Amazon Fireplace HD 10 (2019) assessment: you get what you

Is there nonetheless a market for an inexpensive pill? For years, Amazon has argued that the reply is sure, with its constant lineup of low-powered — and low priced — Fireplace tablets. The most recent of those is the newly up to date Fireplace HD 10, which appears to make the case that there’s room out there for a bigger pill that isn’t an iPad. However does the $149 Fireplace HD 10 do sufficient to justify saving the cash in comparison with Apple’s more and more low-cost entry-level iPads?

To reply that, let’s take a look at what’s really new right here. It’s been two years since Amazon final up to date the Fireplace HD 10 pill, however wanting on the 2017 and 2019 fashions aspect by aspect, you’d be forgiven for getting them confused. Except for a brand new USB-C port (the primary, and up to now solely, product Amazon has upgraded to the trendy common charging normal) and some new colours, there are few exterior variations.

Good Stuff

  • Low cost
  • Nice display screen for the worth
  • Good for consuming Amazon content material
  • USB-C!

Unhealthy Stuff

  • No Google providers out of the field
  • Feels as low-cost because it prices
  • Gradual for a 2019 gadget

Internally, Amazon has made a couple of upgrades, although. The processor has been bumped to a brand new 2.0GHz octa-core processor (over the quad-core processor on the outdated mannequin) that Amazon says is 30 % sooner. Battery life has been improved, with the corporate claiming as much as 20 % extra display screen time. The 2019 mannequin helps as much as 512GB of expandable microSD storage (up from 200GB). And there’s “enhanced” Wi-Fi — in actuality, a second antenna that permits the pill to take care of a greater sign no matter whether or not you’re holding it in portrait or panorama mode.

None of those are dangerous upgrades, though there’s additionally nothing notably groundbreaking (except you, like me, are obsessive about what chargers your units use.) In case you personal the 2017 Fireplace HD 10, there’s little purpose to improve right here.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

As for the expertise of utilizing a Fireplace HD 10 in 2019, it’s largely the identical because it was again in 2017. The display screen remains to be a pleasant massive 10.1-inch 1080p show that appears much better than you’d count on for a $149 pill. Provided that 4K content material remains to be considerably uncommon on most streaming providers, it really works properly for many TV and film watching.

The precise {hardware} feels as low-cost as earlier than, with a toy-like plastic again that reminds you continuously that you simply’re holding an $149 pill. This does have the additional benefit of creating the Fireplace HD 10 light-weight, to the purpose that I didn’t even discover the added bulk in my bag.

The larger difficulty is that the Fireplace HD 10 simply feels gradual. It could very effectively be 30 % sooner than the 2017 mannequin, however it seems {that a} 30 % enhance on a price range pill processor nonetheless leaves you with a gradual processor on the finish of the day. It’s usually nice whenever you’re really in an app — scrolling and navigating to seek out one thing to observe is easy. Nevertheless it’s gradual to open apps. It’s gradual to modify between them. Swapping between the principle parental profile and a restricted youngster’s one is particularly gradual. It’s one thing to be anticipated, given the price range {hardware} right here, however don’t count on to make use of the Fireplace HD 10 to play the most recent and best video games or as a laptop computer substitute.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

As with all the opposite Fireplace tablets, the 2019 HD 10 nonetheless runs Android, albeit Amazon’s forked, Fireplace OS model. Which means Google providers — Google Play Retailer, YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, and extra — aren’t put in by default. You may get them again if you happen to’re prepared to leap via some hoops, however a Google pill this isn’t. The remainder of the fundamental apps are there: Hulu and Netflix and HBO and Disney+ and all the opposite main streaming apps are current and accounted for, however the total choice is much extra restricted than Apple or Google’s app shops. (Editor’s word: One specific annoyance for me is the dearth of the LastPass app, which suggests logging in to any of the streaming providers I take advantage of requires me to juggle my cellphone and the pill on the identical time. -Dan)

The extra Amazon providers you employ and subscribe to, although, the higher the Fireplace HD 10 is. Are you a Prime member? There’s extra video content material to observe. Pay for HBO or Starz via Prime Video Channels? They’ll present up too. Subscribe to Amazon’s Kindle Limitless ebook subscription? Extra books. Amazon’s FreeTime Limitless subscription? Tons of child-approved content material and parental controls to handle it.

In comparison with an iPad, the expertise isn’t even shut. Apple’s entry-level pill is dramatically sooner, encompasses a much better choice of apps, and doesn’t really feel like a toy. The one massive benefit Amazon has remains to be its best-in-class parental management and multi-user assist. In contrast to an iPad, the Fireplace HD 10 helps you to add different accounts for kids to make use of, full with content material restrictions and deadlines. Add in Amazon’s FreeTime Limitless service, which grants entry to a library of video games, apps, films, TV reveals, and books — all whitelisted to be age acceptable and with out in-app purchases — and it’s much more compelling as a household gadget.

For what you’re paying, and the virtually whole lack of significant competitors on the value level, it’s simple to name the Fireplace HD 10 the very best $150 pill round. However in a world the place Apple’s entry-level iPad is healthier and cheaper than ever earlier than, the query begins to grow to be: at what value level will Apple’s pill value earlier than it’s now not value coping with the Fireplace HD 10’s limitations? And with the comparatively lackluster upgrades within the 2019 Fireplace HD 10, mixed with early Black Friday gross sales dropping the ten.2-inch iPad right down to $250 already, it’s attainable we would already be there.

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