Amazon 7-inch Fire Tablet Review: Here's What $50 Delivers

Amazon Fire Tablet Final Thoughts

Price certainly isn’t everything, but we have to give Amazon credit for delivering a $50 tablet that actually provides enough features and performance to meet the needs of a basic tablet user. Think about how your kids, parents, grandparents, or your non-techie friend would use a tablet. Chances are Amazon’s 7-inch Fire tablet would be adequate for their uses of surfing the web, watching videos, and playing games like Solitaire or Angry Birds.

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Amazon certainly made some sacrifices in order to hit the affordable price of the 7-inch Fire tab. Some of these sacrifices include a reduced screen resolution, a single mono speaker, just 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. On the upside, Amazon includes a quad-core processor and a microSD expansion slot on this tablet.

Due to the facet that the 7-inch Fire tablet offers just the basics in terms of hardware, we didn’t have high expectations for the tablet’s performance in many of our benchmark charts. To be fair, most of the tablets and smartphones in our comparison charts have much more powerful components. We felt this Amazon device's battery life was adequate for a day’s use, especially since the 7-inch Fire tablet is designed more for casual use and enjoyment than for demanding applications and tasks.

The physical design of the 2015 7-inch Fire tablet is basic. Although we would have loved to see this tablet feature a rubberized backing, we’re willing to go with Amazon’s use of a plastic enclosure given the tablet’s price. 

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Amazon’s use of Fire OS is both a blessing and a curse for their line of Fire tablets. On one hand, you have great integration with Amazon’s ecosystem, provided you’re willing to use what Amazon has to offer. Amazon Prime subscribers will have easy access to some of their Prime benefits through Fire OS. On the other hand, if you’re not committed to using some of Amazon’s offerings or don’t have a Prime subscription, the strong ties to Amazon may be a drawback. In addition, Amazon’s Appstore has fewer offerings than the Google Play Store, for example, and there are some popular apps such as Dropbox, Instagram, and others that are notably missing from Amazon’s Appstore.

The 7-inch Fire tablet is designed as a basic tablet that has strong ties to Amazon’s ecosystem. It makes taking advantage of a Prime subscription easy and provides all of the key functions one would want. It’s also hard to beat the price of this 7-inch slate. The 2015 7-inch Fire tablet isn’t for everyone but it’s a pretty decent for what it is, a name-brand tablet that offers respectable performance for its category.

  • Very affordable
  • microSD expansion slot
  • Quad-core processor
  • Adequate battery life
  • Tight integration with Amazon’s ecosystem provides easy access to Prime content
  • 1024x600 resolution display
  • Mono speaker
  • Sub-par cameras
  • Strong ties to Amazon’s ecosystem can make it difficult to use other services

Tags:  Amazon, Fire, tablet, fire-os

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