Over the past few weeks we have given you a preview about what Amazons new Fire tablets are all about and now we finally have an official announcement. Today, Amazon unveiled 4 new tablets that are fairly modern, but still not as good as last years HDX models.
$50 Fire Tablet
The seven inch Fire tablet has a resolution of 1024×600 and underneath the hood is a quad-core ARM cortex-A7 1.3 GHZ processor with Mali-450 graphics, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage. There is expandable memory via the SD card, so you can jack it up to 128 GB. You will be able to snap pictures with the rear facing 2MP camera or access on-demand video chat via the 0.3MP front camera. Customers can also choose to buy Fire as a six-pack for less than $250.
Last year, Amazon released the Fire Kids tablet, and many people saw it as a critical flop. Not to be dissuaded, Amazon has taken the hardware from the $50 Fire Tablet and is offering a Kid’s Tablet variant for $99. This tablet comes with a rubber shell, a two-year warranty, and a one-year subscription to Freetime Unlimited, Amazon’s kid’s subscription service.
Fire 8 and 10 inch tablets
I simply have no words about these two tablets, other to say they are a tremendous downgrade from last years models. The Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 have a resolution of 1280 x 800 and run on a quad-core MediaTek MT8135 CPU with PowerVR Rogue G6200 graphics, 1GB RAM, 8Gb or 16GB internal storage, a pair of cameras (5MP and 1MP), Bluetooth, and Wifi. They also have Dolby Audio, which actually gives you better sound than most other tablets on the market.
To give you an indication on the resolution downgrade, last years Kindle Fire HDX 7 had a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels and the HDX 8.9 had 2560x1600p pixels with 339 ppi.
Fire HD 8 is available for pre-order beginning today with 8GB or 16GB of memory starting at $149.99 at www.amazon.com/FireHD8 and comes in four fun color options: black, magenta, blue, and tangerine. Fire HD 8 starts shipping September 30. Fire HD 10 is also available for pre-order beginning today with 16GB or 32GB of memory starting at $229.99 at www.amazon.com/FireHD10.
I would honestly skip all of the new tablets Amazon announced today, except for the $50 Fire tablet. The cheap one, will not be your primary device, but will be good for the kids.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.