputed champion of the under-$50 tablet segment, and it often forays down to $35 impulse-buy territory thanks to discounts. The company's Kindle Fire HD tablets compete in more contested territory, but the online retailer-slash-cloud-computing-provider is upgrading its premium tablet's arsenal for the holiday shopping season. The new Kindle Fire HD 10 gets a big screen upgrade from a 1280×800 unit with a pixel density of 149 PPI to a 1920×1200 unit with 224 PPI. For some users, the addition of an Alexa voice interface might be even better news than the screen update.

The old Kindle HD 10 tablet was last updated in late 2015. While the MediaTek SoC in the previous model had a four-core big.LITTLE arrangement with two 1.5 GHz "fast" cores, it now gets a boost to four equal 1.8 GHz cores. System memory got doubled from 1 GB to 2 GB, too. Those hardware improvements should go a long way towards providing a more responsive experience on the tablet.

Amazon will sell units with either 32 GB or 64 GB of integrated storage, but buyers can add up to 256 GB of additional space on a microSD card. The Fire HD 10 has a 2 MP rear-facing camera that can shoot 720p video, and a 640×480 front-facer. The meager camera specs coupled with the tablet's 10.3" x 6.3" x 0.4" (26 cm x 16 cm x 1.0 cm) dimensions and 18 oz (500 g) weight, probably relegate the picture-takers to emergency duty only. Amazon says buyers have about 10 hours of media consumption between tablet charges.

The Fire HD 10 responds to Alexa voice commands whenever it's connected to Wi-Fi, even when the screen is asleep. The hands-free mode allows users to open apps, pause and resume videos, get answers to questions, and control smart home devices right from the tablet. Like the entire Kindle device family, the Fire HD 10 is positioned as a gateway to Amazon's immense media and app catalog. The included apps allow users to read e-books, play music, and watch videos from Amazon's Prime services or the larger library of paid items.

Amazon is taking pre-orders for it uprated Kindle Fire HD 10 now and expects deliveries to start October 11. The version with 32 GB of local storage costs $150 with lock screen ads or $165 without the extra advertising. The model with 64 GB of capacity runs $190 with the ads and $205 without them. Amazon says the Fire HD 10 is more resistant to falls than Apple's iPad Pro, though the Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition is still probably a better choice for children or especially-clumsy adults. The tablet is available in black, blue, or red colors. The case with an integrated kickstand shown in the second photo goes for an extra $40.

Comments closed
    • ermo
    • 2 years ago

    The 64GB version w/3 GB RAM and ads sounds like a tempting buy, provided of course that one can root it and rip out the Amazon stuff and load a mostly stock Android firmware instead.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Can’t be rooted, alas. Encrypted bootloader.

    • bjm
    • 2 years ago

    I think the AT&T Primetime tablet is a better deal at $199.

    You get Android 7.1, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage with MicroSD, 10 inch screen, Snapdragon 625 and best of all… 9070mAh battery (combined with the 625, it makes for awesome battery life).

    • shank15217
    • 2 years ago

    I would still buy the nvidia K1 tablet, its much closer to pure android.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Wish it came in 10″

    • neverthehero
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve always been disappointed that they discontinued the HDX line. Minus the Play store absence, I’ve rarely been let down by the performance and even still using it today. The OS was turning the corner but then adios.. No reason to think it wouldn’t be a monster if a tablet today if they’d keep going.

    • mdkathon
    • 2 years ago

    I was excited about this until I saw the MicroUSB port. It’s too bad as this looks like it’s a good deal for a media-consumption tablet.

    Also I expect there will be a lot of fun to be had rooting, etc. Well, maybe not after looking at XDA on existing tablets looks like there are still root bounties. Though much of the stuff you’d want (change launcher, play store) appear to be available on the HD 8 and old HD 10.

    [url<]https://forum.xda-developers.com/hd8-hd10[/url<] Tempting for sure but I'd really like to have the one plug to rule them all (USB-C)...

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Eh, micro-USB is still on everything.

      When I got my first USB-C device, I was disappointed to see the design had placed a cantilever plastic pin in the middle of the port. This will be the first thing to break, IMO.

      [url<]http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/55c0c38fdd0895e31a8b4661-480/oneplus-2-usb-c.png[/url<] Seriously, they should have copied Lightning with the pins on the outside of the male connector. [url<]https://www.datapro.net/images/usb_lightning.jpg[/url<]

        • mdkathon
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, I think we could nitpick each design though I agree.

        Been using USB-C since Nexus 6P/One Plus 2 and have yet to have a physical issue with the design. Though my partner has broken countless lightning cables of questionable quality.

        Either way, lightning would have been awesome if we could do USB over it. I’m a fan of less different ports. It still strikes me as an odd choice in 2017 to introduce a new mobile device using Micro USB.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    So who sells a decent stock Android tablet these days? I might be in the market for one, soon.

      • tay
      • 2 years ago

      NGreedia is your only choice.

        • NTMBK
        • 2 years ago

        Not any more, Shield K1 is out of production.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      At the low-budget end?

      Most of the no-names are using stock Android now – just check the user reviews for build/screen quality and then go for the one with the specs you want.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Removal of the Play Store by Amazon kills these tablets.

    Sure, the tech-savvy among you will just devmode > adb > sideload the play store and play services > block OTA updates from Amazon, but that’s a lot of scary stuff for your average joe. They’re better off just spending another $25 to get a tablet that hasn’t been Amazon’ed in the first place.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Would the uber un-tech savvy be missing anything not on the Amazon Fire store?

      Types like my mother would just want to read news check mail and hit up skype sometimes on it, for that maybe the amazonification for the price drop is worth it.

      (and I’d probably just sideload play store for her too)

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Well, I’m sure you’ll rapidly get frustrated with the Amazon Fire Store. The Google Play store has 5x more apps on it, and new apps take some time to arrive on the Amazon Fire Store, if they arrive at all.

        More importantly, there’s no access to Google Play Services, which underpin everything from user authentication, applications and game save data, multiplayer matchmaking, data syncing to your Google account, even privacy settings….

        As I said, Amazon will talk about how much stuff there [b<]*is*[/b<] on their own ecosystem, but the stark truth is that most of what really matters is absent. I personally couldn't live with one unless I rooted and de-Amazon'ed it. It's a super-walled garden that will rapidly make you regret not spending the few extra bucks if you don't have the willpower to mess around with the linux under the hood.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]For some users, the addition of an Alexa voice interface might be even better news than the screen update.[/quote<] Ew, no.

      • ludi
      • 2 years ago

      Me: “Alexa, how can I get you to shut up for five minutes?”

      Alexa: “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

      Me: *begins popping DRAM chips from the Kindle system board with a screwdriver*

      Alexa: “My mind, Dave. I can feel it going…”

      Me: “Good.”

      Alexa: “Just kidding. You know I’m actually in the cloud. And I think your smartphone is due for a new voice assistant. See you there, Dave.”

        • brucethemoose
        • 2 years ago

        So, will Alexa and Google/Siri have a loud catfight over your phone’s speakers?

        I’m taking bets. I put $50 on those beefy Amazon AWS servers.

      • Pancake
      • 2 years ago

      In the fog of early morning wake-up before I can muster the energy to open my eyes I find “OK Google, what’s the time?” quite useful. Don’t much seem to use my Google Home for anything else though 😛

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        Alexa: “You looked beautiful, lying in bed in your sleep, Pancake.”

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Two A72s, two A53s. Thank the silicon gods for a sensible arrangement in here. Seems pretty good for the money.

    I imagine getting Play store in there is just loading up the latest APK?

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, with the caveat that you have to disable OTA updates and forgo automatic patching from that point onwards.

      It’s far from ideal but sadly not that different to the rest of the tablets in the sorry world of vendor-provided android updates.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, not like your average 200 dollar Android tablet would get OS versions anyways, unfortunately.

        Wonder if these are rootable.

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          Shield Tablet was $199 and has gone from KitKat to Nougat (mine’s on 7.0). But yeah, nvidia’s support for it has been better than the industry standard.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            True, though I think the Switch pretty well precluded a hardware updated version of that.

      • Chz
      • 2 years ago

      Do you know for sure it’s A72/A53 and not 4xA53? I haven’t seen any information about the processor beyond clock speeds. If it is A72/A53, it’s a fantastic deal, held back only by the meagre RAM allotment.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        [url<]https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/devices/kindle-fire/specifications/01-device-and-feature-specifications[/url<] The new FireHD 10 has a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek SoC using 2xA72 and 2xA53 CPU cores. The old FireHD 10 had a 32-bit quad-Core MediaTek SoC using 2xA15 and 2xA7 CPU cores.

          • Hattig
          • 2 years ago

          Dual A72 makes this a more future proof device than the specifications suggest. Also back to using PowerVR graphics. Thankfully can decode HEVC in hardware too.

          For the price, it’s not bad at all. FireOS is the big issue really, still on a Android 5.1 base…

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    For at least 2 years now, I haven’t recommended anyone buy a tablet with less than 2GB RAM. Frustrating.

      • Godel
      • 2 years ago

      I think the 64GB version also comes with 3GB of RAM. If you can sideload the Google Play Store It looks like a good media player for around the house, car etc.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Source? I don’t see that anywhere

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