What are Amazon Fires good for? The short answer is tablets and TV. Amazon's Fire brand is used for its tablets, which began as budget bargains and have evolved into very impressive devices suitable for all kinds of people and uses, and for its TV streaming hardware such as its Fire TV sticks.
Here's what each kind of Fire excels at.
Amazon Fire tablets
With the latest upgrade to the smallest Fire tablet, the entire Fire tablet range delivers decent performance for very low prices. Amazon is constantly refreshing the best Amazon Fire deals, so you can usually expect to save quite a bit on at least one of the current crop.
At the time of writing Amazon makes Fire tablets in three sizes – seven inches, eight inches and ten inches – and in three different guises: standard Fire tablets, Kids Edition Fire tablets with tough cases and child-friendly software, and Fire Plus tablets, which have higher storage capacities and wireless charging. Every model is priced to sell: the 10-inch, 32GB Fire HD10 Plus is currently £189, or £179 if you don't mind ads on the Lock Screen.
If you're looking for the best cheap tablets, the Fires should absolutely be on your shortlist: they're superb value for money and they're more capable than you might expect, so for example the HD10 Plus runs Microsoft Office. And the Kids editions are brilliant, not least because they come with a no-fuss replacement guarantee that covers accidental damage as well as hardware failure.
As with all Amazon own-brand kit, don't pay full RRP: if there isn't a deal now one will be along shortly.
Amazon Fire TV sticks
The other kind of Amazon Fire is the TV streamer, which turns any TV into a smart TV with Amazon Prime Video and lots of third-party TV apps including Netflix and iPlayer. It's important to note that other subscription services aren't included in the price, so if you want to watch Netflix via your Fire TV Stick you'll need to sign up for a subscription.
Early models were a bit underpowered but the current range is excellent and there are always Fire TV Stick deals to cut the already low cost even further. Just make sure you get the right one: there's an HD stick as well as a 4K one, and a super-cheap Lite version that still delivers HD but doesn't control your TV. I'd recommend buying the best one you can afford: right now my pick would be the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.