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The best Kindles provide an optimal reading experience, and some of the more fully-featured models (particularly the Fire tablets), give you access to virtually anything you could do on a phone or a laptop. They exemplify that hybrid space that tablets were designed to fill, folding a number of features of more powerful machines into a highly portable form factor that's easy to tote on the subway or pack away for trips.
The Fire HD 10 at Amazon is not just one of the best Kindles, it's one of the best tablets period, for many of the reasons mentioned above. It's a great mid-way point between smartphone and PC, and perhaps most importantly, it's really affordable, particularly compared to some of its rivals from Apple and other manufacturers. Amongst the best Kindles it's still king, though for a more complete picture of the market, our best tablets roundup brings a bunch of manufacturers together under one roof.
The largest tablet in Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet arsenal, the Fire HD 10 adds a 1920 x 1080-pixel, 10.1-inch 1080p Full HD display that's perfect for lengthy movie sessions or gaming on the go. With three color choices and two storage options in either 32 or 64GB sizing, the Fire HD 10 is the workhorse of the Kindle Fire family, thanks to 2GB of RAM, a 1.8GHz quad-core processor and up to 10 hours of battery life (which will allow you to watch at least three full-length movies).
The inclusion of Dolby Atmos boosts the movie watching experience with premium sounding stereo speakers, while 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds up browsing and downloading everything from the latest TV shows and movies to books, games, and magazines. Exclusive to the Fire HD 10 is true hands-free Amazon Alexa functionality requiring nothing more than your voice to activate commands for search requests or controlling your smart home (the rest of the Fire lineup requires the touch of a button to activate Alexa).
Exceptionally affordable, well-reviewed, and with millions of available apps, the Kindle Fire HD 8 is one of the most popular tablets in the world. Available in both 16 and 32GB sizing (expandable to 256GB with microSD), the Fire HD 8 offers an 8-inch HD display, 1.5GB of RAM and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. The addition of Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers helps amplify audio, which makes watching a movie a whole lot better than the previous generation Kindle Fire lineup.
With Amazon's Alexa platform built in, you can quickly access everything from sports scores to local news with voice commands. When it comes to movies, TV shows, songs, eBooks, Amazon's own app store is full of everything you want. With unlimited access to thousands of streaming shows and movies all day, up to 12 hours of battery life will be most welcomed. It comes in black, canary yellow, marine blue or punch red.
The Kindle Paperwhite is a great durable option for avid readers, and now that it's waterproof, you can enjoy reading by the beach, poolside, or even in the bathtub. It packs twice the storage of previous editions with 8GB and 32GB options available for holding thousands of books. The thinnest and lightest Kindle to hit the market, this e-reader provides a 6-inch display while weighing less than 7 ounces. Named Paperwhite for its anti-glare technology, you won't have any trouble reading the screen, even in direct sunlight.
The Paperwhite is also compatible with Audible, allowing you to pair Bluetooth headphones and speakers to listen to your favorite stories. Streaming from Audible on the go is also possible thanks to this Kindle's Wi-Fi capabilities. For an additional $100, the Kindle Paperwhite will connect to the internet using the same wireless signals as cell phones — without any monthly fees or commitments. Perhaps most comforting of all for the traveling reader, the battery lasts for weeks at a time.
Ergonomically designed to be thin and light, the Kindle Oasis is perfect for when you want to fall into a story for hours at a time. Its bespoke design allows you to easily handle the Kindle and turn the page with just one hand. Boasting the largest and most high-resolution display, at 7 inches and 300 PPI, you'll forget that you're not reading on paper. The larger display fits over 30 percent more text per page, meaning fewer page turns for you. Like the Kindle Paperwhite, it is waterproof, so you can feel free to read in even more places.
Other features include an adaptive, anti-glare front-light, up to 32GB of storage for magazines, comics, and newspapers, and a battery that lasts weeks on a single charge. The Oasis also comes with Audible, giving you access to the world's largest library of audiobooks.
The smaller sibling of the Fire HD 8, Amazon's Fire 7 is available in 8GB and 16GB memory sizes and the 7-inch IPS display offers just enough sharpness to make watching movies an enjoyable experience. You can add up to 256GB of additional memory, thanks to microSD storage and upload thousands of your own movies and TV shows or download countless others.
A VGA front-facing camera and two-megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p HD recording are good enough for basic needs but aren't quite recommended for dedicated video recordings. With up to eight hours of battery life, the Fire 7 lasts long enough for a cross-country flight with room to spare. You can also add thousands of eBooks or ask Alexa to tell what the weather is like for tomorrow.
Widely regarded as the best option for a kids' tablet, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition combines everything we loved about the Fire HD 8 with child-friendly packaging. Available with 32GB of storage for more than enough books, games, and movies for a lengthy car (or plane) ride, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition sports a child-proof case that's more than ready to withstand a few drops without damage. Fortunately, Amazon's two-year, worry-free guarantee is absolutely the best in the business with a standing policy that allows parents to return damaged units for new ones, even if the damage is an obvious accident.
Beyond the excellent return policy, Amazon offers FreeTime Unlimited that adds 15,000 books, movies, TV shows, education apps and more for kids ages 3 to 12, which are all free for a year with the purchase of the tablet. Additionally, Amazon includes the premium sound Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers found on the regular Fire HD 8 for even more enjoyable audio while gaming or watching hours of Disney programming.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition is filled with goodies parents will love, including the subscription-based FreeTime programming with 15,000 books, games and TV shows, as well as a two-year accident forgiveness warranty. Available in three separate colors and 16GB of storage, the Fire 7 features a 7-inch IPS display with up to eight hours of battery life. With all the extras available for kids and parents to download, the inclusion of microSD and up to 256GB of expandable storage will come in very handy.
The kid-safe browser reduces access to inappropriate content and curates over 56,000 websites that are kid-friendly (and parents can whitelist any additional options on their own). Additional best-in-class parental controls allow parents to block videos and games until children have completed parent-selected educational content.
The Kindle Fire HD 10 isn't a perfect device, but as an affordable hybrid, it's a pretty great option for most people. For the best reading experience, on the other hand, opt for the Kindle Paperwhite, one of the best tablets for reading outdoors ever produced.
Display size - Kindle tablets come in all sizes, so you’ll want to make sure you pick the best display size for whatever you’ll be using the device for the most. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, a smaller size might work better. But if you’re planning on watching a lot of movies on it, then you may prefer a larger display.
Price - Amazon’s tablets are very affordable, especially compared to Apple's options. You can find Fire tablets at many different price points, so it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with one that satisfies your budget.
Use - The tablet you buy will ultimately depend on who’s using it the most. If you’re planning on buying a Kindle Fire tablet for your young child, then it might be better to look at the kids’ versions. These still come in different sizes at various price points, so you’re not relegated to just one model. These models also have kid-friendly cases that will stand up to bangs and drops, in addition to a two-year warranty that covers accidents.