- Amazon has released its new Fire Max tablet.
- The device boasts an 11-inch screen and costs $229.
- Some observers think the Max is a worthy competitor to the iPad.
Apple’s iPad line has long dominated the premium tablet market, but Amazon’s latest model is worth a second look, observers say.
The new Fire Max 11 has an 11-inch screen, an upgraded processor, and aluminum construction. The basic Max model costs $229 compared to the least expensive iPad’s price tag of $449.
“The Fire Max offers an affordable and capable tablet option for casual users, budget-conscious individuals, and those already integrated into the Amazon ecosystem,” tech enthusiast Gene Caballero told Lifewire in an email interview. “Its performance and feature set make it suitable for everyday tasks and entertainment.”
Tons of Fire Max 11 Upgrades
The latest Fire release shows the tablet has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a plastic-clad device that stuttered when trying to perform many tasks. The Fire Max 11 has an Octa-core processor and a 2x Arm Cortex-A78 GPU. Amazon claims that it is almost 50% faster than Amazon’s next fastest tablet, making it suitable for fast streaming, gaming, and multitasking. The Max hasn’t been released yet, so those claims haven’t been put to the test, but the iPad has a long track record of offering smooth performance with many applications.
Battery life is one area where Amazon claims clear supremacy. The Fire Max 11 has a theoretical battery life of 14 hours, putting it well above the iPad’s stated ability to run 10 hours on a single charge.
“For all-day entertainment, staying in touch with friends and family, multitasking, answering emails or reviewing documents, Fire Max 11 is everything many people and families need from a tablet without having to pay premium prices,” Kevin Keith, the vice president of Amazon Devices said in an email to Lifewire.
But the iPad narrowly edges out the Amazon model when it comes to screen specs. The Fire Max has an 11″, 2000 x 1200 display, while the iPad’s 10.9″ Retina Display has a 2360 x 1640 resolution. The basic Fire Max 11 model has 64 GB of built-in storage, which matches the lowest-end iPad model.
Lauren Mendoza, the co-founder of Bank Standard, a business loan marketplace, said in an email that she is considering buying Fire Max tablets for her staff.
The Fire Max offers an affordable and capable tablet option for casual users, budget-conscious individuals, and those already integrated into the Amazon ecosystem.
“The Fire Max is an optimal choice for those invested in Amazon’s ecosystem and looking for a cost-effective solution,” she said. “It’s particularly suited to avid readers, Prime Video binge-watchers, or anyone wanting a seamless, voice-controlled experience with Alexa. With its robust parental controls, the Fire Max also makes an excellent first tablet for children or a convenient device for casual users who don’t need high-end specifications.”
iPads Still Win, For Some
Despite their newly enhanced features, not everyone should plunk down their credit card for a Fire Max, Mendoza noted. A more expensive tablet like an iPad or high-end Android tablet would suit those who require top-tier performance and versatility.
“This includes professionals seeking powerful productivity tools, digital artists needing precision and a wide color gamut, or gamers wanting superior graphics and speed,” Mendoza added. “It’s also a viable option for tech enthusiasts who want the latest features and a broader range of apps to choose from. In our case, many of the apps we use for work (like Salesforce) aren’t available on Amazon’s ecosystem. So for us, that was the deciding factor to go with iPads instead.”
The Fire Max offers a range of features at a more affordable print than the iPad lineup, Caballero said. However, he added that the Max might not provide the same processing power, display quality, and software ecosystem as an iPad.
“iPads are known for their powerful performance, high-resolution displays, and extensive app library,” he added. “They excel in tasks like gaming, content creation, and professional use cases. Depending on individual needs and budget, users can choose between the Fire Max for more budget-friendly options or an iPad for a premium experience.”
Users with demanding computing needs, such as professionals in graphic design, video editing, or software development, may require the advanced hardware capabilities and specialized software available on high-end tablets like the iPad Pro, Caballero said.
“Additionally, individuals who prioritize a premium user experience, including features like a high-resolution display, advanced camera system, and robust audio quality, may find that a more expensive tablet meets their expectations,” he added.
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