Amazon’s affordable Fire 7 tablet has been a longtime favorite amongst kids and budget-conscious shoppers, but the most recent 2019 model is starting to show its age. Fortunately, Amazon just updated its most popular tablet with a speedier processor, a longer promised battery life and — finally — a USB-C port for faster and simpler charging.
The 2022 Fire 7 improves on the previous model with a quad-core processor that Amazon says is 30% faster than before as well as double the RAM for smoother multitasking. The company rates the new tablet for up to 10 hours of battery life, which it says is a 40% improvement over the last Fire 7 that launched in 2019.
But perhaps the Fire 7’s biggest upgrade is that it ditches the dated Micro USB port from the last-gen version and finally makes the jump to USB-C, complete with an included cable and 5W wall charger in the box. This brings Amazon’s budget tablet up to modern standards, with a charging port that’s easier to plug into and one that supports the litany of USB-C cables many people already have in their homes.
Improved specs aside, the Fire 7 delivers the same Amazon tablet experience that we’ve found to be especially ideal for casual users — especially if you’re already subscribed to lots of Amazon services. The Amazon app store is not as expansive as what you’ll get on an iPad or Android tablet, but it offers access to most key services. That includes Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and TikTok for entertainment as well as Zoom when it’s time to hop on a video call using the same integrated 2-megapixel webcam found on the previous model. There’s also hands-free Alexa support for opening apps and shopping on Amazon with your voice. Amazon says the tablet is “twice as durable” as the newest iPad Mini, something we’ll have to put to the test for ourselves.
The latest Fire 7 is available in black, Denim and Rose — unfortunately, there’s no more Sage option for those on team green. And like with previous iterations, there’s also a $109 Fire 7 Kids edition that comes with a soft “kid-proof” case in your choice of blue, red or purple as well as a yearlong Amazon Kids+ subscription that gets your little one access to child-friendly videos, books, apps and games. After your year is up, Amazon Kids+ starts at $2.99 per month for Amazon Prime members, or $4.99 per month for those not subscribed to Prime.
The 2022 Fire 7’s improved performance does come at a cost, as the tablet’s $59.99 starting price is a $10 bump over last generation. And if you don’t want to deal with lockscreen ads, you’ll have to pay up for the $74.99 model. This has long been the standard for Amazon tablets and is a slight annoyance, but it does allow Fire tablets to be significantly cheaper than the competition.
We’ve generally had a good experience with Amazon’s slates, with the Fire HD 8 Plus currently sitting on our best tablets list as our favorite budget option. While we prefer the iPad overall, you’ll have to pay at least $329 for one. We’ll have to put the new $59 Fire 7 tablet through its paces to render a final verdict, but if you’re looking for something simple and affordable for streaming your favorite shows and browsing the web, it’s looking like a compelling option — especially now that it’s finally been modernized.