Why Amazon's Metal Fire HD 10 Should Appeal to Tablet Buyers

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-06-06
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Why Amazon's Metal Fire HD 10 Should Appeal to Tablet Buyers
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    Why Amazon's Metal Fire HD 10 Should Appeal to Tablet Buyers

    Despite a declining market, Amazon's latest Fire HD 10 tablet features an all-metal chassis, low price point and enough features to make it a worthwhile purchase.
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    The Big Change: Aluminum
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    The Big Change: Aluminum

    The notable change in Amazon's Fire HD 10 is the addition of an aluminum body. Previously, the tablet was only available in plastic, which helped keep its cost down but didn't help it compare well to Apple's alternative. The metal version is a nicer-looking device that can still keep costs down while competing with Apple's iPad.
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    It's an HD Display, but Not Great
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    It's an HD Display, but Not Great

    There's an HD display bundled with the Fire HD 10, but don't expect its visuals to be spectacular. In fact, the 10.1-inch screen has a resolution of just 1,280 by 800, delivering high-definition visuals, but just 149 pixels per inch. That said, Amazon says it offers wide viewing angles for those who want to watch a movie with others.
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    A Quad-Core Processor Does the Job
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    A Quad-Core Processor Does the Job

    The quad-core processor built into the Fire HD 10 isn't groundbreaking. In fact, its clock speeds measure 1.5GHz on two cores and 1.2GHz on the other two cores. However, Amazon's operating system is lightweight, so running multiple apps simultaneously is possible, even if graphics-intensive apps probably won't work so well on the device.
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    Don't Forget About Amazon's OS Experience
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    Don't Forget About Amazon's OS Experience

    The new Fire HD 10 may have some hardware shortcomings, but the Amazon operating system experience is extremely appealing. The operating system, which is based on Android, is called Bellini and allows users to search for entertainment content and load movies and TV episodes quickly and easily, and even features on-device tech support. It's a fine operating system that should be considered in the buying process.
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    Amazon's Software May Be Even More Appealing
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    Amazon's Software May Be Even More Appealing

    If Amazon's operating system is attractive, its own software might be even more so. The company's software, including Prime Video and Kindle, delivers a vast amount of entertainment content for users to enjoy. Users can also employ Amazon's Kindle FreeTime, which allows parents to limit how much their kids can use the device and what kind of content they can access. Amazon's apps are quite appealing.
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    A Word About Storage and Expandability
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    A Word About Storage and Expandability

    The Fire HD 10 comes in the customer's choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, though the biggest model is only available to owners of the metal version. In addition, users can add up to 128GB of additional storage with help from a microSD card. For most users, that amount of storage should be sufficient.
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    Blue Shade Offers a New Way to Read
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    Blue Shade Offers a New Way to Read

    The metal Fire HD 10 comes with Blue Shade, a feature exclusively available in Bellini, which reduces eye fatigue in users reading at night. The technology achieves that by using "specialized filters" that minimize blue light when in dark rooms. The feature is a great option for nighttime readers.
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    The Appstore Is Just Fine
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    The Appstore Is Just Fine

    Amazon's Appstore is by no means as big as Google Play or Apple's App Store, but it still features most of the apps customers would want. Users will find streaming services such as Pandora and Netflix, as well as Facebook, HBO Go, Showtime and much more. In total, Amazon's Appstore has more than 300,000 apps and games.
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    It Pays to Be a Prime Customer
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    It Pays to Be a Prime Customer

    There's little doubt that being a Prime customer makes owning Amazon hardware far more appealing. Amazon Prime, which costs $99 per year, allows users to access Amazon's growing library of streaming video content, as well as the company's Lending Library for ebooks and much more. If you're already a Prime customer, owning the Fire HD 10 might make some sense.
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    It's Hard to Beat the Price
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    It's Hard to Beat the Price

    There's one big reason to consider buying the metal Fire HD 10: its price. The tablet starts at just $180 for the basic model, and the metal 64GB version is just $240. For those who don't want to see Amazon ads on the device's lock screen, however, the company adds $15 to the price. Regardless, Amazon's Fire HD is one of the most affordable tablets on the market, immediately making it appealing.
 

The tablet market is suffering, with year-over-year shipment numbers declining each quarter, but apparently Amazon didn't get the memo. On June 2, Amazon launched a new version of its Fire HD 10 tablet, featuring an all-metal chassis. The device's internal specs remain unchanged compared with the plastic model, however, which makes the move a decidedly surprising one. Amazon is still far behind Apple in the mobile market, and its efforts at trying to win over tablet shoppers have been called into question by industry analysts. Its thinking that adding a metal case to its tablet will be appealing to tablet buyers, therefore, could be one to question. Still, for those who want a simple tablet featuring solid storage, Amazon's outstanding operating system experience and an affordable price tag, the metal Fire HD 10 is a worthwhile buy. In the following slides, eWEEK examines the metal HD 10, looking at the features that could attract a seemingly shrinking number of tablet customers. Read on to learn more.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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