Compared: The 2019 Amazon Fire HD 10 versus the 10.2-inch 7th gen iPad

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 8
On Monday, Amazon updated the Fire HD 10 tablet line with a new processor and USB-C. It can be a compelling alternative to the 10.2-inch seventh generation iPad, but only if you solely want to consume media on it.

Amazon's newly updated Fire HD 10
Amazon's newly updated Fire HD 10


The short version is Apple's 10.2-inch iPad is a better buy than Amazon's newly updated Fire HD 10 tablet. Only, the very slightly longer version is that the Fire HD 10 is half the price.

Apple's entry-level iPad starts at $329, whereas the Amazon Fire HD 10 can be bought for $149.

It's the perfect illustration of the cost being just one part of the equation. True, it is invariably going to be an urgently important part, and maybe even an overriding one, as if you can't afford an iPad, all other comparisons are irrelevant.

Equally, though, if you can afford an iPad and you buy the Amazon tablet solely because it's cheaper, you've not saved money. Instead, you've thrown cash away, because when you need an iPad, an Amazon Fire HD 10 is not going to cut it.

Apple iPad (2019)Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
Price (cheapest)$329$149
Screen size (ins)10.210.1
Resolution2160 x 1620 at 264ppi1920 x 1200 at 224ppi
Memory3GB2GB
ProcessorA10 Fusion Quad-core 2.34GHzOcta-core 2GHz
Capacity32GB, 128GB32GB, 64GB with microSD expansion
Stylus SupportYesNo
Dimensions (ins)9.8 x 6.8 x 0.2910.3 x 6.3 x 0.4
Weight (ounces)17.1217.8
Rear Camera8MP2MP
Video recording1080p720p
Front Camera1.2MP2MP
BiometricTouch IDNone
SpeakersStereoDual stereo, Dolby Atmos


Amazon is narrowing the gap and the latest update for the Fire HD 10 is a big improvement. Amazon claims longer battery life and generally better performance from its new 2GHz octa-core processor. We'll have to wait to learn how that works in the real world, but one thing that's undeniably better is that the tablet now has a USB-C power connector.

That means it will charge faster, and also that we're finally rid of the old micro-USB cable. Even so, choosing between them is less about specifications and more about use cases.

Where the new Fire 10 HD wins

There is one more thing about the cost. Even though the newly updated Amazon Fire HD 10 costs $150 and that's not an amount you'd casually throw away, you'd be somewhat less happy if you broke a $329 iPad.

So, you could be a bit rougher with your Fire HD 10, just about. Amazon expects something like this, though, as it is also going to offer a Fire HD 10 Kid's Edition. It's the same device, but for $50 extra you get a protective case, two years of accidental damage cover, and one year's subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids.

Unquestionably, you could use the new Fire HD 10 as a family tablet, though the iPad would do more for everyone, and it's built more sturdily. Where the Fire HD 10 wins out is in using Amazon software or services. If you want to watch Amazon Prime video or read Kindle books, this tablet was explicitly built for you.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet
The new version looks identical to the old one, but has a faster processor inside.


It's also running a fork of Android, which means there's an app store with a great many Android apps that the table can run, albeit from Amazon's own store and not Google Play. Plus, it has voice-activated Alexa.

Amazon hasn't improved the screen this time, as it remains a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 pixels display. It has added a Picture-in-Picture mode so you can watch videos as you work, which is a nice plus point.

There are also claims of an improved battery life, rising from 10 hours to 12, so you can work more. Plus the processor has been updated from a quad-core 1.8GHz to an octa-core 2.0GHz. It might not sound spectacular, and it isn't startling, but at least it is moving in the right direction.

Where the iPad wins

Everywhere else. Seriously, we came into this thinking that the tablets were roughly the same size, they might be very different in their operating systems and apps, but they were broadly similar. It was going to be a pretty fine line between which device would suit which people.

If you want to do any actual work, like writing or editing, you need to choose the iPad. We're less concerned with how Amazon's app store lacks the giant number of titles that regular Android users can have, and more with how it hasn't got Microsoft Word. You can cross-load apps on the Amazon tablet, but it is a pain.

It's not a surprise that it lacks, say, Pages, but Word is an extraordinary omission when Microsoft's app is on regular Android.

Apple's iPad is like a superset of the Amazon Fire HD 10. Everything you can do on the Amazon device, the iPad can do, and it does more.

Then if Kindle books do always look best on Amazon Kindle devices -- the Fire HD 10 included -- than on the iOS Kindle app, the iPad wins in the looks and quality department every other way.

The HD in Fire HD 10 does still stand for High Definition, and Amazon has improved the display over the years. However, the 10.1-inch screen is 1,920 by 1,200 pixels.

In comparison, the iPad's screen is 2,160 x 1,620 pixels.

Creation, not consumption

The iPad has often been criticized for being solely about reading or viewing rather than creating anything, but that must be by people who haven't seen the Fire HD 10. Any tablet that's lightweight and around the 10-inch mark is going to be good for reading and viewing. Yet even so, the iPad wins for the sheer visual quality of what you're watching.



You can't easily get away from the fact that you could buy two Amazon tablets for the cost of one iPad. But, equally, you can't get away from how if you placed a Fire HD 10 next to an iPad, you'd buy the iPad.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is available to preorder now, and will ship on Oct. 30.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    Just having USB-C doesn't mean a device will charge faster.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    I'm sure the iPad is better but the article seemed to be more about assertions of superiority rather than presenting examples (save noting the absence of Word). For example, how was email on the Fire? Skype? Maps? I assume that music and videos are about the same but these non-work uses of a tablet seem worth reviewing.
    hmurchisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I'm sure the iPad is better but the article seemed to be more about assertions of superiority rather than presenting examples (save noting the absence of Word). For example, how was email on the Fire? Skype? Maps? I assume that music and videos are about the same but these non-work uses of a tablet seem worth reviewing.
    Your questions are reasonable but considering the Fire HD 10 doesn't ship until 10/30 my guess is AI didn't have a hands-on unit to compare. This article seems like mostly a comparison of the specs on paper.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    I bought the previous version for $99. I was very pleased with myself, as I'd have a tablet to take traveling without having to worry about losing it. Traveling with my expensive iPad Pro made me very nervous. Turns out is was just a waste of $99. The volume was too low, the screen had a terrible light leak that drew my eye away from any movie I was trying to watch. It was too dim to see in a bright room. It was painfully slow. Almost felt broken sometimes waiting for the home screen icons to appear. I hated it so much.

    The article states that if you don't have enough money then you don't have a choice between this and the iPad. This is true, but I think a third option is to put the extra $150 toward a better phone. I found the Kindle device to be so horrible to use, I used my phone instead. Maybe the faster chip will make this revision worth it, but I doubt it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    I'm sure the iPad is better but the article seemed to be more about assertions of superiority rather than presenting examples (save noting the absence of Word). For example, how was email on the Fire? Skype? Maps? I assume that music and videos are about the same but these non-work uses of a tablet seem worth reviewing.
    Your questions are reasonable but considering the Fire HD 10 doesn't ship until 10/30 my guess is AI didn't have a hands-on unit to compare. This article seems like mostly a comparison of the specs on paper.
    Thanks. That makes sense.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    I bought the previous version for $99. I was very pleased with myself, as I'd have a tablet to take traveling without having to worry about losing it. Traveling with my expensive iPad Pro made me very nervous. Turns out is was just a waste of $99. The volume was too low, the screen had a terrible light leak that drew my eye away from any movie I was trying to watch. It was too dim to see in a bright room. It was painfully slow. Almost felt broken sometimes waiting for the home screen icons to appear. I hated it so much.

    The article states that if you don't have enough money then you don't have a choice between this and the iPad. This is true, but I think a third option is to put the extra $150 toward a better phone. I found the Kindle device to be so horrible to use, I used my phone instead. Maybe the faster chip will make this revision worth it, but I doubt it.
    Or buy a prior generation iPad? We have some ancient iPads that still seem to work fine for email, video, news, etc.
    fasterquieterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    I bought the previous version for $99. I was very pleased with myself, as I'd have a tablet to take traveling without having to worry about losing it. Traveling with my expensive iPad Pro made me very nervous. Turns out is was just a waste of $99. The volume was too low, the screen had a terrible light leak that drew my eye away from any movie I was trying to watch. It was too dim to see in a bright room. It was painfully slow. Almost felt broken sometimes waiting for the home screen icons to appear. I hated it so much.

    The article states that if you don't have enough money then you don't have a choice between this and the iPad. This is true, but I think a third option is to put the extra $150 toward a better phone. I found the Kindle device to be so horrible to use, I used my phone instead. Maybe the faster chip will make this revision worth it, but I doubt it.
    Or buy a prior generation iPad? We have some ancient iPads that still seem to work fine for email, video, news, etc.

    Agreed... buying a used iPad for the same price as this new Kindle is still going to give you a better all-around experience. For the simple fact that Apple's devices are extremely well made and last a fairly long time... And retain their value much longer as well.
    edited October 7 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    I bought the previous version for $99. I was very pleased with myself, as I'd have a tablet to take traveling without having to worry about losing it. Traveling with my expensive iPad Pro made me very nervous. Turns out is was just a waste of $99. The volume was too low, the screen had a terrible light leak that drew my eye away from any movie I was trying to watch. It was too dim to see in a bright room. It was painfully slow. Almost felt broken sometimes waiting for the home screen icons to appear. I hated it so much.

    The article states that if you don't have enough money then you don't have a choice between this and the iPad. This is true, but I think a third option is to put the extra $150 toward a better phone. I found the Kindle device to be so horrible to use, I used my phone instead. Maybe the faster chip will make this revision worth it, but I doubt it.
    Or buy a prior generation iPad? We have some ancient iPads that still seem to work fine for email, video, news, etc.
    Perhaps, though you'd have to go pretty far back to only spend $150. You'd end up with an iPad Air or iPad Air 2 most likely. I would take the Air 2 over the kindle. Not sure about the original Air. That no longer gets software updates and the A7 was unimpressive on that device in 2013.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    I bought the previous version for $99. I was very pleased with myself, as I'd have a tablet to take traveling without having to worry about losing it. Traveling with my expensive iPad Pro made me very nervous. Turns out is was just a waste of $99. The volume was too low, the screen had a terrible light leak that drew my eye away from any movie I was trying to watch. It was too dim to see in a bright room. It was painfully slow. Almost felt broken sometimes waiting for the home screen icons to appear. I hated it so much.

    The article states that if you don't have enough money then you don't have a choice between this and the iPad. This is true, but I think a third option is to put the extra $150 toward a better phone. I found the Kindle device to be so horrible to use, I used my phone instead. Maybe the faster chip will make this revision worth it, but I doubt it.
    I always find it interesting how people can have two completely different experiences with the same device.  Through careful stacking of discounts, I got my Fire HD 10 for $79.  While I also have an iPad Pro 12.9 (latest version), I find the Fire HD 10 is just fine.  No issues playing media, it's zippy (not an overpowered supercomputer like the iPad Pro 12.9 is), and really, just does what I need when I need a cheap tablet.  Even added Google Play Store to it.  

    Each device has a purpose and I do't expect my $79 Fire HD 10 to be as beautiful and lightning fast and buttery smooth as my $1000 iPad Pro.  But I can stick a 200GB SD card in the Fire tablet and load it up with movies or use the PLEX client app and it works just fine.

    edited October 7
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,989administrator
    cpsro said:
    Just having USB-C doesn't mean a device will charge faster.
    No, but having full USB-C PD not reliant on Lightning does.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,989administrator

    I'm sure the iPad is better but the article seemed to be more about assertions of superiority rather than presenting examples (save noting the absence of Word). For example, how was email on the Fire? Skype? Maps? I assume that music and videos are about the same but these non-work uses of a tablet seem worth reviewing.
    Your questions are reasonable but considering the Fire HD 10 doesn't ship until 10/30 my guess is AI didn't have a hands-on unit to compare. This article seems like mostly a comparison of the specs on paper.
    When we get one, we'll be discussing it in more detail.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    I'd assume most people here would lean to Apple for most decisions, but I'd really recommend this tablet if you don't need a real workhorse tablet (and I don't think most people do). From a media consumption standpoint it blows iPads out of the water. Hands down. Is the picture better on an iPad? Sure. But when I weigh that vs the huge pain in getting movies and TV shows onto an iPad it's not even a close decision. Around the house the iPads get used occasionally but they never leave the house, while we wouldn't dream of traveling without our fire tablets. Kids have 8s and we have 10s. It's a breeze to transfer Plex movies to an SD card and pop it into the fire tablets. I often download videos from YouTube for the kids and put them on their tablets too. Super easy. 
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 13 of 23
    hattighattig Posts: 832member
    If you have a child who will be using the tablet, the Fire 10 with the kid stuff added on is a big bonus. Also for media consumption it works fine. Issues IMO are that Android/FireOS have weak tablet apps (even the better apps like browsers, often websites will appear in mobile form, not desktop) where you want to be doing real work. Ultimately, for $180 (over twice the price) more, the iPad is a far better overall device - better screen ratio, better hardware everywhere, and better for real work. If you can afford the iPad then get it instead of this, even that A10 will beat this octa-core A55 (I would presume that's the configuration). And that's where this comparison article is weird. The price points are so disparate it's hardly a valid comparison, unlike the more expensive Samsung tablets that might be more powerful than this device, but still have the Android Tablet Ecosystem problems, making an iPad victory easy, and fair.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    I suspect Microsoft, now they have stated they no longer see operating systems as important, will be moving to cosy up with the company that beat them to stealing iOS and brining Android versions of all their office apps out as mobile versions for devices such as these.
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,064member
    I'd assume most people here would lean to Apple for most decisions, but I'd really recommend this tablet if you don't need a real workhorse tablet (and I don't think most people do). From a media consumption standpoint it blows iPads out of the water. Hands down. Is the picture better on an iPad? Sure. But when I weigh that vs the huge pain in getting movies and TV shows onto an iPad it's not even a close decision. Around the house the iPads get used occasionally but they never leave the house, while we wouldn't dream of traveling without our fire tablets. Kids have 8s and we have 10s. It's a breeze to transfer Plex movies to an SD card and pop it into the fire tablets. I often download videos from YouTube for the kids and put them on their tablets too. Super easy. 
    Why would it be more difficult to download movies and tv shows to an iPad? You just download them to the device, you don’t even need a SD card.

    I could see where the cost of Fire tablet would make travel a little more relaxed. You drop one or lose it oh well. Just get another one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member
    hattig said:
    If you have a child who will be using the tablet, the Fire 10 with the kid stuff added on is a big bonus. Also for media consumption it works fine. Issues IMO are that Android/FireOS have weak tablet apps (even the better apps like browsers, often websites will appear in mobile form, not desktop) where you want to be doing real work. Ultimately, for $180 (over twice the price) more, the iPad is a far better overall device - better screen ratio, better hardware everywhere, and better for real work. If you can afford the iPad then get it instead of this, even that A10 will beat this octa-core A55 (I would presume that's the configuration). And that's where this comparison article is weird. The price points are so disparate it's hardly a valid comparison, unlike the more expensive Samsung tablets that might be more powerful than this device, but still have the Android Tablet Ecosystem problems, making an iPad victory easy, and fair.
    I think we can now turn the old desktop argument around.  If you need to get “real” work done on a tablet, you have to buy an iPad. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    I guess this explains why my Fire tablet stopped working yesterday 10/7/19)!  It was working fine on the weekend but yesterday the HIIT timer on it and Amazon Prime Video all stopped working. Even the tablet itself was acting strangely. I thought it had crashed and turned itself off but when I looked a few hours later it was actually on and responding super slowly. (There were no updates to install when i eventually got to that screen.)

    Then I tried using it again and all the same issues. I couldn’t help thinking Amazon sent a kill order to the device considering the complete change in the device overnight. Then I see this and I guess they want me I upgrade?  Not even two years old 😒. 

    I’m sticking with my iPad. The Fire was nice because I didn’t care if it fell when I worked out. It’s like a brick so it wouldn’t break but I think the reason it’s cheap is they want you to upgrade all the time. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    thttht Posts: 3,312member
    There is one more thing about the cost. Even though the newly updated Amazon Fire HD 10 costs $150
    Does it include lockscreen advertising at this price?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    I wonder if anyone at Amazon PR is losing any sleep about the name "Amazon Fire" given the context of the massive fires in the Amazon jungle.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    DiamondDave64DiamondDave64 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I had a 2017 iPad, bought the last-gen Kindle Fire 10 for $99 on a black friday sale. Side-loading Google Play Store was easy to do. I use the Kindle almost every day; haven't touched the iPad in weeks. For reading and watching videos it's prefect, easier to hold than the iPad and such a durable, bargain tablet I don't worry about throwing it in a bag on the go. 
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