Amazon has refreshed its Fire tablet lineup this morning with new features, specs and a special Kids edition. As well, today’s news includes a slight price drop on the HD 8 while the Fire 7 stays at the same price. Amazon’s budget-focused tablets have long been a hit with parents looking for an alternative to Apple’s much pricier iPads. And thanks to the recently announced FreeTime unlimited, parents are in more control over how their kids spend time than ever before. More details and a special launch-day deal are below.
Starting at $49.99 for the Fire 7 Tablet, Amazon continues its aggressive pricing that undercuts nearly every notable competitor on the market today. As well, it’s moving the HD 8 price down to $79.99 from its previous generation price of $90.
On the hardware side, the bulk of today’s news centers on a slightly thinner design and a spec bump on each model. The Fire 7 has a lighter chassis and an upgraded 7-inch IPS display along with alleged bumps in battery life and Wi-Fi performance. Amazon’s Fire HD 8 is more of the same, minus the changes in the physical design.
Alexa is being introduced on both models, as it continues to make its way to every product in your home following recent additions to ecobee’s thermostat and new Westinghouse 4K TVs (more details here). Both models are also privy to new colors that are a nice change from the usual black or silver.
Amazon is also rolling out new kid-focused versions of both tablets. The Fire 7 and HD 8 Kids bring children-safe designs that are meant to withstand greater bumps and bruises throughout daily use. A “no questions asked” two-year warranty is also included in the event that your child decides to test the boundaries of this tablet. Otherwise, the Fire 7 and HD 8 Kids are largely the same as the other refreshed tablets above. Amazon does include a year of its new subscription service Amazon FreeTime Unlimited with access to a wide range of kid-approved activities and content. These models will be priced at $99.99 and $129.99 respectively.
While Amazon’s new tablets are desirable for price-conscious shoppers, its technical specifications continue to underwhelm. These are perfect for kids, grandparents and the like, but pales in comparison to Apple’s latest 2017 iPad.
Each of the new Fire tablets introduced today are now available for purchase at Amazon with a June 7th release date. If you’re interested in picking up a handful for your kids this summer, or looking to Christmas already, Amazon is offering a 20% discount when you purchase three of its new tablets and use code FIRE3PACK at checkout.
“We think customers should expect more from their tablet—better hardware, more features, access to tons of great content—but shouldn’t have to pay a premium for it,” said Kevin Keith, General Manager, Fire Tablets. “Our approach is to offer premium products at non-premium prices. The all-new Fire 7 is thinner and lighter, offers an improved display, longer battery life, and better Wi-Fi connectivity—while keeping the same low price of $49.99. For only $30 more, the all-new Fire HD 8 offers a vibrant 8” HD widescreen display, up to 12 hours of battery life, faster performance, and 16 GB of storage. Plus, both tablets include Alexa—it’s an incredible value we think customers will love.”
For less than $50, Fire 7 is thinner and lighter than the previous generation Fire. With an improved 7-inch IPS display, Fire 7 offers higher contrast and sharper text, making books, web content, videos and more look crisp and colorful. Fire 7 also offers improved battery life with support for up to 8 hours, and a choice of 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage with up to 256 GB of expandable storage via microSD card, giving customers the ability to enjoy more videos, music, games, and photos—even while offline.
For only $30 more, Fire HD 8 offers a widescreen 8” 1280 x 800 HD display with over a million pixels for a bright, vivid picture. It also includes up to 12 hours of battery life for all-day power, and 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus up to 256 GB of expandable storage via microSD card.
Both of Amazon’s latest Fire Tablets include:
- Alexa—Simply press and ask to play videos, enjoy music, listen to audiobooks, ask questions, shop, find news, display the weather, and more on your Fire tablet.
- Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor—Quickly and easily switch between apps, stream movies, and browse the web without waiting for your tablet to catch up.
- Durability—As measured in tumble tests, Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 are both more durable than the latest generation iPad.
- Front- and rear-facing cameras—Video chat with friends and family with the front-facing camera; take and share photos, and save them for later with free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire devices.
- Fast Wi-Fi connectivity—dual-band Wi-Fi with support.
- Screen Sharing—let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen, available 24×7, 365 days a year—for free.
- Amazon-exclusive features—Alexa, ASAP, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, Prime Video downloads, and more.
- World-class content ecosystem—Access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps, and games—with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.
- New color options—Black, Punch Red, Marine Blue, and Canary Yellow.
Alexa on Tablets
Alexa makes it easy to have your favorite entertainment right at your fingertips. With a simple long-press of the home button, you can ask Alexa to play your favorite movie or TV show, read aloud the latest audiobook you’ve been reading, open a game or app, turn off the lights, or adjust the temperature controls. You can even ask Alexa for the news, weather, jokes, questions, and more. Alexa provides natural-language responses, combined with on-screen information on the tablet’s display—ask for the weather and see the week’s forecast, ask to play a song and see the album cover. Since bringing Alexa to Fire Tablets last year, customers have asked Alexa for millions of songs, jokes, the weather, trivia, movies, audiobooks, and more every week.
World-Class Content for the Whole Family
Amazon offers access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps, games, audiobooks, and magazines. This includes hundreds of thousands of exclusives, such as the entire 16-album collection from Garth Brooks, the best-selling solo artist in U.S. history, available only on Amazon Music as well as Amazon Music Original playlists, which feature original songs and covers from a wide range of artists like Ryan Bingham, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Ingrid Michaelson, Joshua Radin, and more. Fire devices offer free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazoncontent, plus all of the exclusive features that customers love. Among others, these include ASAP, which helps you get to the movies and TV shows you want to watch even faster, and Blue Shade, which removes harmful blue light for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience on a tablet. Parents can also take advantage of world-class parental controls with Amazon FreeTime, the service that encourages learning before play and gives parents the ability to set educational goals and screen time limits by content type, including innovative features like Learn First and Bedtime.
Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 offer beautiful displays, up to 256 GB of expandable storage via microSD card, and all-day battery life, making them the perfect tablets for watching movies, playing games, reading books, listening to music, and much more whether jumping on a plane or heading out on a family trip. Both tablets also support offline downloads for Prime members, Netflix plans, and Showtime subscribers, plus On Deck, a feature that automatically downloads popular Prime movies, TV shows, and Amazon Original Series so customers never have to worry about being caught without entertainment.
Even Better with Prime
Fire Tablet customers that are Prime members have access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, and much more included as part of their member benefits. Tens of millions of Prime members around the world enjoy the many benefits of Prime. In the U.S. that includes unlimited access to award-winning movies and TV episodes with Prime Video; unlimited access to Prime Music, Audible Channels for Prime, Prime Reading, Prime Photos, Twitch Prime; early access to select Lightning Deals, one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First, and more. Prime was built on the foundation of unlimited fast, free shipping and today, members receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 50 million items, Prime FREE One-Day Shipping and Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery in more than 5,000 cities and towns, and two-hour delivery with Prime Now in more than 30 major cities. If customers are not yet members, they can start a free trial of Amazon Prime at amazon.com/prime.
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