This Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review isn't going to describe the best tablet in the world for performance or screen quality. What you will find here is my take on an affordable feature-packed slate that all of the family can benefit from using.
Amazon regularly releases new models of its tablets, and while this version of the Amazon Fire HD 10 was released back in October 2023 it's the most current and up-to-date version to date. This time around its purpose wasn't to reinvent the wheel but to improve on what was already there.
If you already own the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) then I can safely say straight off the bat that it’s not worth the upgrade, but if you're looking to buy for the first time or are replacing a broken unit then the 2023 model is Amazon's best 10-inch tablet yet.
Amazon Fire HD 10: price & availability
You can buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 with 32GB of storage for £149.99 in the UK and $139.99 in the US at Amazon. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on the price because it’s likely to be discounted during sales events like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday. We’ve seen the price drop to less than £/$100 in the past!
Amazon Fire HD 10 review: what’s new?
The 2023 release of the Amazon Fire HD 10 isn’t drastically different from the previous 2021 model, but there have been a few changes worth mentioning.
Firstly, Amazon claims the processor is 25% faster. The weight has also dropped by 30g. Another change is to the front camera, which has been boosted from 2MP to 5MP.
But, as you can see from those points of difference, that's about your lot. It's a subtle change at best.
Amazon Fire HD 10 review: design & display
Given how affordable this tablet is, it’ll come as no surprise that the Amazon Fire HD 10 isn’t as polished as much pricier slates like the Apple iPad Air. But the simple stripped-back design has its perks.
Made from thick plastic, the tablet's casing has a sturdy feel, reassuring me that it would survive being knocked about a bit. I regularly take my tablet on long journeys, and thankfully I don't need to worry about this one getting damaged in my bag.
The back panel doesn’t have any fancy thrills: there’s an Amazon tick which blends into the design and a single camera lens. Flip the tablet over and the front camera is housed inside the top bezel. Around the frame there’s a power button, volume rocker, USB-C charging port, a headphone jack and an SD card slot.
Another difference between this and a high-end tablet is that the bezels on Amazon's slate are quite thick, but that gives you space to hold the tablet without obscuring any of the screen.
Unfortunately, you won’t find a fingerprint sensor here and there’s no facial recognition for unlocking this tablet. You’ll have to make do with a password or PIN to unlock. Otherwise, it’s a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
At 30g lighter than before, the Amazon Fire HD 10 totals about 433g – so it doesn’t weigh me down at all, and it's a good size for any backpack or tote bag.
The 10.1-inch screen gives you plenty of room to navigate the system, stream video, play games and read books. Don't expect to be able to do crazy-complex things here, though, but that's part of the point of this tab.
Thanks to the Full HD (1080p) resolution, the quality is good too. It’s sharp enough to watch videos or read ebooks, although the colours are a little bland. The screen is bright enough most of the time and for most uses, but if you take it outside on a sunny day then you’ll struggle to get a clear view because the screen is quite reflective.
The touchscreen works just as you’d expect – it's very responsive. It’s not so precise that you could produce detailed artwork, but in my experience every swipe and tap registered without any problems. For those who do want to use their tablet for notetaking or sketching, there is the option to buy a Made For Amazon Stylus separately.
Amazon Fire HD 10 review: performance & battery
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) will deliver solid performance for everyday tasks. It has a MediaTek MT8186 chipset under the hood alongside 3GB of RAM. You can choose whether to buy it with 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, although it’ll be worth remembering that either way you can expand it using an SD card.
Despite being faster than the previous model, I still found that as you flick through the apps, it’s noticeably slower than other more powerful slates. I also noticed that larger games have longer loading times than more performance-focused Android devices. This isn’t a tablet you would use for complex computing tasks or work, but for basic activities, it does a perfectly good job.
Amazon places the battery life at up to 13 hours and charge time at about 4 hours. To put that to the test, I downloaded and played an HD video continuously until the battery dried up, for which it lasted just under 8 hours in total. Then, charging it back up took about as long as expected – which, well, is a bit too long, really!
Amazon Fire HD 10 review: camera & speakers
Both the front and back cameras are 5-megapixel with 1080p HD video recording capabilities. The camera is noticeably better than it was before, which will have a big impact on the quality of video calls in particular.
However, it’s still not going to win any photography awards – so you’ll be most likely to use it for snapping photos or videos that you don’t plan to display anywhere.
The dual-integrated speakers are fit for purpose, producing loud and clear sound that will deliver TV shows and movies well. But because the audio lacks depth, and the bass performance lacks force, I wouldn't use this tablet to stream music without a pair of the best headphones or one of the best Bluetooth speakers.
Developed by Amazon for its devices, the Fire OS operating system powers the Fire HD 10. It comes loaded with all sorts of useful Amazon apps including Prime Video, Shop Amazon, Amazon Kids, Kindle and Amazon’s Appstore, all of which are well-designed apps that you will undoubtedly use all the time.
The only disappointment was the Silk Browser which isn’t as user-friendly as others, but that’s the only option available on this operating system. The Amazon Appstore isn’t anywhere near as big as the Google Play Store either, so you’ll have to accept that you won’t be able to get some apps. For example, it’s missing most Google apps, including Chrome, Maps and YouTube.
On a brighter note, Fire OS comes with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant built-in, and what’s great about Amazon Fire tablets is that they can double-up as an Echo Show smart display when you aren’t using them. By saying the wake word you can control your smart home, set timers, see the weather forecast or display your favourite family photos.
Another useful feature is the ability to create profiles for each family member, including a Child Profile where you can decide what content your kids can see, set educational goals, and impose time limits.
Amazon Fire HD 10 review: verdict
If you’re looking for a slate to use at work or for advanced creative tasks, then this won't be it because it’s simply not powerful enough and the operating system too closed. But if you want something simple and durable to stream TV shows and movies, read ebooks and control your smart home, then this ticks all of the boxes thanks to its decent-sized screen, sturdy build, and affordable price point.
While it may be lacking in some areas, the Fire HD 10 is packed to the brim with handy features, like the option to add profiles for each family member including your children. Added to that is the fact that it can double-up as an Alexa smart display when you aren’t using it, with all of the perks of a device like the Amazon Echo Show.
Generally speaking, the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) is a fantastic choice for those on the hunt for an affordable family-friendly tablet. It's not an upgrade-worthy tablet, but it's still a great tablet for all the basics it offers.
If you’re mostly concerned about keeping the price down then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is another tablet worth considering, although it is a little more expensive than the Amazon Fire HD 10. Running on Android, unlike Fire tablets, it comes with the Google Play Store and a wider array of app access. You’ll also get the S Pen stylus included in the box so you can use it for sketching and note-taking.
Other family-friendly tablets can also double up as a smart display, like the Google Pixel Tablet, which even comes with a dock so you can mount it in a living room, kitchen or other communal space. It's quite a different prospect, therefore, and also costs rather a lot more. So you might be better off buying Amazon's slate in multiple instead!