Why I Want the New Amazon Fire HD10

All the basics at an incredible price

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon is trying to turn its new Fire HD10 tablet into a productivity powerhouse with a keyboard bundle and software tweaks. 
  • For $219, you can get the new tablet, plus a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal and a detachable keyboard case.
  • At this price, I’m comfortable bringing the new Fire tablet places where it might get lost or damaged.
Someone sitting on the couch using the Kindle Fire with a keyboard case.

Amazon

I love my iPad Air 2020 and its keyboard case, but the whole setup is so expensive that I’m sometimes afraid to take it out of the house. That’s why I can’t wait to try out the new Amazon Fire HD 10 lineup, which has pretty much everything you need to work and play for a mind-bogglingly low price. 

For $219, you can get a bundle that includes the new tablet, plus a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal—which provides access to all Office apps and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage—and a detachable keyboard case. At this price, quibbles about whether the HD10 compares to the iPad are silly because, of course, it doesn't. 

My iPad Air costs $599, plus my Apple Magic Keyboard retails for $299. You’re getting into decent laptop price territory with the iPad setup, but the $200 range for the Fire makes it something I’m comfortable throwing in a backpack. 

"The Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad has transformed my Apple tablet into a writing powerhouse. The new Bluetooth keyboard case for the HD10 seems like an equally slick solution."

Getting Busy With Fire

Amazon has long positioned its tablets as a great way to consume content, preferably Amazon’s own stuff like movies and music and ordering things. But the new HD10 is clearly also aimed at productivity. 

Along with the new hardware, Amazon is debuting a software update for a split-screen mode on the Fire HD 10 that will allow you to use two apps simultaneously. This should make it a lot easier to do things like typing in a document while also researching in a browser. 

Inside the two new Fire models, the differences between the Fire HD 10 and the HD 10 Plus come down to 3GB of memory in the standard model and 4GB of memory in the Plus version. The Plus version also adds a premium finish and wireless charging for $179. The standard Fire HD 10 starts at $149. 

The Kindle FIre HD10 with an Anker Wireless Charging case.

Amazon

The specs are on the low end, but it's hard to complain at this price point. The Fire HD 10 and HD Plus are available with 32GB or 64GB of storage, and both will take a MicroSD card with up to 1TB of additional storage. 

The 10.1-inch display is 1080p and 10% brighter than the previous model. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera has been moved to be centered when the tablet is in landscape mode. Amazon claims the battery is good for "12 hours.”

This new Fire edition adds wireless charging for the "Plus" model, a new front camera location positioned for landscape video chats, instead of portrait, and slimmer side bezels. 

Who Doesn’t Love Wireless Charging?

I own an older Fire device and use it sometimes for reading, so the new Plus Model’s Qi support is one feature I’m looking forward to. It’s designed for a wireless charging dock officially called the "Made for Amazon Wireless Charging Dock for Fire HD 10 Plus (11th Generation)."

The dock is made by Anker, and can turn the tablet into an Alexa smart display by activating "Show Mode." The dock costs $49.99 alone, but it's also available in a bundle with the Plus tablet for $10 off.

Someone using the Amazon Fire HD10 tablet while sitting on a couch.

Amazon

The accessory that’s got my pulse racing (as much as it will race for a tablet) is an official, Fintie-manufactured Bluetooth keyboard case that’s available for $49.99. It’s a QWERTY keyboard with a self-supporting hinge that either model fits into. The keyboard has its own battery and can be charged by USB-C. Amazon says it's good for 400 hours of usage or a year of standby time.

I was long skeptical of using tablets as productivity devices, because hooking up a keyboard just seemed to make the gadget into an awkward, neither here nor there product. But recent design advances have changed my mind. 

The Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad has transformed my Apple tablet into a writing powerhouse. The new Bluetooth keyboard case for the HD10 seems like an equally slick solution. I can’t wait to test it out.

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