The $40 Amazon Fire 7 Tablet Review | is it any good?

Firstly, let’s take a moment to appreciate how insane it is that Amazon sells the Fire 7 tablet for 40 dollars!

Regardless of the specs, a tablet is a complex device which requires quite a bit of resources to put together.

It is a truly an amazing time to be alive.

So, why is the Fire 7 so cheap?

Specs

IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16 M colors

600 x 1024 pixels, 16:9 ratio

Android 5.1 Lollipop

Quad-core 1.3 GHz cortex-A7

8 GB storage, 1 GB RAM

Specs wise the seventh generation Fire 7 is pretty similar to a Nexus 7 tablet from 2012.

But, that doesn’t mean that it lacks modern features.

What has it got?

For starters, the Fire 7 has the Amazon’s Alexa assistant built-in, which makes it a portable touch and voice remote for your smartphone.

And…

Well, that’s pretty much it.

So why is it on the best sellers list on Amazon?

Let’s break it down.

The main appeal of any tablet is its size.

Which the screen of the Fire 7 is only a little over an inch bigger than some flagship phones these days, it still makes a big difference.

Based on reviews from customers, most people are buying one of these for casual web browsing e-book reading and movie watching.

And if you view the bargain price as a key feature, the Fire 7 makes perfect sense for those cases.

However,

If you are a seasoned pro when it comes to techno junk, and have strong opinions about specs, I have no doubt that you will hate it.

Videos will be in standard definition, not even 720p HD.

The speaker is terrible. Yes ‘speaker’, singular.

Even reading on the Fire 7 gets tiresome after a while because of the low resolution.

Fun Fact:

The Fire 7 tablet has the same number of pixels as the as iPhone 4S, and those pixels are spread over TWICE the area.

So, why would you use it?

Let’s say you need a device to access the internet on your next trip, and you do not want to use one of your premium devices.

Or,

Let’s say that you want to use a cheap but durable device for your kids, or your cat?

The Fire 7 is great for those uses.

You can even order a kid-proof kit to go with it.

Annnd, it is a great gift for less-techy relatives.

Are there any additional costs and any other issues I should know of?

Glad you asked,

The Fire 7 only has 8 GB storage internal. The 8 GB space will fill up pretty quickly with just apps, forget about movies.

So, you will definitely need a micro SD card.

Also, Speed is not the Fire 7’s strong suit. It performs exactly like you would expect with a Quad-core 1.3 processor and 1 GB of RAM.

I mean, those are specs for a wearable.

While it has both rear and front mounted cameras, well, they barely qualify as cameras these days.

0.3 MP??? What is that??!!

Even with this primitive hardware, it still does not explain why the Fire 7 is so cheap.

For that, we need to look at the software.

The Software

Let’s get one thing straight, Amazon is not a hardware company at its core.

Everything about the Fire 7 is about driving customers back to Amazon services.

That is why the Fire 7 is loaded with apps like,

Prime video

Prime Photo

Prime Music….. Etc

That is also why you get notifications related to your Amazon orders.

The Fire 7 also forces you to download any and all apps from the Amazon app store instead of Google’ playstore. Which give Amazon a 30% commission on app sales.

And that my dear friends, is how Amazon can afford to sell the Fire 7 so cheap.

Not only is Amazon using cheap internals, I mean there are plenty of reviews complaining about the Fire 7. But this ecosystem control is such a powerful motivator that Amazon subsidizes every tablet they sell, and pushes the price down another $15 if you opt for the “with special offers” option that puts ads on your lockscreen.

On to the main question

Should you be one of the thousands of people who own one, if not several Fire 7 tablets?

Let’s face it; the Fire 7 is not amazing.

But, if you want a basic, no frills ‘utility’ tablet for the coffee table, it really, really is good value.