Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: cheap, reliable, versatile

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) is a great tablet for the whole family to use

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

This low-cost, large-screen tablet is the best you’ll get at this price. You will be limited by the Amazon Appstore, but the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) is great for streaming shows and reading books. Plus, it can be used as an Alexa smart display.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Intuitive, simple OS

  • +

    Hands-free Alexa built-in

  • +

    Decent battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Basic design

  • -

    Limited access to apps

  • -

    Disappointing cameras

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To sum up this Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: if you’re on the hunt for a cheap, versatile tablet then you’ve come to the right place. This is the best tablet for Amazon Prime members who don’t want to spend over the odds. 

Amazon is becoming well-known for the quality of its affordable tablets, they’re reliable, simple and can be used by the whole family. The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) is no different. The best part? You can use it hands-free with the Alexa voice assistant. 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: price and availability 

You can pick up the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) now directly from Amazon, with either 32GB of storage or 64GB, and either with the sponsored ads screen saver or without. 

In the US, without ads, it’s either $150 (32GB) or $205 (64GB). With ads, it’s $165 (32GB) or $190 (64GB). In the UK, without ads, it’s either £160 (32GB) or £200 (64GB). With ads, it’s £150 (32GB) or £190 (64GB). The tablet isn’t available yet in Australia. 

Take a look at the widgets on this page to see all of the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) deals across the web right now. You could also consider the previous generation, the Amazon Fire HD (2019) which often gets discounted. There's also a very good chance that this model will be included in this year's Amazon Prime Day deals

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: what’s new and features 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet (2021) builds on the 2019 version with a lighter build (now 465g as opposed to 504g), more RAM (it was 2GB and is now 3GB) and the newer version of Bluetooth for more reliable connectivity. The main camera system has been bumped up from 2MP to 5MP as well. 

Other than that, the 2021 tablet features the same 10.1inch LCD display, Android 9 Pie and the Mediatek MT8183 Helio P60T chipset. You get all the same features with Alexa built-in, giving you hands-free voice control, Alexa Skills, video calls to other Alexa devices and Alexa Show Mode. 

 Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: design and display 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

Simple in design, the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) comes in a Denim blue, Lavender purple or Olive green, and I tested out the black version. Measuring 247 x 166 x 9.2 mm and weighing 465g, you’ll definitely need two hands to hold it comfortably. 

The signature Amazon arrow is integrated into the matte plastic casing on the back, and there’s a tiny 5MP camera in the top left corner. It may not look as sleek as pricier tablets, but the design is functional and feels durable so should survive a few knocks and bumps, although it’s not water-resistant and did easily pick up fingerprint marks.

On the front, there’s a 10.1inch LCD display, the bezels are thicker than you’d get with more premium tablets like the Apple iPad Air (2020). They house a 2MP front-facing camera. Then, on the frame, there are the volume controls, power button, USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. To expand the storage, there’s also a MicroSD card slot. 

The Full HD screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1200p - it’s noticeably less sharp and slightly duller than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, but considering how much cheaper this tablet is, that’s really no surprise. Most people will use this to stream shows from Amazon Prime or Netflix, and for that purpose, the display is definitely clear and bright enough. It’s overall a really nice experience to use the screen, it reliably responded to every tap and swipe. 

To unlock the display, you’ll need to type in your pin or password every time, I’m afraid. You don’t get the luxury of a fingerprint sensor or facial recognition here. 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: performance and battery life 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

Under the hood, the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) has a MediaTek MT8183 Helio P60T chipset and 3GB RAM. It felt speedy enough to use and coped well with games like Angry Birds and Sonic Forces however this won’t be a tablet for serious mobile gaming by any means. 

Despite running on Android 9, you have to download apps from the Amazon Appstore because it uses the Fire OS skin. There’s still no access to the Google Play Store which means you are limited by the number of apps you can download. For instance, you can’t download Fortnite or even the Chrome browser. Other than that, the operating system feels intuitive and fine to use.

Amazon claims the battery will last up to 12 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching videos and listening to music. I tested it out by downloading and running a TV show on full brightness over two hours. In that time, it dropped by 28% suggesting that it would have lasted over 7 hours which is quite good. Then charging it back up again, it took about 3 hours to go from 0 to 100%.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: smart features, audio and cameras

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

Being an Amazon tablet, you get all of the benefits of their voice assistant, and you can activate it hands-free using the wake word 'Alexa'. That means that you can ask all of your burning questions, set timers and alarms and make video calls to other Alexa devices. You can also enable Show Mode by swiping down from the top of the screen and pressing the toggle at the top. It turns the tablet into a smart display, so Alexa will not only respond by voice but will serve up extra information too, like digestible graphics when you ask for the weather forecast.

If you plan to share the tablet with the whole family, you can create a Child Profile that lets you block in-app purchases and ads, set educational goals and choose time limits. You’ll also have access to the Parent Dashboard which gives you weekly and three-monthly reports to show you what content your child has been looking at in Fire for Kids.

The dual stereo Dolby Atmos speakers are loud and clear, it’s a little tinny to play music at the highest volumes, but it’ll be good enough for watching TV shows and movies. You can’t expect too much from the cameras, they’re good enough for video calls but not so much for taking photos, despite being an improvement on the previous generation. 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: verdict 

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

(Image credit: Amazon)

Affordable and versatile, the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) is a great choice for a family tablet. Steer clear if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, and you don’t plan to be, as the tablet itself is very focused on Amazon products.

It’ll be best suited to those with Prime membership who want a simple tablet for streaming TV, casual web browsing, light gaming and reading books. Having Alexa built-in is really handy, especially in Show Mode and the decent battery life is something worth knowing about too. 

Although it may not look or feel as sleek as more premium tablets, when it comes to value for money, it doesn’t get much better than the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021).

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review: also consider

If you’re buying a tablet solely for your kids, then you might want to consider the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition instead. Or, should you want to spend even less money on a tablet, your best bet is the Amazon Fire 7 tablet which costs less than $50 / £50. It’s a small tablet that provides basic functionality, but it does still have Alexa onboard. 

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for something more sophisticated, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 could be worth looking at. Because it’s the previous generation, you can find some great deals on it. 

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.