Reading comics/graphic novels has always been a pastime of mine. Hell bent on collecting the House of M graphic novels so I could form the logo on the spines, I spent a lot of time and effort looking for them although they didn’t end up like I thought it would look. Still, amassing these books meant a lot of money and space. These books dust up over time, takes up my entire shelf and cost up to $25SGD ($20USD) per book. So I usually look for pre-owned books at $10SGD ($7 USD) but you’d have to get lucky to find what you were looking for.
Although still a part of my favorite collections, moving forward, I found buying these books becoming really impractical. Which brings me to the Fire HD 10. I wanted to get something for my Mom so she didn't need to squint her eyes watching movies on her phone, so I thought I could try getting the Fire HD 10. To which I admit, I had been looking at it for sometime time for comic book reading - so why not then? I could have her watch her shows on a 10” screen while I finally try to see for myself if comic book reading on a tablet was so great after all.
So let's find out what it's like reading comics or manga on Amazon's Fire HD 10!
(Before I start, this is not a sponsored post or advertisement.)
I ordered my Fire HD 10 on Lazada and the delivery was pretty quick although it was at about $200 SGD ($140 USD). It's not cheap but I think it's still reasonable. I’ve always heard there are plenty of deal Amazon pulls off like Prime Day where you could pick em off for sometimes at $99 USD but the shipping for Singapore kills the deal, so there wouldn’t be much difference. For US readers or anyone using third party shipping carriers, do look out for those sales cause it’s definitely worth it.
Appearance & Size
The tablet came as I expected, simple and slick. It comes in a few colors like orange and blue but black is always my go-to, so my mom gets that too. The most important factor to me, it scales exactly like a comic book! It might not be a positive point for everyone since looking like a graphic novel means you’re carrying its size around. Some people might prefer it smaller. You could go for Fire HD 8, which is half the Fire HD 10's price. Otherwise, this thing measures 10.1”.
Software & Apps
The tablet runs on Amazon’s Alexa system. One thing I didn’t really like was how everything had to be connected to your account. There are pros and cons, but sometimes I just want to be flexible and avoid logging in and setting up all that account information. Didn’t take me long but the hassle comes if I ever want to get another Amazon tablet for myself and I’d have to make an account for my mom because she is using mine right now.
There are also annoying ads that are placed on your loading screens. I’ve read somewhere we can disable it, but I didn’t bother since I wasn’t the one who’s gonna go through all that haha!
Setting up was simple and for anyone who wants to read comics, there are basically a few options:
Buy comics straight from Amazon's Bookstore
Download Comixology (Doesn't seem to be available in Singapore)
Download Comicat from Amazon's app store as a reader (Paid app)
Download the android app store plug in for any other comic reader applications.
For no.4, there are official publisher comic reading apps that comes with all the comics like Marvel, DC etc. There are also other apps like Perfect Viewer where you gotta have your own e-comics ready.
Here’s a rough breakdown on the cost of membership on the publisher apps:
*Do note that membership doesn’t mean you get to read everything, some issues might still require additional purchases, some back issues could be really old and have not been digitized.
Marvel Unlimited: $9.90 per month or $69 for an annual pass
Comixology: $5.99 per month (If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get additional exclusive reads)
DC Universe: $7.99 per month
Shonen Jump: $1.99 per month
I wouldn't recommend using Amazon's Bookstore for comics because it's very limited and expensive.
I did not end up using any of these apps so I won’t be able to let you know how they work on the Amazon Fire since the tablet was for my mom so I only decided to try Perfect Viewer instead. Perfect Viewer is a free app that opens ebooks, PDFs, comics etc. I transferred some CBR format comics to the tablet which was just a plug-in drag and drop and opened them up on the app. Super simple, zero hassle.
The colors were great, and pictures looked like the books themselves. The loading didn’t take long either. I could get used to Perfect Viewer because it’s not 100% smooth, the menu system is weird to navigate with poor U.I, but it’s free so no hard feelings.
Having no book smell tends to be a very important factor for many. Nothing would beat flipping a fresh unwrapped page of the new House of X. That's one loss for tablet reading.
Using the app includes the usual swiping left and right or tapping the sides for going back and forth pages. Double tapping or pinching both fingers for zooming in and out. Nothing a geek can't handle. I read several issues borrowing it from my mom for a day while on the way to work and after. It felt superb to be honest and made me rethink my decision to get it for her! :3
It felt superb to be honest and made me rethink my decision to get it for her! :3
I don’t wanna go through this too much because you have it everywhere else with one search, so I’ll just talk about a few things.
The screen is Full HD 1080p so if you’re into videos, it makes a really good travel companion for YouTube or watching movies.
The battery life lasts up to 10 hours according to Amazon but I haven’t been able to test this out purely by reading comics. I will once I get one for myself and will update the page right away.
The storage has two options of 32 or 64 GB and can be expanded with a microSD card. So no issues with me on that. It’s not that difficult to delete old comics anyway, how much do you really need to store?
The Fire HD 10 is definitely worth a look as a comic reader (and more) in my opinion. There are some competitors out there but I think the price and quality can’t be matched. There are obviously the overpriced apple products, several other similar line ups from Samsung’s Galaxy tablets, Lenovo’s Tab 5, or Huawei’s Mediapad that are also pretty expensive. Some might be comparable but most go above $300 SGD ($150-200USD) and it'll definitely lose out during Amazon's sale. On the other hand there's the RCA which has a similar budget but I’ve read some mixed reviews on it so I didn't take the risk. If you don’t mind dropping down 2” on the screen, the Fire HD 8” is only $99 SGD ($79.99 USD). That’s half the price for a slight downgrade!
UPDATE: I've recently tried manga as well and there were no problems. It was super addictive even. Since there was no colors, I thought everything was perfect other than the apps you are using might have different controls etc.
If you don’t mind dropping down 2” on the screen, the Fire HD 8” is only $99 SGD. That’s half the price for a slight downgrade!
Personally, I enjoy reading from the Fire HD 10 and I’m not lying if I said I’m going to get another one just for myself. The Shonen Jump app and Marvel Unlimited seems to be at a good budget if I purchase an annual pass.
Both will only cost less than $7 SGD ($10 USD) a month for an unlimited amount of manga and comics!! So, it’s only a matter of time before I snuck one up so I can start reading comics whenever I'm out especially if I'm travelling!
This is...AMAZON FIRE HD 10 UNBOXED!
Check out the Amazon Fire HD 10 here:
For Singaporeans using Lazada:
Check out the Amazon Fire HD 8 here: