Amazon has slashed the prices of its Fire tablets in the US and Canada as it often does. If you need a dirt-cheap Android tablet or something more capable but still quite cheap, here are some options.
The Fire 7 tablet is just USD 35 in the US if you’re fine with 16 GB storage and “special offers” (lock screen ads). It’s a super basic tablet (1,024, x 600 px screen, quad Cortex-A7, 1 GB of RAM), but it can run the major streaming services (Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+). This tablet is currently full price in Canada.
Amazon Fire 7
The newly-upgraded Fire HD 8 is significantly more capable. It’s USD 60 in the US (33% off) and CAD 90 in Canada for the 32 GB model. You get an HD screen with this one and better CPU cores (Cortex-A53, still only four of them), plus double the RAM (2 GB). Again, you can use it for streaming, but this one also has enough oomph to handle Zoom calls.
The Fire HD 8 Plus increases the RAM to 3 GB and adds wireless charging, so you can use it as a smart screen. The tablet itself is USD 80 in the US, unfortunately the dock isn’t sold separately (a combo tablet + dock offer is available for $120). The Plus model is not available in Canada.
Fire HD 8 • Fire HD 8 Plus with more RAM and optional wireless charging stand
The Fire HD 10 (2019) is by far the best of them. It has a 10.1” 1,920 x 1,200 px display and an octa-core CPU, RAM is sill limited at 2 GB. This one goes for USD 100 in the US (that’s 33% off). It’s available in Canada, but not discounted.
Both this one and the HD 8 models have stereo speakers, in case you plan to use them for streaming.
Amazon Fire HD10
But if you prefer to do your streaming on the big screen, you can start with the Fire TV Stick 4K. At just USD 35 in the US, this one supports 4K unlike the cheap Chromecast (HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are supported too). Besides the usual suspects, the stick can also stream HBO, Hulu and ESPN.
Amazon Fire Stick 4K • Fire TV Cube
Alternatively, the USD 100 Fire TV Cube also acts as an Alexa-powered smart speaker. In Canada, only the 1080p Fire TV Stick is discounted to CAD 40 (the 4K stick and the Cube are available at their regular prices).
Note: the Fire HD 10 (2019) and Fire HD 8 (2020) run Fire OS 7, which is based on Android 9 Pie. The Fire 7 and the older Fire HD 8 (2018) are about to be updated from Fire OS 6 (based on 7.1 Nougat) to v7, the update will roll out on July 28.