Which Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet is Right For You?

Unlike a crowded theater, yelling “fire” at Amazon.com will net you different results. That would be oodles and oodles of Kindle Fire tablets to peruse.

There’s the Fire HD. Fire HDX 8.9. Fire Kid’s Edition. Fire HD 8. Another kind of Fire HD 8. The list is as numerous as the stars in the evening sky. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but only by a smidgen.

If you’re seriously mulling a Fire tablet, though, the smattering of options can take some time to wade through. Here’s a quick rundown of Amazon’s Kindle Fire lineup to help you make up your mind. For a look at Amazon’s tablets and e-readers through the years, don’t forget to check out our “All You Need to Know About Amazon’s Kindle” hub.

With such a cheap price, this is the tablet for persnickety penny pinchers. I mean, I’ve had steak dinners that cost way more than the 7-inch entry-level Kindle Fire. It’s also a screaming deal compared to Apple’s iPad mini. I’m sure there’s a steak out there that costs more than that but I’m definitely not ordering it. Granted, the budget Fire doesn’t look as sexy as the iPad mini and has just about half the display resolution. Plus it tops out at just 720p, though battery life is solid at 7 hours. It also comes with front- and rear-facing cameras. Internal memory is a piddly 8GB but with unlimited cloud storage. Keep in mind, once again, that the thing costs under 50 bucks before tax. That’s a steal.

If you put a premium on portability, the Kindle Fire HD 6 is the smallest of Amazon’s slates. At just 6 inches and 10 ounces, the HD 6 is a tablet you can take with you easily when you’re on the go. Battery life is also great and can go beyond its advertised 8 hours. The HD 6 packs more pixels in a small area than the Kindle Fire, though it still tops off at the lower end of the high-definition scale with a resolution of 720p. For music lovers, it also throws in Dolby Audio

Oooh, colors… Unlike the previous two tablets, the Kindle Fire HD 8 adds a splash of color to the mix by including blue, magenta and tangerine options to the basic black trim. It’s also closest in size to the iPad mini given its 8-inch display and is the thinnest tablet in Amazon’s stable of slates. Admittedly, the plastic trim doesn’t scream high end and performance with more processor-demanding apps can be sluggish. It’s capable of outputting in both 720p and 1080p, however, and battery life is good at 8 hours. It also comes with dual speakers and Dolby Atmos capability, plus a microSD slot for cheaper storage expansion.

If you’re a big believer in the catchphrase “size matters,” this is the Fire tablet for you. Available in black and white, the Kindle Fire HD 10 comes with a 10-inch display that can play media in 1080p. It also comes with a microSD card slot, which is always a nice option for storage lovers. The size comes with a catch, though, as the display is not as vivid and detailed as some of the smaller Fire tablets. Camera performance could also be better, though the inclusion of dual speakers with Dolby Atmos is welcome. Battery life is rated at 8 hours.

Although most of the tablets in the Kindle Fire line fall under the budget category, the HDX 8.9 is Amazon’s response to flagship tablets from competitors such as the Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface or Google Nexus. It sports the best display in Amazon’s lineup with excellent resolution at 339 points per inch, far eclipsing other Fire tablets. It’s also powered by  2.5GHz quad-core processor, compared to the 1.5GHz once that powers most of the other Amazon tablets. The built-in cameras are also better and battery life is improved to 12 hours. All those features come at a price, though.

If you want a Fire tablet that can withstand a lot of abuse, the Kindle Fire Kids’ Edition just might be right up your alley. The tablet features a casing designed to absorb more punishment and comes in bright colors that young ‘uns will likely find more attractive. It also comes with a 2-year replacement guarantee if damaged. The Kids’ Edition comes in a 6-inch and 7-inch variant.


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