Amazon has been one of the more prolific tablet manufacturers thanks to the Fire tablet and Kindle E-reader lineup. Given the price of their affordable slate, many people have old Fire tablets sitting around collecting dust after moving on to newer models. If you’re not happy with the trade-in credit and want to put that old tech to good use, here are 7 of the best uses for old Fire tablets.
Before You Start…
Transforming an older tablet into something useful isn’t complicated, but there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you get started. It’s a good idea to clean up the tablet before putting it to use again, and we’re not talking about dust or grime around the display.
Remove any old or unwanted apps and games from the tablet. You would be surprised by how much storage space some of these programs take up; removing them can also speed up the tablet. We also highly recommend reformatting or resetting the tablet, as well, after backing up your data.
Doing this ensures you get a clean start with the tablet no matter how you plan to use it. It will remove any information you might not want to be shared while giving you a fresh platform to work with. If you plan to revamp an old Fire tablet and give it to someone else, there’s one thing that often gets overlooked.
You will want to delink the tablet from your Amazon account beforehand. Otherwise, it will remain tied to your account and could cause confusion for you and the new owner down the road.
The 7 Best Uses for Old Fire Tablets
1. Digital Photo Frame
The easiest thing to do with an old Amazon Fire tablet is to turn it into a digital picture frame. It’s a cost-effective way to show off photos in any room of your home, and much cheaper than a traditional digital picture frame.
The advantage of using a fire tablet for photos lies in the features. You can set slideshows through apps and get far more creative than you could with a traditional digital frame. With a bit of ingenuity, you can even “frame” the tablet itself and display it on the wall.
2. Music Player
Some of the older Fire tablets didn’t have the best speakers, but the sound systems have improved drastically in recent years. When combined with Amazon Music or a microSD card, you can use it as a music player, which is one of the best uses for old Fire tablets.
This is an area where the type of Fire tablet you have matters; unless you only plan to stream music from the internet or an app. For offline use, pay attention to how much onboard storage the slate has and how large of a microSD card it can support.
3. Movie Player
Do you have an old Fire HD or Fire HDX? If so, you can put that extra resolution to use by converting the tablet into a media machine. All of the Fire HD models allow you to expand the storage, which means you can load up to up to 1TB of movies and TV shows onto these slates.
Whether you want to load movies onto a Fire tablet or use an external drive, you won’t need an internet connection to enjoy the content. Alternatively, you can still enjoy streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu on retired tablets.
4. Smart Home Controls
Our homes have gotten just as smart as the devices we wear on our wrists and carry in our pockets. From lighting connected to Wi-Fi, security, and automated blinds, there can be a lot to control in a smart home. Using a Fire tablet as a universal remote or hub for your smartphone can make life simple and it’s one of the best uses for old Fire tablets.
You won’t have to worry about multiple controls for devices, and you can use the tablet as a secondary remote for your smart home system. Connectivity could be an issue with some dated tablets, but won’t be a problem for most of their recent slates.
Amazon sells a number of home security goods, including those under its Blink brand. Systems like Blink and doorbells like Ring can give you an idea of who may be outside before you go to the door. Outdoor cameras linked to Wi-Fi have become incredibly affordable as well.
All security systems rely on a monitor to display that information, and most allow you to sync up to a smartphone to view your home while you’re away. You can use a Fire tablet as a mobile monitor for your system or turn the device into a makeshift security camera.
Thanks to the cameras on these tablets, the right app will transform a Fire tablet into a security camera. When properly set up, you can use the revamped tablet to keep track of your pets and your property both indoors and outside.
6. Secondary Display
Have you ever considered purchasing an Echo Show or smart display for another room in your home? Whether it’s for a nightstand in your bedroom or the kitchen, an extra Amazon Fire tablet is a perfect secondary display. It’s also much cheaper than the new Echo Show with similar features.
With access to apps like YouTube and speakers, an old Fire tablet can be your best friend in the kitchen. A case with a stand allows you to use the device to quickly check recipes or follow along with any tutorial you can imagine. That includes ones that can teach you how to bake the perfect Bundt cake or replace a fuel line on a weed eater.
The size and portable nature of the Fire tablet make it ideal for any location where a secondary display could come in handy. We’ve seen them used in workshops and inside cars, along with kitchens. If you don’t cook or use tools, there’s still one more option to consider.
7. Digital Clock
The Fire tablet works well as a digital photo frame, but the size and display also make it the perfect alarm clock. This is another area where an old case with a stand comes in handy, although there are a number of tablet stands with nifty features built-in.
By using an app or Alexa, you can set your tablet to wake you up in the morning or after a short nap. There’s no shortage of clock apps, and the tablet’s screen-saver feature can also double as one.
A traditional digital alarm clock for a bedside won’t have a 7 to 10-inch display, and it certainly doesn’t provide access to some of the features found on the Fire tablet.
While privacy could be a concern with connected devices in the bedroom, you can disable the webcam, or simply cover it with a piece of dark tape.
It’s always a good idea to put older tech to use when possible, especially considering the cost of recycling some electronics. While Amazon and others have trade-in programs, you can often get more use out of older devices by simply repurposing them.
It will save you money and allows you to extend the life of tablets and other types of mobile tech considerably, as well. If you want to keep Alexa from eavesdropping on your refreshed tablet, we have that covered, too!