In 2021, Amazon released an important update to its 10-inch Fire tablet and an upgraded Fire HD 10 Plus model for those who want extra features — at a higher price, of course. Interested buyers seeking a new tablet should know exactly how the two models compare and what the key differences are. We’ve taken a close look, and our guide is ready with everything you need. Here’s how the Fire tablets stack up and which we recommend getting. Make sure to check out the latest Cyber Monday Tablet deals before making a decision.
|Size||9.73 x 6.53 x 0.36 inches (247 x 166 x 9.2mm)||9.73 x 6.53 x 0.36 inches (247 x 166 x 9.2mm)|
|Weight||16.4 ounces (465 grams)||16.5 ounces (468 grams)|
|Screen size||10.1 inches||10.1 inches|
|Screen resolution||1920 × 1200 pixels (224 pixels per inch)||1920 × 1200 pixels (224 ppi)|
|Operating system||Fire OS||Fire OS|
|Storage space||32GB, 64GB||32GB, 64GB|
|MicroSD card slot||Yes, up to 1TB||Yes, up to 1TB|
|Processor||Octa-core 2.0GHz||Octa-core 2.0GHz|
|Camera||Rear 5-megapixel, front 2MP||Rear 5MP, front 2MP|
|Bluetooth version||Bluetooth 5.0 LE||Bluetooth 5.0 LE|
|Ports||USB-C 2.0, microSD||USB-C 2.0, microSD|
|Battery||Up to 12 hours mixed use||Up to 12 hours mixed use|
|App marketplace||Amazon Appstore||Amazon Appstore|
|Network support||2.4 and 5GHz||2.4 and 5GHz|
|Colors||Black, Denim, Lavender, Olive||Slate|
Performance, battery life, and charging
The Fire HD 10 offers a significant upgrade with an octa-core processor that now sports 3GB of RAM, leading to a significant and welcome speed boost. However, the HD 10 Plus takes things even further with 4GB of RAM, an impressive spec for a 10-inch tablet that helps provide even higher speeds.
When it comes to batteries, however, the two models are the same, offering around 12 hours of mixed activities like web browsing, reading, listening to music, etc. Your personal results will vary, but there are no specific differences in either battery.
Charging, however, is another story. The Fire HD 10 Plus is equipped with wireless charging capabilities, and Amazon even offers a bundle with a wireless charger included. While the Plus is a little large for some wireless chargers, it’s a handy feature that means you don’t have to depend on a cable charger again. The HD 10 model offers no such option.
Design, display, and durability
If you have used one of the previous Fire HD 10 models, the new version will feel very familiar to you with its 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, 16.5-ounce weight, and general portability — it’s an average-sized tablet made to be used in landscape mode. The HD 10 Plus is the same when it comes to size but has a significant upgrade: It gets a “soft touch” finish designed to feel more comfortable on your fingers.
The displays themselves are identical on both models, so there’s not much to discuss there. However, if you are upgrading, note that the screen is about 10% brighter than previous models.
Also note that the HD 10 model is available in several different colors, but the HD 10 plus is somewhat puzzlingly only available in Slate. It’s not really a deal-breaker, but if you choose the Plus, you won’t get any color options.
If you plan on using your tablet camera, both Fire HD tablets offer a rear-facing 5MP camera and a front-facing 2MP camera for you to work with. There are no differences here, and neither is likely to make it onto our list of the best camera phones.
Software and updates
Amazon’s Fire tablets all run Fire OS, Amazon’s customized version of Android, and can respond to Alexa voice commands. The platform largely relies on the Amazon Appstore, and there is currently no access to other app stores from different platforms, so it’s a little limiting. Despite this shortcoming, it’s still easy and intuitive to use, so users of both tablets won’t have much to complain about.
The HD 10 and 10 Plus continue the tradition of allowing Prime members to access media like shows, films, books, and music on their tablets for free. Essentially, you really need to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of the performance. Fortunately, that’s unlikely to be a problem for interested buyers.
Fire OS ultimately remains the same on both models, so there isn’t much of a difference to discuss here at all.
Amazon offers a case, screen protector, and charger option for the Fire HD 10, although these can also be bought separately if desired. The case is a worthwhile purchase and allows you to prop the tablet up for easier viewing. Note that there is also a kid’s version of the Fire HD 10 (2021), as is tradition.
The HD 10 Plus, meanwhile, is bundled with a wireless charging dock, but you’ll have to purchase other accessories separately. Again, the Plus’s compatibility with wireless chargers shines here, and the wireless charging dock is a well-designed piece of tech that can also double as a stand when necessary.
Price and availability
The Fire HD 10 and the HD 10 Plus are both available May 26, with pre-orders opening about a month beforehand. You can purchase thefor $150 and the for $180.
Overall winner: Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus
For an extra $30, the Fire HD 10 Plus adds a smooth new finish, more RAM for better speeds, and wireless charging support, along with the option to bundle its own unique wireless charger and stand. That’s a significant upgrade for only $30, making this an easy recommendation for just about any buyer. Still, if you want to save the $30 — and that’s not an unfair ask at this price range — then there’s no shame in buying the Fire HD 10. But if you can spare the extra cash, the Fire HD 10 Plus is absolutely worth it.
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