Amazon Fire HD 10
I find that the key to successfully buying any new item of technology is to know in advance exactly what you want from it and setting yourself a realistic budget. The next step, which is detailed research, is the one that I struggle with. Because it always involves a particular foible of human nature that really sets my teeth on edge. Far too many reviewers and technology journalists don’t fully grasp the concept of budgets as well as the idea of committing to the item that they are writing about. IE I often encounter sentiments such as “the Gruntmeister 2000 is a good option, but if you spend a little bit more you can get the 3000 model”. It’s habit that infuriates me. A budget of £100 is exactly just that. No more, no less. Therefore, if a buyer has specified their financial limit then it is illogical, crass and frankly damned rude to mention products that fall outside of that price range. Oh, it makes me want to punch until there’s brain matter on the walls. However, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I managed to track down exactly the new tablet that I needed. Furthermore, I got a bargain as it’s “Black Friday”.
I like to do specific tasks via specific devices. As my phone is constantly with me, I primarily use it to access emails, texts, WhatsApp and Twitter. My desktop PC is where I write, create and edit podcasts and play games. My tablet is mainly for the consumption of content, such as podcasts, e-books and reading comics. The form factor lends itself to comfortably sitting on the sofa, reading a good book. A decent case means it can sit on bathroom unit, while I soak in the bath and listen to one of my favourite shows. And of course, perusing a quality graphic novel on a 10-inch screen is definitely a good way to enjoy the medium. So, bearing all this in mind, I knew in advance that I didn’t need a top end Samsung tablet along with it’s accompanying price tag. It soon became apparent that the Amazon Fire HD 10 would cover all my needs and I am happy to confirm that it certainly does. Its total cost was £100, although I also bought the matching case which added a further £25 on the overall price.
To start with let’s get the “negative” points out of the way first. Samsung and Apple tablets always feel incredibly robust, solid and “good quality” when you handle them. The Amazon Fire HD 10 feels cheaper. That’s not to say fragile because it’s not. But it’s rudimentary plastic build is what it is. The Fire operating system is not pure Android but Amazon’s own customised build. This is optimised towards Amazon’s own eco-system and therefore excludes rival apps. However, it is far from difficult to sideload Google Play store and add those apps you desire. The camera is also below par, but as it’s not really what I bought the table tablet for, it seems irrelevant. Frankly does anyone buy a tablet for the camera? The Amazon Fire HD 10 plus points are by far more important. First off there’s a nice 1920 x 1080 display. Its is sharp bright and vibrant making it eminently suitable for watching movies and streaming content. Battery life is also robust offering 10 hours of “mixed” use. The MediaTek quad-core processor is combined with 2GB of RAM and performs well. Navigation is smooth and there’s no major lag when navigating the interface. And then there’s the price which is approximately a third of the latest iPad.
I bought the 32GB version of the Amazon Fire HD 10, which so far is adequate for my needs. If there are any issues, then I can make use of the microSD card slot which offers up to another 256GB of storage space. Contrary to what I expected I have not had to make too many changes to the UI. I have turned off some of the superfluous Amazon promotional features and have dragged the unnecessary icons into a single tidy folder. I quickly found simple instructions online as to how to install the various Google apps I needed. At present my tablet has both Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with Podcast Addict, You Tube and Challenger Comics Viewer. I have no immediate intention of bloating OS with additional services, although I’m sure it can easily accommodate them. I also like the simple but functional Amazon case that I bought. Overall, I am pleased with this purchase as it has totally met my expectations. Compared to the past where I used to jump in feet first with new tech and tended to be an early adopter, I now favour this more targeted and measured approach. If your tablet needs are equally as straight forward to mine, you too may find the Amazon Fire HD 10 to be the best option currently on the market.