Tom's Guide Verdict
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) offers only modest upgrades over the previous edition, but Amazon’s budget-conscious approach still shines in this affordable, long-lasting tablet.
Sharp, bright screen
Excellent battery life
Amazon’s poor app selection
Lock screen ads
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While the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) doesn’t offer any major upgrades over the previous 2021 model, it still lands at the same intersection of functionality and value.
Like its predecessors, the 2023 Amazon Fire HD 10 is a solidly built, lightweight tablet with a bright and crisp screen, excellent battery life, and enough power to get you through a wide array of apps and games with only occasional (and mostly tolerable) hitches. And it starts at just $140, though Amazon’s own sales sometimes plunge it below $100.
Because of that the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) remains one of the best Android tablets out there, and if you're looking for something inexpensive it's one of the best tablets and best cheap tablets on the market.
Granted, the same Amazon annoyances persist: the app store feels barren compared to the missing Google Play Store, the interface is spartan and dated, and paying the cheapest price for this slate means you’ll have to put up with lock screen ads. But at this price, those are easy issues to overlook if you just need a solid, affordable tablet for casual use.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)
|$140 (with ads), $155 (no ads)
|10.1-inch 1920x1200 LCD Touch
|1 USB-C, 1 microSD slot, 1 Headphone port
|9.69 x 6.49 x 0.34 inches
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Price and availability
- The base model is $140 with lock screen ads, or $155 without
- You can double the storage for another $40 either way
The base model of the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) is priced at $140, which gets you 32GB of internal storage—and lock screen ads, which help subsidize the price. You can pay an extra $15 at the time of purchase to skip the ads, or pay that fee at any point later to remove them.
The Fire HD 10 comes in Black, Lilac, and Ocean Blue plastic backing colors, and you can drop an extra $40 to double the storage to 64GB. Our review unit shipped with 64GB of storage and no lock screen ads, which would cost $195 at list price.
While this unit didn’t have lock screen ads enabled, I’ve used other Fire tablet models with ads. They never really bothered me, but I completely understand how they’d be intrusive or annoying, or diminish your experience. In any case, $15 is a reasonable fee to pay to kill ads.
How does the Fire HD 10 base pricing compare to the rest of Amazon’s line? The smallest and least powerful option is the Fire 7, which sells for a stunning $60 but is a lot lower-end than the Fire HD 10. The Fire HD 8 is $100, offering a sweet spot in terms of price and features. Meanwhile, the Fire Max 11 offers a bit more power and a much more premium build, but at $230 it also faces stiffer competition higher up the price scale.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Design
- The Fire HD 10 (2023) has the same kind of spartan look as other Amazon tablets
- Even so, it’s slim and light, and feels sturdy despite the plastic
Amazon settled on its basic tablet form factor a ways back, and the latest Fire HD 10 revision doesn’t do much to disrupt it. Put simply, it’s spartan in design and has matte plastic backing, so it’s not going to compete with higher-end Apple or Samsung tablets on looks. But at this price, it doesn’t really need to. And it doesn’t feel flimsy, though it certainly doesn’t feel premium.
Even if it doesn’t make a visual splash, the Fire HD 10 is pleasant to hold and use. It’s slim and well-sized at dimensions of 9.69 x 6.49 x 0.34 inches, and doesn’t feel overwhelmingly heavy at 15.29 ounces (about 434 grams). Amazon says it shaved “over 30g” from the previous model, which isn’t a ton, but it bought the latest model under a pound.
If you’re used to an Apple iPad or other tablets, the button placement is sure to throw you for a loop. Having the power button, volume rocker, USB-C port, and 3.5mm headphone port on the same edge—and to have that edge be the top of the tablet when held in portrait mode—feels utterly bizarre at first. But you’ll get used to it.
There’s also a microSD slot on the right edge of the tablet (portrait) to add up to 1TB of extra storage, while the speaker grates are on the left edge. Expandable storage slots are typically more common in affordable tablets; you certainly won’t find this option on an iPad. But it’s great news for Fire owners since microSD cards can be super cheap.
The front-facing camera is meant to be used solely in landscape mode, so it’s within the bezel on the right side when held in portrait mode. Again, some of these placement decisions feel odd, but it just means a slightly longer learning curve out of the box.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Display
- 10.1-inch screen is crisp on an Amazon tablet, albeit less sharp than an iPad
- It’s pretty bright, and color accuracy marks are solid
The Fire HD 10 has enough processing power to provide a decent all-around experience, though it’s hardly a speed demon. You’ll notice bits of slowdown here and there, and gaming performance can be hit-or-miss with sluggishness and occasional crashes. But mostly, this tablet can get the job done.
With an octa-core 2.0 GHz processor and 3GB RAM, the 2023 Fire HD 10 puts up nearly twice as strong of a benchmark result as the current Fire HD 8 model from a year prior. We registered a score of 1,523 on Geekbench 5’s multi-core test, compared to 854 on the Fire HD 8—and just 540 on the ultra-cheap Fire 7.
Granted, the Fire HD 10’s score falls well short of the 10th-gen iPad’s 4,400 multi-core result, which makes sense—that’s nearly three times the result at over three times the asking price. Expectedly, the base iPad feels much faster in use and has significantly more gaming prowess, but you’re not paying for high performance on the Fire HD 10. You’re settling.
Even so, it’s distressing to see a relatively simple game like Candy Crush Friends Saga get bogged down at times. On the other hand, a 3D shooter like PUBG Mobile actually runs fairly smoothly, even if it looks fuzzy—though it did crash one time after the tablet got warm. And the glossy racer Asphalt 9: Legends kept tossing up error messages when I tried to play it. Most apps I tried worked fine, but such hitches are more common than on an iPad.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Audio
- Loud and reasonably clear, these stereo speakers do just fine
The Amazon Fire HD 10’s stereo speakers produce solid all-around playback for music and other audio. It’s pretty clear, albeit lacking in bass, and gets loud too—although the output starts to get muddled at the highest volume settings.
Still, it performed admirably whether I was blasting tunes by Fall Out Boy or Bassnectar on Amazon Music, or watching “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” or the “Taylor Swift Reputation Concert Tour” film on Netflix. As always, you should grab headphones if you want to be truly immersed in your media, but these speakers do just fine in a pinch… and like a lot of aspects of the Fire HD 10, they’re better than expected for the price.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Keyboard and stylus
- Fintie’s certified keyboard is cramped, but is a useful combo case
- The $35 stylus pen is an easy pickup if you want to sketch or annotate
Amazon also offers some optional accessories to help boost your productivity or creativity with the Fire HD 10, sold both individually or in bundles with the tablet itself. Our review unit came bundled with the official keyboard case and stylus, so I used both during testing.
Fintie’s Made for Amazon Bluetooth Keyboard Case offers an easy way to bring some laptop-like functionality to the tablet, giving you a protective polycarbonate shell to hold the tablet along with a synthetic leather exterior. It’s similar to a lot of iPad and Android tablet cases we’ve seen, unfolding to reveal the keyboard, but is custom-built for the Fire HD 10.
The $50 keyboard case connects to the tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth, and has its own charging port and battery. It works reasonably well, but the keys are small and feel cramped due to the dimensions of the tablet, so your typing experience may vary. I didn’t find it especially comfortable, but if you plan to use the Fire HD 10 to type out long emails or documents, then it might be worth buying the keyboard case.
As for Maxeye’s Made for Amazon Stylus Pen, it does the trick for simple sketching, doodles, and annotations. The $35 stylus doesn’t pair to the tablet; you just pop in the battery and start drawing on the screen. It has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and comes with replaceable stylus tips, plus it supports the USI 2.0 standard so it can be used with other tablets.
Given its power and feature set, the Fire HD 10 feels best suited for consuming content and media rather than creating it, but the stylus is reasonably priced and effective if you want to sketch or simply use something other than your fingers.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Battery life
- This long-lasting tablet even outpaces Apple’s base iPad
You can get a lot of uptime out of this slim tablet. Amazon promises up to 13 hours of battery life, and we got pretty close in our standard battery rundown test. Set to continuously surf the web at a brightness setting of 150 nits, the Fire HD 10 (2023) gave us a result of 12:39.
That’s even better than the 10th-gen iPad, which put up 10:57 in the same test, though the smaller and cheaper Fire HD 8 (2022) went even longer at 13:41.
In mixed use at full brightness, your results may vary based on what you’re doing or playing. When browsing the web and watching streaming video, I’d log upwards of nine or 10 hours worth of use before the Fire HD 10 tapped out. But when playing 3D games, expect to see the battery life drain much faster than that.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Cameras
- These 5MP cameras produce adequate snaps and work fine for video calls
You get a pair of 5-megapixel cameras here, one front and one back, and they produce similar results. In strong lighting, particularly outdoors, you can get some decent detail from snaps, though the results aren’t particular vibrant. Indoors with less ideal lighting, these cameras are prone to spit out muddy shots.
The Fire HD 10 works just fine for video calls and can take adequate stills, but it’s probably not better than your smartphone if you have a semi-recent device in your pocket.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Software
- Amazon’s ecosystem is limiting, but its own apps offer plenty of media
Amazon’s app ecosystem hasn’t gotten drastically better in recent months, which means it’s still one of the weakest parts of any Fire tablet experence. Although the Fire 10 HD is built on Android, it doesn’t feature Google’s Play Store, nor is there Chrome or a native Gmail app—not even an official YouTube app, which still feels bizarre in this day and age.
The Amazon Appstore isn’t nearly as well-stocked as the Play Store, let alone Apple’s robust App Store. Streaming video apps like Netflix and Disney+ are here, as are things like Microsoft 365, Zoom, TikTok, Facebook, and Messenger. But there are prominent omissions—like no official NFL or New York Times apps, and loads of major mobile games.
If you’re used to Apple or other Android devices, chances are good that some of your most-used apps will be missing. But Fire tablets aren’t designed for power users, nor are they ideal for people who are picky about their preferences. There’s enough here to watch and read and play, and to keep you entertained, but it’s a much more limited selection.
Of course, Amazon’s own ecosystem is vast and prominently featured here, including streaming video and music, ebooks and digital comics, and audiobooks. Amazon’s Silk web browser is solid and functional, albeit less visually appealing than Chrome, but it’ll do the trick for casual browsing. And Amazon’s OS design is bland, but it’s usable enough.
Ultimately, power users can endeavor to put the Play Store on the tablet via a microSD card and unlock a much wider swathe of apps and games, but your average casual user will probably just tolerate the meager selection as long as their favorite streaming services are handy.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Verdict
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) may not inspire desire or excitement like an iPad might, but it’s still a damn fine deal. It packs in a sharp screen, solid build, epic battery life, and good-enough performance at a price that’s a fraction of many competitors.
Granted, there are shortcomings and annoyances. Amazon’s app ecosystem is lacking compared to Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, and the middling processing power means that high-end games are largely out of the question—if you can even find them on the Amazon Appstore.
But as a go-anywhere device for streaming media, casually browsing the web, and keeping in touch with the world, the Amazon Fire HD still feels like a bargain with this latest revision. It’s a strong pick for the budget-conscious buyer.
Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer for Tom’s Guide who contributes laptop and other hardware reviews. He’s also the Culture Editor at crypto publication Decrypt covering the world of Web3. Andrew’s writing on games and tech has been published in more than 100 publications since 2006, including Rolling Stone, Vice, Polygon, Playboy, Stuff, and GamesRadar.