Amazon appeases plastic critics with a metal-clad Fire HD 10

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If you nabbed a Fire HD 10 tablet during one of Amazon’s stellar sales, chances are you’re part of a growing chorus of displeased buyers who don’t like its cheap fit and finish. The tablet’s flimsy plastic rear is the point of much contention in the Fire 10’s reviews on Amazon. Thankfully, Amazon is fixing the issue with a new version of the Fire 10 that swaps its current plastic back for an all-metal, silver aluminum construction.

Review: Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 and 10 are better as vending machines than as tablets

Relaunching an existing tablet with a new metal finish may sound unorthodox, but Amazon is taking the high road. It’s not bumping up the price of the Fire 10 at all. The metal-clad variant of the tablet costs $230 with 16GB and $260 with 32GB. Amazon is taking the opportunity to add a new, larger storage option: 64GB for $290. However, other than the shiny new exterior, there aren’t any changes to speak of — the processor inside is the same, which should make owners of plastic Fire 10 tablets feel a bit less disappointed.

The tablet offers competitive specs for the price and features a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800 pixel screen, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Dolby-calibrated stereo speakers, a front-facing camera and complimentary 5-megapixel rear shooter, a MicroSD card slot, and a battery that lasts “up to 8 hours” on a charge. Amazon contends that the Fire 10 is almost “2x more durable than the iPad Air 2,” but it seems like a dubious claim. You can buy the new tablet on Amazon right now.

The Fire HD 10 didn’t launch all that long ago, really. Amazon took the wraps off the tablet in September, and while its build quality left a bad taste in many buyers’ mouths, reviewers immediately lauded its slimness. At 0.30 inches, it’s thinner than the 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and boasts better-than-average battery life. The Fire 10 is far from the best value proposition on the market, though. Lenovo’s Tab 2 A10 offers a higher-resolution screen and longer-lasting battery for $200, or $30 cheaper than Amazon’s tablet.

However, every Amazon device is part of a bigger, bolder ecosystem, and the Fire 10 is no exception. On the software front, it features On Deck, which automatically queues up Amazon’s most popular programming for speedy offline playback; Amazon’s Underground storefront, which heavily discounts apps, games, and even in-app purchases; Mayday, which connects you with an Amazon’ support specialist who can remotely control your tablet when you experience issues; and X-Ray, which highlights actors and surfaces trivia during TV shows and movies from Amazon’s Instant Video library.

If you’re interested in the new all-metal Fire HD 10, buy one now from:

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