For years, Amazon’s Fire tablet lineup has consisted of smaller seven-inch, medium eight-inch, and larger 10-inch screen options, but now the company has a new one that stretches it up to 11. The Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s biggest-screened tablet yet, and it also sheds the plastic bodies the other models have for a more premium-feeling aluminum one.
Despite the sleeker design and slim bezels, it isn’t exactly a premium tablet like the iPads and Galaxy Tabs of the world. It’s still very much a budget-friendly media consumption device, just like Amazon’s other Fire tablets, and even then, it’s not that cheap; instead of paying $150 for Amazon’s previous biggest screen model, the Fire HD 10, the Max 11 starts at $230. However, that extra $80 gets you a few new features, plus a new focus on productivity that supports the option for a stylus and attachable keyboard with trackpad.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a big shift to 8 and 10-inch devices. In fact, our 10-inch segment has more than doubled,” Kevin Keith, Amazon’s vice president of product management and marketing, said during a briefing. “We started seeing during the pandemic, and we continue to see, even after the pandemic, a lot more kind of light productivity use cases.”
Keith noted that Fire tablet users were more actively on Zoom and Teams for work and using Microsoft Office and email. The Fire Max 11 was designed with this shift in mind, so it has the option for a new $90 magnetic keyboard / trackpad attachment that communicates with the tablet via built-in pogo pin connectors. The keyboard for the Fire HD 10, in comparison, connects via Bluetooth.
There’s also support for a new $35 Made for Amazon stylus, which has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, lasts six months on a single AAAA battery, and magnetically attaches to the left side of the tablet (landscape). The Max 11 also supports USI 2.0-standard styluses, though the company warns functionality will be “limited” based on the Max 11’s spec sheet.
You do get some additional features for the Max 11’s premium over the older Fire HD 10. Most notable is a new fingerprint reader built into the side power button so you don’t have to enter a PIN for every unlock, something Verge deputy editor Dan Seifert wished the HD 10 had in his review. The cameras are improved over the HD 10, too, with an eight-megapixel sensor on the front and rear. The rear camera has autofocus and 1080p video recording, while the front is properly centered for video calls while using the device in landscape.
The Max 11 has a MediaTek SoC with eight cores and 4GB of RAM standard. You previously had to opt for the $180 HD 10 Plus model for that extra memory. Additionally, the Max 11 has both 64GB and 128GB options of built-in storage and can still be expanded with a microSD card.
Keith also mentions that the two upward-firing speakers are upgraded, as he demonstrates them for me with a Taylor Swift concert video. The official spec sheet says it’s Dolby Atmos-capable. However, it’s worth noting that Fire Max 11 does not have a headphone jack.
In my brief time with the Fire Max 11, the 2000 x 1200 resolution LCD screen was plenty sharp, and Amazon tells us it’s fully laminated — although it didn’t really feel that way due to the glare and thickness of the glass. At times, it was a bit hard to see the screen in the brightly lit conference room, leaving some noticeable glare that the LCD’s 410 nits of brightness could barely overcome.
It’s worth noting that Apple’s $449 10th-generation iPad, capable of 500 nits of brightness, also suffers from glare due to a non-laminated display. Amazon is actively pitting the Max 11 against the 10th-generation iPad, stating in its press release that the Max 11 is “three times as durable” as Apple’s reimagined base tablet.
The software on the Fire Max 11 is very familiar. It’s running Fire OS 8: Amazon’s fork of Android 11. Keith tells us Amazon officially promises to provide security updates on it for at least four years but also points out that the company is still updating software on much older models.
While that means Fire Max 11 won’t be taking advantage of new Android 14 tablet experiences, it's a reminder that the Amazon tablets are still largely for connecting with Amazon services: everything from Kindle books to Prime Video. According to Keith, Fire tablet users love recommendations on the For You page, which points to different movies, books, games, and content from third-party sources like Netflix, Disney Plus, and more.
For the Fire Max 11, this time around, there isn’t a locked-by-default kids version of the tablet. Although, you can switch users and have up to four kids profiles that are still managed alongside two adult profiles.
You can order the new Fire Max 11 now on Amazon in addition to accessories like the new $50 slim standing case. You can also get a productivity bundle for $329.99 (starting) that includes the keyboard case, stylus, and three months of Microsoft 365 service.
Correction May 23rd, 10:43AM ET: A previous version of this article said the Fire Max 11 runs on Android 9 and has an air gap between the glass and LCD screen. Amazon clarified that the OS is Android 11-based, and the LCD screen is actually laminated. We regret the error.