Amazon’s new $49 Fire tablet was officially released on September 30th. I’ve been giving it a workout the past couple of days to see how well it performs.
Amazon clearly had to cut some corners to get the price down to $50, but the fact of the matter is it’s a pretty decent tablet for the price. Other than the low resolution (171 ppi) screen there’s not really much to complain about.
So far the $49 Fire tablet has been running fast and smooth. The quad-core processor doesn’t get bogged down when multitasking.
The touchscreen responsiveness is good. The build quality is solid, though with a cheap plasticky feel to the back panel.
The new Fire OS 5 is a nice change. It’s based on Android 5.0 Lollipop, but it’s a closed off version with Amazon’s custom UI.
Amazon has finally ditched the homescreen carousel and soulless black background from previous Fire tablets. For the first time ever you can now set wallpapers, even custom wallpapers. There are some new accessibility features as well with Fire OS 5.
The tablet has a new OS and a new $49 price, but at the core it’s still the same exact Fire tablet as previous generations, with the same features and the close tie-in with all of Amazon’s services and products.
The biggest change is the addition of a microSD card slot on this year’s line of Fire tablets—a surprising twist that few expected to happen. Even the $49 Fire has a microSD card slot, and it supports cards up to 128GB (good thing too because it only has 5GB available).
I’ll post an in-depth written review of the $50 Fire tablet after using it more. Here’s a video review showing the device in action.
P.S. I’ll be posting a review of the Fire HD 8 as well. It’s a lot nicer than I thought it would be—it’s super thin and light and has a nice premium quality feel to it.
Pretty nice deal for $50, more storage space than my voyage, color, sd expansion and not to mention it has Georgia as a font option too. Now the question begs, why isn’t Georgia a font option on Kindle eReaders? Makes no sense.
Also were now in October and still no word on a KV2.
Why would you even compare an ereader with a tablet?
Shane C says
Much better then I anticipated It would be. I ordered one for my nephew for Christmas and feel It’s the perfect price point for his age. I’m almost tempted to get one for myself and use solely for ereading purposes, but really like my KPW2 and don’t think I could part with It right now.
Bob Deloyd says
I found it to be a very nice tablet, not as tough as the other Kindles Fire HD 6 and 7 that I have; seems to have a little flex but not anything bad. My came at 87% charged and it updated right when I turned it on, then I watched a 1:24 hour movie and still had about 56% battery left and didn’t have any eyestrain with the lower resolution. I haven’t tried the front or back camera or the reading any books yet. I love the new OS compared to the old carousel piece of crap and can’t wait to update my 6″ and 7″ to OS5 that should come soon… I’m going to check for it now… nope, still stuck on OS 4.5.5 :/ For $50 you can’t do no wrong giving these as gifts or have around to toss in your backpack.
Yeah, it is really nice not having to deal with the carousel anymore, with items appearing and disappearing at random. That alone is a big improvement. 🙂
John D says
This a great tablet for $50. I loaded many of my personal books on a 32gig and did not find an eraser provided with the tablet that find them and read them. I searched the web for Aldiko.apk and downloaded that to the Fire 7. It installed and ran perfectly. Found ALL my books on the sd card.
Amazon advertised that the fifth generation tablets would all have a Mayday button.
It was listed under specs until recently.
Now, Amazon has changed the specs to say screen sharing, email and phone under SUPPORT on the list of specs. I am very upset about this since I bought the cheapest model for an elderly person.
Isn’t this false advertising? And do you have any information on this issue. Thanks!
I think it said Mayday screen sharing from the beginning but nobody knew exactly what that meant so people assumed it was the same Mayday video chat as before, but that only came on the higher end HDX tablets, not the HD or entry-level tablets. I notice they removed the Mayday label from their companions chart, probably because the term was causing this type of confusion.
Amazon specifies Mayday screen sharing as this:
Screen Sharing brings Mayday-powered customer service to Fire tablets. Simply call customer service and Amazon experts can connect to your Fire tablet to co-pilot through features by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best.