Amazon Fire Max 11 Review: An OK Tablet With Bad Software

The Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s latest, largest, and strongest pill. It’s additionally a pill nobody needs or wants. Amazon has departed from its ultra-budget hardware to churn out a tool that will be a good mid-level Android pill if it ran the most recent model. But it doesn’t run Android in any respect; it runs Amazon’s Fire OS, a crippled, practically ineffective fork of Android that’s now over two full years’ value of options behind Google’s cell working system.

Take mid-level {hardware}, slap on an OS that’s good for little greater than consuming Amazon content material, cost practically as a lot as you’d for an iPad, and you’ve got a pill that simply can’t sustain with the competition. Even at half the value, as Amazon’s Fire tablets normally are throughout Prime Day and different gross sales, the Fire Max 11 is a troublesome promote.

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Out of the field, that is the very best Fire pill Amazon has ever made for consuming Amazon content material. The downside comes while you wish to do something aside from eat Amazon content material.

Amazon sells the Fire Max 11 for $230. For one other $100, you may get what Amazon calls the Productivity Bundle, which provides a keyboard, cowl, and stylus. But you’re now within the worth vary of a number of a lot nicer tablets that supply a superior software program expertise.

Photograph: Amazon

Lest you suppose I’ve some pretentious dislike for Amazon’s {hardware}, I’m typing this overview on a Fire 10 with a Finite keyboard. It’s my most important writing instrument after I go away the home (or RV in my case) and half the time after I’m at residence. I’ve modified the Fire pill’s software program, utilizing the ADB developer tool to show off all of Amazon’s apps and set up these I must work (Vivaldi and Termux), however the Fire 10 is actually capable of deal with my wants as a author. That is to say, for $100 on sale, with some slight modifications, the Fire 10 is certainly able to being helpful for work, which is a fairly nice deal.

For that motive, I used to be excited to strive the Fire Max 11—what’s to not like a few extra highly effective mannequin, this one fabricated from actual steel as an alternative of low-cost plastic? The Fire Max 11 delivers what Amazon is promising, which is to say it’s by far the very best Fire pill the corporate has ever made.

The 11-inch LCD display screen has a pleasant 2,000 x 1,200-pixel decision that’s fairly glare-prone, however no worse than different tablets. The 16:9 format alerts that the primary precedence right here is consuming motion pictures (and studying, should you rotate to portrait mode), however it’s not nice for productiveness. It may very well be if Amazon up to date Fire OS to entry a few of the instruments in Android 12L, which is optimized for tablets, however Fire OS relies on an outdated model of Android that lacks any tablet-friendly options. More on that in a minute.

There’s a fingerprint reader on the aspect energy button, which is a primary for a Fire pill. A microSD slot permits you to increase your media storage, and the keyboard now connects by way of pogo pins, which permit it to cost and talk. Previous Fire tablets—like mine—want to connect with keyboards by way of Bluetooth, which is inconsistent and sluggish on the very best of days and should be charged individually. The Fire Max 11 additionally helps Wi-Fi 6 and has entrance and rear 8-megapixel cameras, making it higher for video chats as properly.

Under the display screen sit 4 gigabytes of RAM and both a 64-gigabyte or 128-gigabyte SSD (the bigger storage provides one other $50). The Max 11 is powered by a MediaTek MT8188J chip, which makes use of an 8-core processor. Those specs put the Fire Max 11 in the course of most Android tablets—extra highly effective than its Fire siblings, however actually not near any OnePlus or Pixel Tablet. For Amazon although, this qualifies as a high-end slate, relative to the remainder of the Fire lineup.

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