The market is full of quality tablet options, but due to its solid Android operating system, Amazon and its manufacturer, Quanta Computer, produces one of the most capable tablets: Amazon Fire. Having grown in popularity over the past few years, there remains the question of which model to buy.
Also: The best cheap tablets
All Fire tablets run on Amazon's Android-based operating system, Fire OS, and even though its an Android suite, it doesn't house any of Google's apps or services as Amazon has its own store developers use. That said, you can find most of the bigger apps, like Microsoft's Office 365 suite, Facebook, Zoom, and your favorite mobile games. However, Gmail, YouTube, or Google Maps aren't available.
Until recently, Amazon's Fire tablet lineup has all had a consistent look and feel to it, with the main difference being size and internal specs. But with the release of the Fire Max 11, Amazon is upping its tablet game, which easily makes it our pick for best Amazon tablet overall. But is it the right Fire tablet for you? We'll break it down, along with the rest of our picks for the best of Amazon's lineup, below.
The best Amazon tablets of 2023
- Affordably priced, especially when bundled
- Solid battery life
- New, modernized design
- Performance is just alright
- Important productivity apps are missing
Tech specs: Display: 11-inch, 2000 x 1200, 410 nits brightness, 213 ppi | Processor: MediaTek MT8188J, 2.2Ghz Octacore processor | Storage: 64GB or 128GB | Memory: 4GB | Colors: Gray | Cameras: 8MP rear and 8MP front-facing camera | Weight: 490 grams | Dimensions: 259.1 x 163.7 x 7.50 millimeters | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 14 hours
The Fire Max 11 is unlike any Fire tablet before it. It has a gray aluminum housing, a fingerprint reader for unlocking the tablet and signing into apps, and ditches the 3.5mm headphone hack. You can get it with either 64GB or 128GB of storage, both of which can be bolstered by a microSD card of up to 1TB.
Not only is the 11-inch display -- the biggest Amazon has used in one of its tablets thus far -- part of what makes the Fire Max 11 so attractive, but so too is the $229 starting price for just the tablet. Where things really get interesting for the Fire Max 11, however, is when you look at the productivity bundle Amazon currently sells. For $329, it'l get you a trackpad equipped keyboard that doubles as a kickstand case and a stylus.
In combination with its accessory suite, the Fire Max 11 is potentially the ultimate productivity-focused tablet, depending on which apps and services you use for work. For example, if you live inside Microsoft's ecosystem of apps and services, you'll find all of them available in the Amazon Appstore. However, if you use Google's apps and services, you won't find any of those apps available on the Fire Max 11.
- Doubles as Alexa smart display
- Super affordable
- Cameras aren't all that impressive
- Performance needs patience
Tech specs: Display: 7-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS | Processor: Quad-core 2.0 GHz | Storage: 8/16GB, microSD support up to 1TB | Memory: 2GB | Colors: Black, denim, rose | Cameras: 2MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 9.9 ounces | Dimensions: 7.11 x 4.63 x 0.38 inches | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C, microSD slot | Battery life: 10 hours
Amazon's Fire 7 tablet was updated in 2022 is the most affordable tablet in the company's lineup. This tablet features a quad-core processor that is 30% faster than the previous generation Fire 7, significantly improving power and ability. The screen is the smallest on our list at just seven inches, but it makes for a more compact package than you would receive with other models like the Amazon Fire HD 10.
You can still access top apps with the ten hours of battery life that is included, plus there is the ability to make video calls for all of your personal and professional needs.
We recommend this one as an inexpensive option for someone who needs a tablet that's used for strictly video calls, keeping kids entertained, or solely as a Kindle eReader, with the bonus of being able to check your email.
Read the review: Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Good enough for the basics
- Wireless charging
- Relatively affordable
- Reliable battery life
- Mediocre camera quality
- Not as rugged as Kids Edition
Tech specs: Display: 8-inch 1280 x 800 IPS LCD display | Processor: MediaTek MT8168 | Storage: 32GB or 64GB | Memory: 3GB | Colors: Gray | Cameras: 2 MP front; 2MP wide rear | Weight: 12.06 ounces | Dimensions: 7.95 x 5.41 x 0.38 inches | Connectivity: 3.5mm headphone jack; USB-C | Battery life: Up to 12 hours
In his full length review, ZDNET's June Wan says you're the ideal customer for this tablet if you've "ever wondered what tablet you should buy for casual browsing, mobile entertainment, or even for a child." However, he does warn that the "usual mix of glass and aluminum" that makes up the tablet's design isn't as rugged as the Kids Edition. The plastic edges do give it some grip and durability for everyday bumps and bruises, though.
However, with solid specs and expandable storage (up to 64GB), it's sufficient for your standard streaming, internet browsing, and game playing needs. And with up to 12 hours of battery life, there's plenty hours of usage, even with Show Mode turned on.
Review: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus: Primed for Amazon superfans
- Kid-friendly case
- 2-year worry-free guarantee
- Easy to use
- Performance isn't the best, but kids probably won't notice
Tech specs: Display: 8-inch display | Processor: Hexa-core 2.0 Ghz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB (expandable by up to 1 TB) | Memory: 2GB | Colors: Blue, purple, Disney Mickey Mouse, or Disney princess | Cameras: 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording | Weight: 18.3 ounces | Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches| Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 13 hours
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is identical to the standard Fire HD 8 in terms of specs and design, but it also comes with features and accessories specific to kids. There's a kid-proof case built to withstand 3- to 7-year-olds, but it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. The subscription gets you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies and games and other educational content.
Parents can control screen time and set educational goals for their children using the parental controls built into the tablet to make sure their kid is actually reading or learning something while using it.
"The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a great, child-friendly tablet for education, games, and entertainment," said ZDNET's Maria Diaz in the bottom line of her full length review after having bought the tablet for her kids.
Review: I bought this Amazon kids tablet instead of an iPad and wasn't sorry
- Wireless charging compatible
- Expandable storage
- Great display
- No huge difference between Fire HD 10
Tech specs: Display: 10.1-inch 1080p full HD, (1920 x 1200) with over 2 million pixels (224 ppi) display | Processor: Octa-core 2.0 GHz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB (expandable up to 1TB) | Memory: 4GB | Colors: Slate | Cameras: 2 MP front-facing and 5MP rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording | Weight: 16.4 ounces | Dimensions: 9.73 x 6.53 x 0.36 inches | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 12 hours
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus has a 10.1-inch 1080p Full HD display that includes more than two million pixels. With an octa-core processor, there are four gigabytes of RAM to offer convenient storage. Like the Amazon Fire HD 10, there are 12 hours of battery.
The display also incorporates aluminosilicate glass for far greater durability. This Amazon tablet also permits access to your favorite apps like Netflix and Hulu.
However, the only real difference between the Fire HD 10 and the Fire HD 10 Plus is 4GB of RAM instead of 3GB and that this model is compatible with wireless charging. If those two things are important to you, it might be worth the upgrade.
Review: Amazon's Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle: This isn't the work tablet you're looking for
The best Amazon tablet is the Amazon Fire Max 11. With affordability and a large display, it provides the best value for your dollar with reliable performance you can count on. To see how it stacks up, here is a comparison chart of the best Amazon tablets.
Best Amazon tablet
Amazon Fire Max 11
Amazon Fire 7
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus
It can be overwhelming to find not just the best Amazon tablet but the best Amazon tablet for your specific needs. That is where we can help with our studied recommendations.
Choose this Amazon tablet...
If you want...
Amazon Fire Max 11
The best Amazon tablet overall. It comes with a large, upgraded display and a multi-tasking friendly productivity bundle.
Amazon Fire 7
The best budget Amazon tablet. Updated in 2022, the tablet features a processor faster than its predecessors, but still features a smaller screen. That said, we'd say this is a great kid-friendly or entry-level tablet.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus
The best Amazon tablet for both affordability and performance. With solid specs, expandable storage, and 12hours of battery life, this tablet is a more than capable option.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet
A ZDNET parent-approved tablet for kids equipped with parent controls and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus
The best mid-range Amazon tablet equipped with expandable storage, wireless charging, and a beautiful 10-inch display.
In choosing these best Amazon tablets, we considered several factors.
Screen size: The size of your Amazon tablet all depends on your personal preference and how you plan to use it. The best Amazon tablets are available in several sizes ranging from seven to 10.1 inches.
User age: Some of the best Amazon tablets are actually made for kids with built-in parental controls and special age-appropriate content. Other Amazon tablets may be appropriate for all ages, like the standard Amazon Fire HD 10 or Amazon Fire 7.
Price: The cost of an Amazon tablet is critical for many buyers, so we considered tablets to meet all different kinds of budgets.
Productivity potential: While Amazon tablets don't come with Google's productivity apps, Amazon does house Microsoft's suite and allows for Zoom and Teams integration. Plus, Amazon also sells accessory bundles that can make multi-tasking easier than ever.
There are several differences between the best Amazon tablets, including the screen size, which can vary from seven to ten inches. We also consider the battery life, cost, features, and capability.
The best Amazon tablets range in cost from $60 to $230, depending on the model you choose.
Here are a few other Amazon tablet options to consider:
Best 10-inch alternative
Amazon Fire HD 10
With a 10-inch display and 12-hour battery life, this tablet fits both productivity and entertainment needs.