Amazon has produced a number of budget-friendly tablets over the years from the Fire HD 8 to the Fire HD 10 Plus, but has never been a true iPad competitor. Amazon hopes that’ll all change with the new Amazon Fire Max 11, one of the more premium and capable options in Amazon’s Fire tablet collection.
The question is, how does it compare to the current go-to option, the Amazon Fire HD 10? While there are some obvious differences – like screen size – there are a few other key differences that may push you towards one or the other. While we’re yet to go hands-on with the Fire Max 11, we spent some time with the popular Amazon Fire HD 10 and know its strengths and weaknesses well.
Here are five key differences between the Amazon Fire Max 11 and the Fire HD 10. If you’re on the hunt for something else Amazon-branded, take a look at our selection of the best Amazon Fire tablets, as well as our selection of the best tablets around in 2023.
The Fire Max 11 has a higher-quality, larger display
As the name suggests, one of the key differences between the Fire HD 10 and Fire Max 11 is the size of the display; the former measures in at 10.1 inches while the latter comes in at 11 inches.
Of course, there’s more to a good display than the size, but it seems the Fire Max 11 has the upper hand there too. It not only boasts a higher resolution than the Fire HD 10 (and any other Fire tablet) at 2000 x 1200 pixels, but it’s made from what Amazon calls “strengthened glass”.
It claims the strengthened glass on offer from the Max 11 is three times more durable than the 9th-gen iPad, though how Amazon came up with those numbers is unclear.
The Fire HD 10 is lighter than the Fire Max 11
When it comes to overall weight, the Amazon Fire HD 10 wins out at 465g, making it a great lightweight option for media consumption, largely down to the largely plastic build on offer from the budget tablet – though there’s admittedly not much between the two.
That’s because, despite the Fire Max 11 having a larger display and a higher-quality aluminium frame than the Fire HD 10’s plastic build, the Fire Max 11 weighs in at a relatively svelte 489g. It’s also actually the thinner of the two options, measuring in at an impressive 7.5mm compared to the comparatively chunky 9.2mm-thick Fire HD 10.
If your only consideration is weight and not overall build quality, the Fire HD 10 is technically the winner, but we’d imagine the Fire Max 11 would feel nicer in the hand.
The Fire Max 11 is comfortably faster than the Fire HD 10
The Amazon Fire HD 10 isn’t the speediest tablet around, with our reviewer describing performance as not “quite as slick to use as an iPad” – though that’s not entirely surprising when you consider the budget price tag and its spec, boasting an unnamed octa-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and either 32- or 64GB of storage.
The Amazon Fire Max 11, on the other hand, is a much more mid-range option and the performance is said to reflect this. While the chipset is also unnamed, Amazon claims that the 2.2GHz octa-core processor is up to 50 percent faster than any other tablet in the Fire collection in 2023, coupled with a boosted 4GB of RAM and 64- or 128GB of storage to play with.
We’ve not gone hands-on just yet so we’re unable to confirm real-world performance, but it certainly sounds promising.
The Fire Max 11 has more capable accessories
The Amazon Fire HD 10 might not come with any accessories in the box, but you can get yourself a handy Amazon-branded cover case for the tablet that makes it much easier to prop the display up in landscape mode – ideal for watching movies on Disney+ – but it doesn’t do more than that.
That’s understandable given the relatively low power output of the Fire HD 10, with the tablet focused more on streaming and accessing Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa.
However, with the Fire Max 11’s improved performance compared to the rest of the Fire tablet collection, it’s time for Amazon to take accessories seriously. For the Fire Max 11, that comes in the form of a capable keyboard case and an Amazon-branded stylus.
The detachable keyboard case features 15 shortcut keys for convenient functions as well as a built-in trackpad with a suite of gesture controls to help navigate Amazon’s Fire OS. It connects via magnets, allowing for quick attachment and removal of the accessory.
On the other hand, the Made for Amazon Stylus Pen works with big-name apps like Microsoft 365, OneNote and Drawing Desk, with basic support for most drawing/note-taking apps available on the tablet. It can also convert handwriting to text using the Write to Type feature.
The only catch is that the stylus isn’t rechargeable – it uses a replaceable battery that should last around six months before needing to be swapped out.
The question remains whether that’ll be able to compete with keyboard case and stylus options from Apple and its iPad collection, but we’ll put it to the test once we get a sample into the Trusted Reviews office.
The Fire HD 10 is the better low-budget option
With all the premium features on offer from Amazon’s new Fire Max 11, it should come as no surprise that the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the more affordable of the two. It comes in at £90/$64 cheaper at £159.99/$164.99 compared to the £249/$229 price tag of the Fire Max 11 – though that’s just the base configuration.
If you want to get your hands on the Fire Max 11 along with the keyboard cover and stylus, that’ll set you back £374.99/$329.99.