Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a $230 Android-powered 2-in-1
Guess Android tablets aren’t dead just yet. Following Google’s official launch of the Pixel Tablet last week, Amazon has unveiled a new Fire tablet called the Max 11. For just $230, the Fire Max 11 offers an 11-inch LCD screen, slim aluminum frame and smart home controls courtesy of Alexa. I was able to briefly check out a sample at a briefing last week and am impressed by how much Amazon is offering for the money.
This isn’t your average Fire tablet, by the way. While the company’s previous slates have found a niche as affordable, kid-friendly mobile entertainment devices, the Max 11 is all grown up. With slimmer bezels, a more-premium aluminum build and weighing just over a pound, it’s designed for those who also want to do some work and multi-tasking. To that end, the tablet uses an octa-core MediaTek processor that Amazon said is almost 50 percent faster than its “next fastest tablet.”
There’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button, making the Maxx 11 the company’s first tablet to offer this feature. The 11-inch screen, which Amazon says is its “biggest, most vibrant… tablet display,” has a 2,000 x 1,2000 resolution and is certified for low blue light. It also supports WiFi 6 and runs Fire OS 8, which offers some split-screen and picture-in-picture features to let you fire off emails while keeping an eye on your favorite YouTube livestream (like the Engadget Podcast, perhaps?).
More importantly, though, the company also made a keyboard case and stylus for the Max 11 that you can get for an additional $100. If you don’t need the pen ($35), you can get just the case for $90. It attaches to the device magnetically and connects via pogo pins, too. I like that the cover comes with a kickstand, and in my brief experience it was sturdy enough to prop the tablet up and various angles. The keyboard is detachable so you can peel it off when you don’t want it in the way. Its keys were surprisingly springy and deep, with a well-spaced layout. Though I think the trackpad is a little small, I’m glad that Amazon at least included one instead of ditching it altogether.
I also enjoyed casually scribbling my name and random greetings with the “Made For Amazon Stylus…