Amazon hardware announcements! $50 tablet, 10″ tablet, Fire TV 2
Let it rain!
Five more press releases from Amazon with new hardware announcements (and these may not be the last this holiday season).
I’m not always right, but it’s fun when I am. 😉
I said yesterday that a flurry of press releases and the unavailability of the Amazon Fire TV suggested we might get hardware announcements this week…they’re here!
There are some significant developments here…I’ll deal with those in a moment, but I do want to mention that these announcements don’t include new EBRs (E-Book Readers…non-Fire, non-backlit) or a new Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (although there is a ground-breaking announcement on Alexa, the “parse-onality” of the Echo). I think EBR announcements are still forthcoming, and that we probably won’t get an Echo 2 announcement, but that we’ll hear a lot about the Echo (including the “Alexa Skills” and more features).
Let’s start with Fire tablets. Those are used by many people for reading…including me. I do still read on an EBR before going to sleep, but I would guess that at least 90% of my reading is done on my
Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers (3rd Generation) (at AmazonSmile*) (now retired…today, I think)
I think that may be increasingly true for people. Let’s do it this way: we’ll go from the least expensive currently available new (or available for pre-order) directly from Amazon Fire tablet and go up from there. I will likely need to expand these descriptions in future posts…this will be a high-level listing, noting some key points:
NEW: Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) $49.99
This is about half the previous lowest price. Lower quality screen, shorter battery charge life, mono (not stereo)…but a micro SD slot, cameras front and back, and Mayday (on-screen tech support…an amazing feature). Most people, certainly casual users, aren’t likely to notice an hour’s less battery charge life or fewer pixels. Serious gamers would. This will likely be a huge hit. They are also, interestingly, offering six for the price of five with a code: FIRE6PACK. That makes it really work for schools, large families, bookclubs, businesses. Yes, there are other cheap Android tablets out there…but people want Amazon, and Mayday is a big advantage.
Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black(at AmazonSmile*) $99.99
Twice the money and a smaller (although better) screen. It says it is going to get Mayday (which has been it’s drawback). Will it get the new Fire 5.0 with the other new features? It’s also a mono speaker, and with no micro SD slot. Not clear to me how long this one will stick around.
NEW VERSION: Fire Kids Edition, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case (at AmazonSmile*) $99.99
NEW: Fire HD 8, 8″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) starting at $149.99
I think this will be seen as the “normal” model (with the $49.99 being seen as the “cheap” model). It has the micro-SD card slot. It has the features of the $50 “Fire” (that’s it…like the call the least expensive EBR the “Kindle”), but all around ramped up hardware (better cameras, processor, screen)
NEW: Fire HD 10, 10.1″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) starting at $229.99
The top of the line model…with a significantly bigger screen. It’s worth noting that the 8″ actually will have a sharper screen, since they have the same number of pixels…on a larger screen, that makes them less dense.
Press release for 8 and 10″ Fire HDs: Introducing the All-New Fire HD: Powerful Tablets Designed for Entertainment
Next up: the Fire TV 2, a special Fire TV gaming edition, and an updated Fire TV stick (for more money, but with a voice remote)…
I will definitely need to add to these descriptions (you can check the press releases or the product pages, but note that Alexa is coming…but apparently not for device control, just for conversation and information. If that’s correct, the Apple TV (which is more expensive than the non-gaming edition) might win that round. However, voice search is improving on the Fire TV, so we’ll see.
Fire TV press release: Introducing the New Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
Fire TV gaming edition press release: Introducing the New Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition—Take Game Night to the Next Level
More on these developments later…
Let me and my readers know what you think about the new hardware by commenting on this post. Some of my regular readers and commenters are particularly good at parsing these sorts of announcements, and we’ll all benefit from their analysis! 🙂
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.