Amazon Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 review

Okay for Amazon's media offerings, and that's about it

Amazon Fire HD

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Amazon continues its cheap and cheerful tablet push with the Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10, but performance issues and sub-par screens mean they're fundamentally flawed

We liked

Both of these tablets are created with an impressively singular focus – to provide access to the whole range of Amazon services for a knock-down price.

FireOS 5 goes some way to improving that unified Amazon experience, wisely stripping back some of the bloat and enabling Android 5.1 to shine through in places.

The Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8's speakers are also impressively loud and reasonably clear – I've heard far worse sound from tablets that cost a lot more.

We disliked

It's scarcely believable that any tablet costing over £100 still comes with a 1280 x 800 resolution in late 2015. Amazon has produced two of them, and it severely compromises their primary media-playing function.

Also of concern are the numerous performance issues these two tablets suffer with. A perpetual feeling of sluggishness and unresponsiveness will frustrate anyone who's used an iOS or Android tablet.

Also, Amazon's formerly rugged, no-nonsense design work seems to have been compromised in favour of a curiously cheap-looking and even slightly impractical design.

Final verdict

Amazon has created two barely adequate tablets in the Kindle HD 10 and Kindle HD 8, and with two or three truly iconic affordable tablet rivals all within £100 of their respective price tags, it isn't nearly enough.

Ordinary simply doesn't cut it in a market where you can buy an iPad mini 2 for just £50–80 more, or a Tesco Hudl 2 for £30–70 less.

Even removing those esteemed rivals from the equation, the Amazon Fire HD 10 and HD 8 are heavily flawed devices. They're supposed to be media-playing powerhouses and slick shopping and browsing specialists, yet they suffer from sub-par screen resolutions and fundamental performance issues.

Whether you can afford to spend a little more, or want to spend a little less, there are much better options – even if you are invested in the Amazon ecosystem.