I’m a big fan of Apple products and a big fan of Amazon for pretty much everything I buy. It seems like every time I login to Amazon to shop I see an ad for their $50 Amazon Fire tablet. It’s now discounted to $34.99 for Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales, so it seemed like a good time to publish my review. I’ve had a fair level of intellectual curiosity about it. I have an iPad and it works great for me. In fact, I really can’t recall any memorable issues I’ve had with my iPad.
But, I do understand that there are plenty of folks who aren’t lucky enough to have their work provide them a new iPad. So, I purchased an Amazon Fire to give it a test drive.
There are a lot of choices when you buy. Amazon does a solid job of upselling a million different things.
I live in an area where Amazon has free same-day shipping. Not surprisingly, this was in stock and showed up later in the evening after I ordered it. The box was thin and came with a power cord and that’s about it.
Here’s a junky picture of how it looks like beside an iPhone 6s:
I went with the version that had advertisements on the lock screen, which made absolutely no difference to me. A simple swipe and the ads disappear.
The screen quality is quite good and the interface is very similar to the iPad.
While they advertise thousands of free apps in their store, you do have to go seek them out. But, Amazon is quick to provide you with a monthly paid option to expand to a lot more content. They will provide you with a 30-day trial, though.
The tablet has a solid path for children. The parental controls are easy to set up. There’s an app called “Amazon FreeTime” that has a few pre-set apps for kids. I couldn’t quite figure out how to download more into the app without going to the app store.
The Fire tablet got decent battery life (though more like 5-6 hours compared to the 7 hours Amazon advertises). The screen resolution is better than I thought it would. 8gb isn’t a ton of memory but you can easily increase the capacity with a SD card. It actually feels more durable than I would have expected. I’ve held some cheap tablets and this wasn’t anything like it.
Is it an iPad replacement? No. Is it a worthwhile tablet for $50? For sure. Is it a screaming deal for $35? You bet.