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Amazon’s productivity tablet is half the price of an iPad—and half as good

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14.06.2021

Apple isn’t the only one that thinks a tablet can replace your laptop.

Last month, Amazon released a new version of its Fire HD 10 tablet, and with it, a new “Productivity Bundle” that includes a detachable keyboard case and one-year subscription to Microsoft 365, a subscription service that includes Microsoft’s Office apps. The implication is that Amazon’s tablet—best known until now as an inexpensive media-consumption device—can help you get some work done too. And at $220 for everything, it’s less than half the price you’d pay to buy Apple’s cheapest iPad ($329) and outfit it with a Smart Keyboard ($159).

Perhaps there’s a subset of users for which that proposition holds up. But unless your computing needs are extremely basic, Amazon’s app ecosystem will feel too limiting, and its lack of any Google apps could make it a nonstarter.

While the idea of a cheap productivity tablet is intriguing, the Fire HD 10 isn’t up for the job. Amazon, whose hardware products primarily serve as vessels for consuming its own content offerings, has plenty of incentive to sell you a tablet cheap and then make it as appealing as possible to pay for movies, music, and ebooks. But it doesn’t have much reason to make getting work done a focal point.

Amazon’s actual tablet hardware is fine. It’s a basic slab of plastic and glass with a pair of speakers on the top edge and cameras on both the front and back sides. It has a 10-inch display that’s slightly brighter than the previous Fire HD 10, and it now includes more memory—3GB—to help with switching between apps and browser tabs.

It still feels a bit pokey, though. You might notice the screen lagging slightly behind your finger while........

© Fast Company


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