Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet has 2 great features the iPad should copy

Even at $60, Amazon’s updated Fire 7 tablet still manages to be a capable device for reading books and comics, watching videos, and casual gaming.

An iPad is still the better overall package, but in its 2022 update to the Fire 7 tablet, Amazon made the device slightly more compelling for anyone looking for a simple tablet.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input


The resolution of the Fire 7’s front and back cameras.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

The camera sensor itself isn’t the best (webcam footage looked warm, oddly cropped, and had bad low-light performance), but Amazon gets major points for actually putting its front-facing webcam on the ‘correct’ side of the Fire 7 — in a horizontal orientation.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

As tablets have gotten wider, the natural orientation to hold and use them has changed from vertical to horizontal.

Apple has so far refused to adapt with its iPad and because the Fire 7 tablet only has a 7-inch screen, I can’t claim it needed this new webcam placement, but I’m glad it happened anyway.

Raymond Wong / Input

A USB-C port

Finally, an end to micro-USB! The Fire 7 tablet uses USB-C for charging, the cable you’re more likely to have around anyways to charge your phone or laptop.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

Apple has avoided putting a USB-C port on its entry-level $329 iPad, giving Amazon a small advantage to go with its smaller Fire 7.

Along with the improvements to charging, battery life has been upgraded to last up to 10 hours, according to Amazon. In my tests, the Fire 7 easily hit that mark on a Saturday of casual reading and streaming.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

The 1,024 x 600 screen resolution hurts

The Fire 7 is Amazon’s entry-level tablet, so I wouldn’t expect it to get every high-end feature, but in 2022, it’s really a shame a tablet designed for content consumption isn’t offering something that looks better or brighter.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

2 GHz

The speed of the Fire 7's CPU.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

The final notable change Amazon made to the Fire 7 was swapping in slightly more powerful internals.

Performance was serviceable while I was using the Fire 7, but if you’re used to any modern smartphone, I think you’ll feel disappointed by the Fire 7’s slightly longer load times and occasional stutters.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

But the real problem is Fire OS

With a limited app store (no Google Play support) and aggressive upsells of other Amazon products and services, the most annoying part about using the Fire 7 is Fire OS.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

The Fire 7’s rounded corners and slightly thicker body make it comfortable to hold, its hardware features are good enough, and it does all of the reading and watching I needed it to do.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

But the Fire 7 is still a budget tablet, and with Amazon, what that entails has changed, but still needs to be considered. As long as you’re comfortable simplifying your tablet habits to just watching and reading, the $59.99 Fire 7 is an even better deal.

For anything else, look elsewhere.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet starts at $59.99

The price goes up for more storage (up to 32GB) and if you opt out of Amazon’s lock screen ads.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

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Amazon's Fire 7 tablet (2022) is $60. That's 1/5th the cost of Apple's entry-level iPad.

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