Amazon’s Fire tablet lineup has always been popular. If you haven’t got oodles of cash to splurge on the latest and greatest (Samsung’s newest tablet is £600), Amazon offers up a great alternative at a mere fraction of the price. Good news, then, that there are a handful of new Fire tablets on the horizon.
But what’s changing? Well, for starters, both the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets are getting a 2017 facelift, complete with Alexa support straight out of the box. Soon you’ll be barking orders at your tablets, telling Alexa to play some music or read you a book. And both will be considerably cheaper than Amazon’s newest Alexa-powered hub, the Echo Show.
Amazon Fire 7: What’s new in 2017?
When it comes down to that 7in Fire 7 tablet, it doesn’t seem like much else has changed. It’s still packing a quad-core 1.3GHz processor (specifics to be revealed) and 8GB of onboard storage, with microSD expansion up to 256GB. Oh, and expect battery life to hit eight hours, too, the same as last years.
Other than Alexa, nothing else seems to have been added – but we’ll have to wait and see whether any other specifics are announced. And, of course, as soon as I get a Fire 7 in for review.
How much can you expect to pay? Well, Amazon hasn’t put a Brexit price bump on its newest model, sticking to that crucially cheap £50 asking price. You can buy 12 Fire 7 tablets for the price of just one Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, in case you were wondering.
Amazon Fire HD 8: What’s new in 2017?
It’s a similar story with Amazon’s 2017 Fire HD 8 I’m afraid. Again, there’s an 8in, 1,280 x 800 display on the front, with Amazon’s own Fire OS running the software side of things. There’s the same 1.3GHz processor inside, and 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage, which is expandable up to 256GB via the microSD slot.
Price-wise, the Fire HD 8 will launch on 7 June (as will the Fire 7) for £10 cheaper than last year’s model at £80. Oh, and there are some new colour options for both tablets: black, “Punch Red”, “Marine Blue” and “Canary Yellow”.
Amazon Fire 7 and HD 8: Early verdict
This 2017 upgrade is a strange one. There doesn’t seem to be anything all that new about either Fire tablet, aside from Alexa integration. But the strangest thing? Older-generation Fire tablets are getting Alexa in the coming weeks via a free update anyway. Absolutely bizarre.
Those nitty-gritty details are yet to be disclosed. They may in fact be lighter, while performance and battery life may trump last year’s offering. We’ll have to wait until we get them in for review to find out – until then, Amazon has a lot of convincing to do.