Amazon’s $50 Fire Tablet Too Locked Down for You? Try This $40 Alternative

4306900_rdOver the past week Amazon put its newest and cheapest Fire tablet on sale for $35. The retailer sold so many tablets that it’s out of stock and won’t be available again until 24 December.

Luckily other retailers, including Best Buy, still have the tablet in stock, but for those who don’t want a tablet that lacks Google Play and is locked down by Amazon there is also an alternative.

While I was digging through Best Buy yesterday, checking out their Cyber Monday sales, I found a $40 Android tablet that has specs about on par with the new Fire.

The Digiland DL718M is a 7″ tablet which runs Android 5.1 on a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MTK8127 CPU with 1GB RAM, a pair of cameras (2MP and VGA), and Wifi/Bluetooth.

Its screen resolution is 1024 x 600, and under the screen you’ll find 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. It does have a speaker, as well as a headphone jack, although there’s no way to tell whether the audio is any good.

All in all this is not a bad set of specs for the price. It’s better in a couple ways than the other $40 tablet that Best Buy is selling, but is it the equal of the Fire tablet?

That remains to be seen.

No, that’s not a fair question. This is a $40 tablet, which means we should set our standards at not exploding when it turns on for the first time, and work from there.

There are seventeen reviews at this time, with an average rating of 4 stars.  Most reviewers gave it five stars, an encouraging sign, and I’ll let you know what I think once I get my hands on one.

Best Buy

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Chris Meadows1 December, 2015

    According to the reviews, apparently you have to buy an SD card in order to be able to update the operating system. That’s…different.

    1. Nate Hoffelder1 December, 2015

      @ Chris

      Yes, it does require a card for updates. Weird. But on the plus side I am liking the hardware so far. The screen and touchscreen are okay, and it’s pretty responsive.

  2. Thomas1 December, 2015

    Is there any solid information about the battery life? All I can find is a comment about the battery draining under heavy use even when it’s plugged in. Usually the main problem with cheap tablets is lousy battery life.

    I did actually buy one of the Fire tablets last weekend. Even though I dislike locked down gear, the $35 price was just too good. So far, I’m impressed. Very responsive, plays games well, and gets very good battery life. (Almost seven hours while streaming video from Amazon.) The Amazon Appstore had most of what I needed, and I was able to sideload the few apps they didn’t have. If I end up needing more, I know that Google Play can be added, or just replace the entire firmware.

    1. Nate Hoffelder1 December, 2015

      Not yet. I only got the tablet this afternoon.

  3. Chris Meadows1 December, 2015

    Incidentally, if you should be near a Fry’s Electronics, they have a lot of great sub-$50 tablets available themselves (though many of them may or may not be sold out in your particular store). And ditto Micro Center.


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