- Low Price
- Excellent Screen
- Easily Portable
- Strongly Tied to Amazon
- Heavy for its Small Size
- No microSD memory card slot
Quick TakeThe Fire HD 6 stands out as the best tablet under $100. Its very small size and strong ties to Amazon mean it's not for everyone, though.
The Fire HD 6 is intended for those who want a small, inexpensive tablet for reading ebooks, keeping up with friends, and online shopping.
Budget tablets often have sub-par display, but Amazon built a beautiful screen into this device, despite its $100 price.
Build & Design
The design of this tablet is all about hitting two goals: It’s an easily-portable computer that costs under $100. Both of those are intended to make it appealing to those shopping for a light-duty mobile device.
The Fire HD 6 comes in an array of color options for those who want it to be a fashion accessory, too. These colors are for the plastic casing that makes up the back and sides – the front is always black.
The bezels on either side of the screen are thin, making the tablet easy to hold in one hand. The plastic used for the casing doesn’t show fingerprints.
The 6-inch display makes it small, but it’s not particularly light at 0.63 pounds. And at 0.4 inches, it’s thick for it’s size. That said, the Fire HD 6 is light enough that reading on it for hours is little or no strain, and the weight gives the device a solid feel.
Amazon realizes that the display is the most important part of any tablet, and didn’t skimp on the the one in the Fire HD 6. This screen equals the quality (but not the size) of the ones in many more expensive models.
The resolution is 1280×800, which on a 6-inch display works out to a quite decent pixel density of 252 PPI. This means that fonts are smooth, and video and images look clear. It looks vastly better than the display included in the similarly-priced Toshiba Encore Mini.
The Fire HD 6’s screen is larger than the ones in most phones, but it’s small compared to laptops and even other budget tablets. While this makes the device more portable and cheaper, those who depend on reading glasses will sometimes need them to use it. The size of text in emails and ebooks can be easily increased, but web pages displayed in the Silk Browser sometimes feature tiny writing.
Watching video on a 6-inch display is possible but not enjoyable. The tablet can only be a couple feet away at most to see what’s happening in a movie or TV show.
The Fire HD 6 is usable in sunlight, as long as the backlight is on full. This is hard on the battery however, and those looking for a small device for frequent outdoor reading would be better off with one of Amazon’s dedicated eReaders.
Buttons and Ports
Across the top of the Fire HD 6 is the power button, a headset jack, microphone, and the micro-USB port that’s used for charging, as well as load files from a PC. On the left size is a pair of volume up/down buttons.
Amazon didn’t include a microSD card slot here. Instead, the company wants users to depend on its cloud storage service. All the models in the Fire series have free access to Amazon Cloud Drive where they can store an unlimited number of pictures taken with the tablet as well as Amazon books and movies, and 5 GB of other files for free.
Want a good case for this tablet? Be sure to read our Amazon Standing Leather Case for Fire HD 6 Review
Page 2 describes the software that comes on the Fire HD 6, and how well it performed in our tests.