Amazon’s new Fire HD 10 is essentially a Fire TV 2 in tablet form

Amazon’s new flagship tablet for 2017, the Fire HD 10, was released a few days ago. Like many, I had been patiently waiting for Amazon to finally release a tablet with a 1080p screen again, so when they announced that the all-new Fire HD 10 had a 1920×1200 IPS screen I put in my order and picked one up. While putting it through its paces this week, it dawned on me that, up until now, I overlooked something obvious about this tablet. The new Fire HD 10 shares the exact same internals as the 2nd generation Fire TV. Here’s a comparison of the two device’s specs and benchmark scores.

The Fire HD 10 tablet and the Fire TV 2 share the exact same CPU and GPU. The main difference between the two is that the Fire HD 10 has been underclocked to 1.8+1.4 GHz, while the Fire TV runs at the chip’s full 2.0+1.5 GHz speed. This is likely done to reduce heat in the tablet’s thin body. The Fire TV 2 has a large metal heatsink inside that dissipates heat more efficiently than a tablet and it also doesn’t have other heat generating components, like a screen.

The lower clock speed of the Fire HD 10 tablet results in approximately 20% lower gaming benchmark scores, compared to the Fire TV 2, but doesn’t affect video playback capabilities, since the two devices share the exact same hardware decoder. Having the same hardware as the Fire TV 2 means that the Fire HD 10 is technically capable of 4K video, but it’s limited to 1080p at 60 FPS because its screen resolution is 1920 x 1200 and there is no way to connect it to an external display.

 
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017)
$149.99
tiny-png-fire-tv-2nd-gen
Amazon Fire TV 2 (2015)
$89.99
CPUMediaTek 8173
Quad-core (2 x 2)
MediaTek 8173
Quad-core (2 x 2)
GPUPowerVR Rogue GX6250PowerVR Rogue GX6250
CPU Speed2 @ 1.8 GHz (Cortex-A72)
2 @ 1.4 GHz (Cortex-A53)
2 @ 2.0 GHz (Cortex-A72)
2 @ 1.5 GHz (Cortex-A53)
CPU Architecture64 Bit64 Bit
Memory2 GB2 GB
Internal Storage32 or 64 GB8 GB
External StorageMicro SD (up to 256GB)Micro SD (up to 128GB)
WiFi802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth4.1 LE4.1 LE
Max Screen Resolution1920 x 1200 (internal)3840 x 2160 (external)
Video Playback1080p @ 60 FPS2160p @ 30 FPS
Hardware DecoderH.265 (HEVC), H.264, H.263, VP9, VP8H.265 (HEVC), H.264, H.263, VP9, VP8
OpenGL VersionOpenGL ES 3.1OpenGL ES 3.1
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Manhattan 3.1
307393
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Manhattan 3.0
614785
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Trex
1,2421,532
Gaming Benchmark
Test: ALU 2
660880
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Driver Overhead 2
633797
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Texturing
1,5182,032
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Render Quality
2,5012,497
Gaming Benchmark
Test: Render Quality HP
3,6183,531

Benchmark scores are from GFXBench v4.0: Offscreen @ 1920x1080

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8 comments
  1. Charlie says:

    FYI, my 1st gen box got an incremental update Saturday. My 2nd gen has not changed. I can’t find any obvious changes. I did notice also recently that YouTube has changed its logo when you open the app on Fire TV.

  2. Matt says:

    Can you run Firefox or Chrome browser on these tablets?

    Thanks.

    • Manabi says:

      You can easily install Google Play on it, and this post explaining how to do that mentions wanting Chrome on their HD10, so at least Chrome should work. I’m pretty sure Firefox will work too.

  3. Nate says:

    I imagine this might come up in a future aftv post/review, but wanted to ask: on the HD 10, can the Kindle app display two pages, side-by-side, like you can on an iPad?

  4. Scott says:

    I have several tablets; previous HD10, Shield, Nexus. Thus far the tablet version of the Alexa app both on Google play and Amazon appstore do not support Amazon’s new call and messaging features. Is this the case for the new HD10? I sure hope Amazon updates this soon.

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