The "1-Minute" Review
- Only one color option
- Google Apps still not allowed
- Dated chipset
- Dim display
The new Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus promises to offer the best tablet experience from Amazon’s popular budget-friendly line of tablets. But with so much competition in the affordable tablet market, how does it stack up?
Not a lot has changed about the design model for the new Fire. Reviewers said that the bezels seem smaller, and the back is made of a softer, more matte finish. While the finish does well to hide fingerprints, there is no mistaking the Fire HD 10 Plus is a big rectangular piece of plastic.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus offers the biggest screen in the Amazon Fire line, with the resolution to match. Reviewers commented that it was adequate, keeping up with most full HD Android tablets and falling just short of the Apple iPad 10.9 in terms of the pixels available.
But the resolution is only part of the story. Reviewers frequently complained the screen lacked brightness and vibrance. It also doesn’t do super well under direct lighting. This makes sitting next to a window or outside while using your tablet a problem.
While the Amazon Fire HD 10 and the HD 10 Plus have most things in common, one of the things they don’t is the Fire HD 10 Plus’ ability to turn into an Echo Show and provide access to hands-free Alexa voice commands. When docked, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus will act as an Echo Show automatically.
There is one extra GB of RAM to the HD 10 Plus, but reviewers said they couldn’t easily spot the difference. This tablet was never meant to play the latest games at full settings or edit 4K video, but if you’re looking for something for casual games or light creative work, it will do the job -- albeit with slow load times and adequate performance at best.
Software & Storage
The Android variant used in the Fire HD 10 Plus still doesn’t support Google Apps. So you’re limited to the options in Amazon’s App Store instead. Fortunately, it has most of the major apps, so unless you’re looking for the odd niche app or independent apps, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you need.
The Fire HD 10 Plus comes equipped with 32 and 64GB options for storage with a MicroSD option for expansion. Unless you’re a light user, the 32GB model will likely make using the storage expansion necessary.
The camera set for the HD Plus is nothing to write home about, but tablet photography isn’t exactly a priority for most manufacturers. The cameras can capture mediocre photos for reminders or notes and offer enough detail for Zoom and other video calls as long as the lighting is good.
Reviewers were pleased with the battery life. Amazon claims 12 hours on a charge, and reviewers confirmed this. In some cases, with light use, the tablet could idle for days with charge to spare.
Tablet speakers only get so good -- especially at this price. Reviewers called the speakers tinny, highlighting a noticeable lack of bass. However, the Dolby Atmos support provides a wide, open sound stage. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack -- an increasingly uncommon feature on mobile devices.
The optional charging dock for the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus allows you to use the tablet as an Echo Show and wirelessly charges your tablet in about 4 hours. It can also double as a stand for watching movies or researching.
There’s also an option for a bundle with a Bluetooth keyboard that comes with Microsoft 365 for a reasonable price, and reviewers were very pleased with that for light word processing and productivity use. However, there are no Fire-specific keyboard accessories made, so it’s mostly a matter of finding a third-party keyboard you love.
Specs at a Glance
- Matte plastic design
- 10.1-inch display
- MediaTek MT8183 Helio P60T processor
- 4GB of RAM
- Fire OS 7
- 32/64GB of storage with MicroSD expansion slot
- 5MP and 2MP front-facing cameras
- 10-12 hour battery life
- Dolby Atmos
- Bluetooth keyboard & Microsoft 365 bundle
- Official Amazon charging dock
The Bottom Line
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus will likely not be for everyone. It in no way competes with Apple iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablets in terms of specs. That said, it costs half as much as either of them. So if you’re looking for a large tablet and price is a priority, it’s capable enough for small-time gaming, entertainment, and reading. Just know it has its limitations.
The Guardian states, “The 2021 Fire HD 10’s revamped design and reasonable performance have done just enough to keep Amazon at the top of the budget tablet pile.”
Tech Radar says, “The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is a great tablet, with a few caveats. For fans of Amazon's apps and services, and affordable hardware, it's going to hold a lot of appeal – just make sure you're aware of the compromises it makes before going ahead and purchasing it.”
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