Amazon Launches New Fire tablets With Built-in Alexa in U.S. and U.K.

Amazon yesterday refreshed its low-cost tablet range and brought
its Alexa voice assistant to Fire tablets in the U.K. for the
first time.

The new thinner and lighter $50/£50 Fire
boasts an improved 7-inch 1024×600 IPS screen with higher
contrast and sharper text, up to 8 hours’ battery life, and
more storage than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the new $80/£80
HD 8
features a larger 8-inch 1280×800 display and up to 12
hours of battery life.

Both devices pack a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 2-megapixel VGA
front and rear cameras, dual-band WiFi, and Alexa voice
assistant, which comes as a new feature for tablets sold in the
United Kingdom.

Amazon claims its new Fire models are more hard-wearing than
Apple’s iPads.
Even so, the Fire
and Fire
HD 8
are also available in Kids Editions, for £100/$100 and
£130/$130 respectively, which come with a large rubber
protective case and a two-year “worry-free” guarantee, as well
as more storage, parental controls, no adverting or in-app
purchases, and a one-year subscription to Fire for kids

With its low-cost, feature-rich offerings, Amazon has managed
to buck the trend in a tablet market in which even
market-leading brands like Apple have struggled to convince
consumers to upgrade to the latest devices. While iPad sales
have declined
for 13 consecutive quarters
, Fire sales have generally
improved, seeing double-digit growth in its media-positioned
tablets. The Fire 7 has proved particularly popular among
parents who want a device for their kids but aren’t willing to
risk paying a premium price.

The Amazon Fire 7 and HD 8 tablets are available to pre-order
now and due to ship on June 7. Amazon will roll out Alexa to
more of its Fire tablet devices in the U.K. in June through a
software update.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon.

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