Amazon Fire HD 10 (2015) vs. ZenPad 10 (Z300C)

Amazon has announced their 2015 tablet line-up which happens to include a 10-inch model, the Fire HD 10. Thus, we must (we are obligated) to write a comparison article. Actually we are joking about being obligated, but it sure is fun to see how these vs. battles play out. We like doing it!

We should first clarify that there are a couple different ZenPad 10 versions or “variants”. A Z300C in Canada has 1GB of RAM but a Z300C in the US has 2GB of RAM. Beyond that, the Z300CG and Z300CL have slightly different specs. We are going to make this comparison with the 2GB of RAM version of the Z300C. If you only have access to a 1GB model of the ZenPad 10, then adjust this comparison accordingly.

Both these tablets come with 16GB of storage, although the Kindle Fire HD 10 does have a 32GB configuration available.

Price (In USD):

Always the hot topic of discussion is price. The price to value aspect of an Android tablet purchase is obviously a key.

  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C) – $179 (was on sale for a couple weeks at $159)
  • Fire HD 10 (2015) – $229 (with sponsored screensavers) – $50 more expensive than the $179 ZenPad 10
  • Fire HD 10 (2015) – $244 (without sponsored screensavers) – $65 more expensive than the $179 ZenPad 10

Comment: The question is whether the price comparison should be based on the ads or non ads version of the Fire HD. It’s substantial, that’s what we see. Consider also that the ZenPad 10 (Z300C) has seen price reductions to as low as $159.


  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C) – 2GB
  • Fire HD 10 (2015) – 1GB

Comment: As you will see later in this comparison, Asus opted for lesser cameras (cost savings) to allow for 2GB of RAM. The benefit of 1GB vs. 2GB is going to be noticeable on a daily basis when using a tablet. It’s a big deal really in terms of performance.


  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C) – Intel Atom x3-C3200 Quad-Core @ 1.2GHz, 64bit
  • Fire HD 10 (2015) – MediaTek Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 GHz + 2 @ 1.2 GHz

Comment: We’ve mentioned this same option in our Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. ZenPad 8.0 comparison article, but we will say the same thing here. An Intel Atom processor is simply better quality than a MediaTek processor. Call this spec a draw if you wish, or you can look more deeply at benchmark results. We aren’t going heavy into the processor comparison other than to say either device is going to do just fine with the processors they have inside.


  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C) – dual stereo front facing speakers
  • Fire HD 10 (2015) – dual stereo side mounted speakers

Comment: We are of the opinion that a front facing speaker is going to trump side facing speakers any day of the week. A nice sounding speaker that is side mounted is always going to send the sounds to the side of the tablet and not to the front of the tablet where your ears are. A side mounted speaker isn’t the worst idea in the world, afterall Apple has a thing for side mounted speakers and the iPad sells pretty well. However, give that both these tablets have dual stereo speakers, we give the win to the ZenPad 10 without having heard either tablet. Take that for what it’s worth, but we can’t think of a scenario where we would prefer side mounted over front facing.

Size and Weight:

  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C)
    • Size: 9.9 x 6.8 x 0.3″ / 251.6 x 172.0 x 7.9 mm
    • Weight: 17.6 oz / 500 g
  • Fire HD 10 (2015)
    • 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.3″ / 262 x 159 x 7.7 mm
    • Weight: 15.2 oz / 432g

Comment: Certainly the Fire HD 10 is a lighter tablet, but thinness is quite close with the edge going to the Fire HD 10. For the higher price, there should be a more drastic size and weight win by the Kindle Fire 10, but that simply isn’t the case. This is fairly close, although the materials and premium feel is with the Fire HD 10 (2015).


  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C)
    • Front: 0.3MP
    • Rear: 2.0MP
  • Fire HD 10 (2015)
    • Front: 720p HD
    • Rear: 5MP

Comment: The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2015) clearly outclasses the ZenPad 10 cameras. With a front camera of 0.3MP, it’s not going to make for overly pleasant video conferencing, at least from the other persons perspective. A 2MP camera on the rear is about equally as weak. Buying wise, you have to decide whether the camera on your tablet is a higher priority than 2GB of RAM because Asus made that decision. This isn’t to suggest that the Fire HD 10 rear camera will be taking live long memories with. We’re talking about tablets and using that 10-inch device to take them. If you have a smartphone nearby, that’s obviously going to be the preferred camera. In our personal view, extra RAM provides far more value than a better camera spec. If we had to choose, we would take extra RAM over more megapixels on the cameras. Would you?

Unique or Value Added Features:

  • ZenPad 10 (Z300C)
    • has optional keyboard dock accessory with dual front facing speakers and can be used by other devices via Bluetooth connection
    • full access to Google Play
    • running Android Lollipop, with Asus ZenUI over top
    • is compatible with the Z Stylus pen
    • 5GB free Asus cloud storage
    • 100GB free Google Drive storage for 2 years
  • Amazon Fire HD 10
    • 802.11ac wifi (this is the newest and fastest wifi standard and the Z300C does not have “ac” wifi)
    • Fire OS 5 “Bellini”
    • expandable storage to 128GB via microSD (Asus Z300C is only expandable to 64GB via microSD)

(updating article so please check back for remaining comparisons and summary)




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