I’ve never been the type to jump at purchasing a new device. As much as I love learning about new features, I stand by the motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Since I already had the Amazon Fire HD 10, I didn’t bat an eye when the retailer announced a new device. But after giving my mom the older product (after her own Kindle said its last goodbyes), I was curious to see if the Amazon Fire Max 11 surpasses its predecessor. I decided to review and compare the two to see if it’s worth buying a new model, or if I should simply ignore an upgrade.
Amazon Fire Max 11 vs. Fire HD 10: Which Wins the Battle of the Devices?
Here’s our honest review
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
How I Tested the Amazon Fire Max 11 vs. Fire HD 10
Now, the Amazon Fire HD 10 gets a leg up, because I’ve had it since December 2022, whereas I’ve only had the Amazon Fire Max 11 for a few months. The devices came out two years apart, as the Amazon Fire HD 10 was released in May 2021 and the Amazon Fire Max 11 in June 2023. This big gap gave me a chance to spot big differences—from size and weight to screen features and capabilities. But aside from the specs and apps, I reviewed both devices based on how they help me day-to-day. Whether that’s bringing to work as a planner or lounging around in bed watching Harry Potter, I wanted to see which device wins out in the long run.
- Value: 19/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Quality: 19/20
- Aesthetics: 19/20
- Productivity: 19/20
- Total: 95/100
I actually reviewed this device back in 2022, and the benefits still hold true today. Compared to older models, the Fire HD 10’s high resolution hits it out of the park. It has a 1080p HD display, so images and videos are clear and crisp. The size also plays a big factor, as it’s 10.1 inches while also being pretty light and thin in my hands. I’m able to slip it into my bag without it feeling like a million pounds of excess weight.
One of my favorite features is the split screen option. Since working from home, I’ve relied heavily on a monitor and computer combo, so I can see all of my work side by side. Although the tablet doesn’t compare to a big screen, I still appreciate being able to see everything, especially on-the-go. The only downside is it doesn’t work on every app (it gives an error message when you attempt certain applications), so keep that in mind.
Speaking of apps, you can download your favorites like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. If you’re looking for more productivity apps, you can access Zoom, Microsoft Office, Dropbox and OneNote, too.
- Value: 20/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Quality: 19/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Productivity: 20/20
- Total: 98/100
The first difference I noticed with the Fire Max 11 was the size. It’s wider and taller than the Fire HD 10, but still felt light in my hand. It has mostly the same functions as the older model with slight changes in its display, efficiency and accessories. When comparing the cameras and videos, the Fire Max 11 is bigger and brighter. It’s not a huge difference, but looking at both tablets side by side, the newer version is crisper and clearer.
When it comes to efficiency, the Fire Max 11 is quicker. When I was setting up the device, I was able to download all the apps I wanted in one go. With the older model, I had to individually find and download each application. Aside from downloads, the loading time while watching TV shows or searching on the web was smoother.
New features on the Fire Max 11 include the ability to use your fingerprint to unlock the device. It’s a nice touch (pun intended) to get to the homepage, since I’m accustomed to doing it with my computer and phone. There’s also the addition of the stylus pen. A downside I mentioned in my review of the Fire HD 10 was that I wanted accessories that could enhance my productivity. The pen makes it easy to jot down notes, press on specific links and overall glide through the tablet.
Now, I wouldn’t say it’s the best pen, as it can mess up words and symbols if you don’t write clearly. However, it’s compatible with most apps and will notify you which ones you can use to start drawing or dabbling on. Other new additions include more settings in the drop down homescreen such as screen mirroring and screen recording.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 has 12 hours of battery life versus the Fire Max 11, which can last up to 14 hours. (FYI: Both devices still hold more battery life than the latest iPad models, which only carry about ten hours.) The charging time is pretty similar—the Fire HD 10 takes four hours and the Fire Max 11 takes 4.2 hours using the provided adapter.
The Fire HD 10 has 1080p (1920 x 1200) and uses more than two million pixels (224 ppi), whereas the Fire Max11 has 2000 x 1200 IPS resolution with 2.4 million pixels (213 ppi). These specs are crucial in getting bright and vivid images. Both devices have a 3.5mm stereo jack, two built-in microphones, volume buttons, USB-C 2.0 port and power button.
The Fire HD 10’s front camera is 2MP with 720p HD video and the back camera is 5MP with 1080 p HD video. The Fire Max 11’s front camera is 8MP with 1080p video and the back camera is 8MP with auto focus and 1080p HD video. (Note: You can see the difference in quality and Chris Evan's winning smile with the photo above.)
The Fire HD 10 has 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage along with the ability to add a 1 TB microSD card. It also has an octa-core processor 2.0 and 3 GB of RAM for quick, smooth movements. The Fire Max 11 can hold 64 or 128 GB, but also be expanded to 1 TB, too. Similar to the older model, it has an octa-core processor 2.2 and a 4 GB of RAM, so it’s even faster to go through apps.
Size and Weight
The Fire HD is 10.1 inches and weighs 16.4 ounces, whereas the Fire Max 11 is 11 inches and weighs 17.28 ounces. Both devices are made with aluminosilicate glass, which makes them durable and reduces the chance of getting them all scratched up if you drop them. However, one difference is the Fire HD 10 is made with 28 percent recycled plastic and Fire Max 11 is made of 34 percent recycled plastic and 55 percent recycled aluminum.
You’re able to purchase a cover, a Bluetooth keyboard and a screen protector for both devices. However, the Fire Max 11 has a compatible stylus pen to enhance your productivity. Also, the keyboard/case for the Fire Max 11 is more efficient, as it’s magnetized, so you can snap on and off with ease. As someone that received all the accessories for the Fire HD 10 and Fire Max 11, I can assure you it’s a must if you’re looking to use this for work or school.
Amazon Fire Max 11 vs. Fire HD 10: Which One's Worth It?
Honestly, both devices are great options. There are some differences between the devices, but they are very slight upgrades that someone that hasn’t tried both like myself wouldn’t pick up on. If you don’t care about the specs, I say go for the older model. Mine is still in good condition after a year, so why not? But if you’ve never had a tablet before, it doesn’t hurt to try the latest model. It has a higher-quality display, it’s a bit faster and the additional accessories elevate the experience. Since I tried the Fire HD 10, I’m excited to start using the Fire Max 11 more for work and for fun, especially with a stylus and lighter keyboard. But whatever you decide, just know it’s way cheaper than the competitors out there (by at least $200 less, FYI).
Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.