Amazon today announced the latest generation Fire HD 10, its line of 10-inch tablets geared towards the budget conscious and parents with children. Included in the new lineup is an updated Fire HD 10 with 3GB of RAM and, for the first time, the Fire HD 10 Plus, which Amazon says is its most powerful 10-inch tablet to date featuring 4GB of RAM. Amazon also updated its Fire HD 10 tablets designed for young children.
Value play — The Fire HD tablets aren’t known for blowing any smoke, but with a starting price of less than half of Apple’s iPad, they’re not meant to either. The Fire HDs have plastic bodies, not aluminum, and their MediaTek processors are never the latest and greatest.
These aren’t high-end tablets, but they can serve a purpose. Amazon is really the only company targeting the cheap end of the market with something that can do all the essentials at a price affordable enough that you can buy one for lounging around the house or one to give to the kids without worrying too much about them breaking it.
With Show Mode, the Fire HD 10 can even be transformed into a smart home hub like the Echo Show, and you can use hands-free Alexa to do things like initiate a video call or throw on some TV show in your kitchen. It’s the only product where Amazon can get people using Alexa from anywhere.
The new, standard Fire HD 10 has a 1080p display that’s 10 percent brighter than the previous generation. Amazon says it’s also been updated with a lighter design and a stronger screen made from aluminosilicate glass. For $30 more, the Fire HD 10 Plus gets a soft-touch finish and the addition of wireless charging with Qi-certified charges.
Tailored offerings — Interestingly, Amazon is going to offer new Productivity Bundles for the Fire HD 10 and 10 Plus. For $219, the company throws in a detachable keyboard case and a 12-month subscription to Microsoft’s 365 productivity suite with 1TB of OneDrive storage. Ten inches is a pretty small screen area to work on — anyone who’s used the 10.9-inch iPad Pro knows it feels a bit cramped if you’re trying to use it for serious text editing. But hey, this is could work for children in school.
More for the youngsters — Speaking of children, Amazon has leaned heavily into the demographic with the Fire tablets, releasing durable models and an Amazon Kids+ subscription service that gives kids access to kid-friendly content like books, movies, TV shows, and games. Today, Amazon is releasing improved versions of the tablets including the updated Fire HD 10 Kids with improved speeds, and a new Fire Kids Pro, which comes in three sizes. The latter is supposed to make older children from ages 6-12 feel like they’re growing up, as it gives them a bit more freedom than the standard Fire HD 10 Kids.
With the Fire Kids Pro, children can access features like video calling and a more open web experience. The standard Fire HD 10 Kids tablets are pretty locked down in comparison. Both tablets come with protective cases, but the Fire Kids Pro is supposed to look “cooler” in general to help older kids feel a bit more grown-up.
It’s unclear how well tablets are selling for Amazon as the company lumps sales in with other more popular devices.
Pre-orders open now — The Fire HD 10 is available for pre-order today for $149 with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. The HD 10 Plus is $179. Either tablet can be purchased in the productivity bundle for the same price of $219, weirdly. They’ll all ship on May 26.
On the kids’ side, the Fire Kids Pro starts at $99 for the Fire 7 Kids Pro, $139.99 for the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro, and $199 for the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro. The standard Fire HD 10 Kids is $199. These too, are all available for pre-order today and will ship May 26.