Category Archives: Amazon Fire

On Fire! – A guide to some of the best value & most versatile tablets available

Amazon Fire tablets offer unprecedented value for money & are a wonderful & versatile gateway for Amazon services as well as being a competent android tablet in their own right.

Indeed given how most people use their tablets, I find it difficult to see how far more expensive & well-known tablets can compete when they are often two or three times the price of the Fire range & lack the facility for micro SD cards for storage expansion.
In some markets, competitive deals for bundles of multiple tablets can be found or with robust children’s cases for those that are more …enthusiastic with their hardware.

One of the highlights of my personal experience with these modest yet surprisingly versatile devices, was the rediscovery of my love of reading via the wealth of Kindle books available in their unbeatable, value-packed & affordable subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited.
Unknown to most is the Amazon Fire’s party trick of reading the kindle book for you. After selecting and downloading your voice (file) of choice, enabling text-to-speech functionality, all three Fire tablets will happily read for hours and do an excellent job.

Currently, a Fire 8 tablet keeps me company in the car & not only reads books, but also works well with the Skype & facebook messenger voice calls, as well for Youtube, or your favourite music app, but it will default to Amazon Music Unlimited & other Amazon services of course unless specifically told to use Youtube.
With some practice, Amazon’s Alexa can operate most of these items using voice commands, but this may take some practice. To Amazon’s credit, Alexa is improving quite a lot.

Throughout our COVID-19 experience, the Fire tablet has also happily served as a videoconference device with my co-workers when using skype.

The Fire tablet can also be used very effectively with Office 365 products such as Onedrive & Onenote, and the Fire tablet can be happily used to display Powerpoint shows (*.pps) if a small display device is needed.

Adding a bluetooth keyboard and mouse transforms the Fire tablet into a capable and super-portable device for communications & emailing, or even drafting items like this article, in addition to the standard fare of music and video typically tackled by far more expensive tablets.

Another great feature for younger members of the family is FreeTime.
FreeTime can be purchased bundled with a Kids tablet or purchased alone like any other subscription.

It is available across a great variety of devices and thus is pretty universal in its availability.
It contains a wealth of content targeted at several age ranges with full parental controls with a breakdown of content type etc.
FreeTime is available via apps on the Google Play store, the Apple App store, & via other Amazon & Fire devices.

At the time of this article, the Fire 7, Fire 8, & Fire 10 could be found at around $50, $80, & $150 respectively at regular price, but when the periodic Amazon sales occur, can be found for around $25, $50, & $100, & are often available in bundles should you want to gift the devices to the whole family.