Amazon's Fire tablets get little thinner and faster

Thursday, 18 May, 2017

So, if you're a creative professional who wants to showcase your portfolio on a portable tablet, you probably shouldn't opt for the Amazon Fire HD 8.

The company today didn't give an exact launch date for EPIX Cast support on Fire TV, but the news of the EPIX app hitting the platform hints that it will arrive soon. The new Fire HD 8 comes with an 8 inch HD display, a quad core processor with up to 12 hours of battery life, 16GB of storage, and Alexa.

The children's tablets do not have Alexa but both come with a year's subscription to Amazon's parental control software, FreeTime Unlimited.

Otherwise, the Fire Tablet has the same FireOS we've seen before, with plenty of shortcuts to Amazon's web pages, streaming services and apps.

The company's general manager of Fire Tablets, Kevin Keith, said: "We think customers should expect more from their tablet - better hardware, more features, access to tons of great content - but shouldn't have to pay a premium for it".

As usual, this price is with Special offers (aka ads).

It will ship June 7 in 8GB ($50; £50) and 16GB ($70; £60) configurations, along with a Kids Edition ($100; £100) that includes a protective case and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement guarantee should the device get damaged.

Amazon has made a couple of updates to its family of Kindle Fire tablets, updating the new Fire 7 and dropping the price of the refreshed Fire HD 8.

The new Fire TV Edition TVs simplifies streaming and over-the-air content in one place. The display still uses a 1024×600 IPS panel, but Amazon claims clarity has been improved. Also included is longer battery life, with Amazon saying that it gets 8 hours of use on a single charge rather than 7 like the previous model.

Tablets have become a tricky product for many gadget-makers to address, as enthusiasm for the devices continues to cool.

Amazon also baked in a channel guide interface that lets you view up to 14 days of live programming information.

"If they break it, send it back and we'll replace it", Amazon said.

Price-wise, the vanilla Fire 7 will set you back $49.99, while the Fire HD 8 is priced at $79.99, with the kids versions coming in at $99.99 and $129.99, respectively. Amazon Fire TV provides viewers with access to more than 15,000 channels, apps and (now) Alexa skills, plus more than 300,000 TV episodes and movies from numerous providers including Netflix and Hulu.