Amazon announced this year’s update to its Fire tablet, including an anticipated sub-$50 entry-level model.
As usual, the company is positioning the line as media consumption devices, trumpeting “a world-class entertainment experience”, and “with access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games”. Expandable storage via microSD cards will also play an important role.
The entry-level device, simply called Fire, has a 7-inch screen (previous reports had suggested a 6-inch display, in line with the company’s earlier Fire HD6), 1.3GHz quadcore processor, 2MP front and VGA rear cameras, and 8GB of storage (up to 128GB of storage via expansion slot).
The company is also offering the device in a six-pack at $249.95 – equivalent to buy five, get one free.
According to the online retailer, the device offers twice the processing power of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, at less than half the price. It also said that in “tumble tests”, Fire is “almost 2x more durable than the latest generation iPad Air”.
“Fire sets a new bar for what customers should expect from a low cost tablet,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said.
The devices are said to offer widescreen HD displays, “thin and light” designs, quadcore processors, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, front (VGA) and rear (5MP) cameras, and microSD support.
Fire HD8, which is available in four colour options (black, magenta, blue and tangerine), is priced from $149.99. Storage options are 8GB and 16GB, with microSD expansion slot.
Fire HD10, which is the company’s largest tablet yet, is available in black or white, priced from $229.99. Storage options are 16GB and 32GB, with microSD expansion.
Fire Kids Edition
Also unveiled was a new Fire Kids Edition, offering “an all-new Fire tablet, an updated kid-proof case, one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, 20,000 hand-curated and age-appropriate websites and YouTube videos, and our same 2-year worry-free guarantee”.
Priced from $99.99, the company said that “despite best intentions, kids break things…if they break it, send it back and we’ll replace it. No questions asked”. It also said that it provides access to a wide set of content at no extra cost.
The 7-inch display device has a quadcore processor, front and rear cameras and microSD storage slot.
Fire OS 5
Finally, Amazon announced Fire OS 5, codenamed “Bellini”, which it said “brings the best entertainment experience on any tablet”.
This includes an updated user interface, “deep integration of Amazon-exclusive services”, and hundreds of new and upgraded features and platform updates.