Amazon’s biggest tablet is the Fire Max 11. It has an 11-inch screen, a fingerprint reader, and an optional keyboard and stylus package. Usually, Fire tablets are cheap consumption devices, but now maybe you can be productive on one?
The tablet starts at $229.99, with the “productivity bundle”—the tablet plus the keyboard and stylus—clocking in at $329.99, or exactly the price of a 9th-gen iPad. For specs, the display is an 11-inch, 2000×1200 60 Hz LCD, and it has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (with an option for 128GB), and a “14-hour” battery of unknown size with 15 W charging (you’ll only get a 9 W charger in the box, though). The SoC is a Mediatek MT8188J. That’s an 8-core chip with two Arm Cortex A78 CPUs (those are the “medium” size CPUs in 2021’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1) and six junky Cortex A55 CPUs for background duty. The GPU is an ARM G57 MC2.
The fingerprint reader is on the side power button. There’s also a MicroSD slot for extra storage. The keyboard connects to the tablet via pogo pins that power the keyboard and provide communication. The keyboard isn’t backlit. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and sports front and back 8 MP cameras.
As always, the tough thing about Amazon tablets is not getting the usual Google Play Android ecosystem. Instead, you’ll be limited to the Amazon App Store and won’t be able to easily install the Google apps. The OS for the Fire Max 11 is “Fire OS 8,” which is based on Android 11, a 2-year-old version of Android. Android 12L was a release focused on tablet improvements, but you won’t get that on Amazon’s tablet. The $230 version features ads on the lock screen (you can pay $15 more to get rid of these), and many of the packed-in apps are designed around getting you to buy stuff from Amazon.
So, as usual, it’s a budget device, but it’s a cheap way to dip your toes into the tablet plus keyboard waters. The tablet ships on June 14.