A superb and inexpensive pill

0

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet

Todd Haselton | CNBC

I have been testing the new Fire HD 10 Plus tablet from Amazon for the past few days. It started shipping to customers earlier this week and starts at $ 179.99, just over half the price of the entry-level iPad.

The Fire HD 10 Plus is Amazon’s highest quality tablet and has a few more features like additional RAM and wireless charging that make it a better buy than the regular Fire HD 10 for $ 149.99.

Unlike Apple, Amazon’s tablet business doesn’t generate a significant majority of the company’s revenue. Instead, they are just portals to Amazon’s content and services. They’re compelling because they’re cheap, but you can watch movies, stream music, and read books. They’re great when that’s all you need in a tablet. Still, I think most people who can save a little longer find that they can do a lot more with an iPad.

What you need to know about the new Fire HD 10 Plus.

What is good

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus

Amazon

If you’re like many people who just want a tablet to browse some basic games, read Kindle books, stream Netflix and Amazon Prime videos, or music from services like Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music and others, the Fire HD 10 Listening to Plus (or even the entry-level Fire HD 10) is a great choice.

It’s lightweight and has a large 10.1-inch display that’s crisp, bright, and colorful. The tablet is made of plastic, but the soft-touch finish helps make it feel a little less cheap. However, you won’t find any metal or other high-end design features that you would get on an iPad.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet

Todd Haselton | CNBC

I like the stereo speakers that play audio from both sides of the tablet instead of just one side, so the sound is balanced when you watch movies in landscape mode. They’re fine for playing music – for example, I like to listen to classical music while reading at night – and they get loud enough.

Amazon increased the RAM to 4GB this year, which means it feels a little faster when running applications at the same time. It didn’t really feel sluggish to me, even though I was running Netflix on one side of the screen while browsing the news on the other side.

Another bonus you don’t get with an iPad: there’s a microSD card slot to expand storage so you can download more movies, photos, and music to listen to when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. For this reason, I recommend buying the cheapest 32GB model instead of the 64GB model, as microSD cards are cheap and easy to slip into the side.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus on wireless charging station.

Amazon

Amazon offers wireless charging in case you want to purchase yet another optional accessory, the wireless charging station, which brings the total cost to $ 219.99. It works well. You simply place the tablet on the dock and it starts charging. You won’t find this on an iPad either.

There is a unique “Show Mode” and transforms the Fire HD 10 Plus into an Amazon Echo Show with a screen. This is great if you are using the wireless charging base. It shows you recipes, the weather and acts as an echo when you say “Hey Alexa” nearby. It’s handy if you’re an Echo household already and want to turn the tablet into a hands-free assistant in places like the kitchen. I mostly only watched movies while it was charging on my desk.

I also like that Amazon’s home screen shows everything you want quick access to: the book you already read, the last TV show you saw, books you might want to read, apps you recently opened and the weather. It’s super comfortable. And you can easily control smart home devices like your lights and cameras if you’ve already connected them to an Amazon Echo. As expected, it just goes very well with Amazon’s products and services.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus

Amazon

Amazon also launched a $ 49.99 Bluetooth keyboard case for its tablets this year. It’s included in a new productivity pack with the regular – not plus – model of the tablet for $ 219. This bundle also offers a year of Microsoft Office worth $ 69.99. Amazon sent me the keyboard, which also works with the Plus model. It’s decent for a $ 50 keyboard and works well for things like typing in Microsoft Word. But the keys are a bit cramped and the backlight lacks, so I often only used a computer when doing real work.

Finally, the battery life was excellent in my tests. Amazon promises a usage time of up to 12 hours. I started playing a movie on a loop at 10 a.m. at about 50% brightness and at 10 p.m. it was still running on about 28% battery life. So it exceeds Amazon’s promise in this regard. Speaking of the battery, I like that Amazon continues to use the more modern USB-C charging port, the same charger you may already be using on your computer or Android phone.

What is bad

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus

Amazon

The regular $ 329 iPad is a lot more bang for your buck when you want access to lots of apps. The Amazon AppStore is still pretty bare compared to the Apple App Store. Sure, you get all of the major streaming apps like HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, and other popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and more.

But others are missing. For example, you won’t find Slack. None of the Google apps like YouTube, YouTube TV, Gmail, Chrome, Maps and others are there. Instead, you’ll have to rely on Amazon’s far inferior Silk browser to surf the web (unless you want to hack something to get Google’s services) consider this if you feel like it that this could be a good option for your kids for homework: Are the apps the school needs supported at all?

Speaking of browsers, it’s still not very good. You can use Chrome, Safari, or Edge on your computer or phone. But all of your saved websites and passwords in these browsers will not be carried over here. So you have to remember all your logins for everything. It’s fine if, for example, all you want to do is go to CNBC and read the latest news. However, it’s not a good thing if you want to stay in sync with the browser you use on other devices like your phone or computer. iPads support all of these browsers and stay in sync better.

And other things are missing that just seem strange. Amazon’s new game streaming service Luna, which works on Android, iPhone, PCs and Amazon Fire TVs and is actually quite a lot of fun, is not supported by the tablet. Hopefully this will be added soon as you would expect an Amazon service to work on a tablet dedicated to Amazon’s media offerings.

The cameras aren’t that great either. The front-facing 2 mega-pixel camera is fine for a quick video chat, but it’s not very sharp and videos / photos are too dark. The same goes for the rear-facing camera.

Should you buy it?

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet

Todd Haselton | CNBC

If, like many other people, you really just want a tablet to watch Netflix on the couch, browse any of Amazon’s services and don’t worry about accessing certain apps like Slack for work or something from Google then make sure that the Fire HD 10 Plus is a fine tablet. And I think that’s exactly what Amazon is aiming for: people who just want something simple and affordable to watch movies and read books about. In fact, I recommend saving some cash and buying the $ 149.99 model, which has a little less RAM and doesn’t offer wireless charging, but still performs well and comes in three additional colors.

However, if you’re looking for a tablet with a far better browser, more apps, and a higher quality design, then just save on the iPad for $ 329. I know it costs a lot more, but you can do more with it too.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.