2017 is drawing to a close but in this season it is not uncommon to find exceptional gems when you least expect it. In this case I was surprised and delighted to receive this Amazon Fire HD 10 from my sweetheart for Christmas. I had no idea what to expect as I hadn't even looked at the Fire's specs due to it's branding. I remember my original generation Kindle Fire has impressed me a great deal. Several tablets since then have surpassed that experience, and to my delight this one has as well.
The 2Gb Ram does an excellent job of pushing along the Quad-core Mediatek MT8173 (2x1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 & 2x1.4 GHz Cortex-A53) In an impressive show of upscaling the Fire offers an increased resolution from a similar sized tablet thanks in part to it's PowerVR G6250 GPU. While it remains a non GSM device I was delighted to see the wifi strength is on par with a current generation device, and it's IPS capacitive touchscreen is both responsive and color rich. It comes with 32Gb ram but can be easily expanded via microsd and the inclusion of the microsd into the file system has been improved a great deal in recent years. The Fire OS Android variant can be enabled to use Google's PlayStore, however it doesn't do so by default. More about specs can be seen here. *Courtesy of GSMArena.
I was expecting a typical: "Wifi experience on a tablet." That generally means considerably less than impressive sound. This was quite the contrary, the sound was crisp and clear, there was no stutter to the video on any of the sites I tested, including amazon itself. This device has achieved a delightful balance between performance, and aesthetic, and delivers a truly great overall presentation. I would have been content with just the device as is, but the best was yet to come as we explored this implementation of Alexa.
Now to be fair, I have tinkered with chatbots, and just about every version of Cortana, Siri, etc since their initial development. I had not experienced Alexa, but imagined I had a good idea of what to expect. Alexa meanwhile managed to raise the bar again by being just absolutely the most intuitive tool onboard the device. It took a few minutes to figure out how many requests Alexa can actually handle, beyond playing music and answering questions in adaptive ways that make Cortana seem to need some fine tuning. Unlike Siri, Alexa doesn't seem to need to reiterate the user's name 1000 times an hour either, which is quite nice.
I have ordered a stand, rather than a case. A case is a good idea if you plan on carrying something around, and I intend to make best use of the hands free functionality of the device. It has a reasonably good battery life, recharges quickly, and is presented in such a way that it immediately becomes a welcome addition. I'll include some articles about adding playstore eventually, and for now am just enjoying it's stellar feature list and it's bluetooth connectivity. I'll make use of the keyboard and mouse I used for the Samsung Tablet last year, and see if I can finally beat my old Angry Birds Seasons scores, and while I work I'll definitely be asking Alexa to play some AFI, and alternately look up facts. I already have her reading me books, even the books I wrote, and that makes me a bit sentimental.
*Playstore added, and works great - the addition of specific google services was my only motivation to try as the amazon store was quite adequately featured
Thank You Debra - I Love My Fire HD 10 - And You XOXOXO
Best Use Review Scores
Speed, 4.5 out of 5
Overall 19 out of possible 20 for a 4.75
*Hodag of Wisconsin Lore