Amazon Refreshes Fire Tablets with Lower Prices and Better Performance

Posted by at 7:54 am on May 17, 2017

Amazon’s looking to improve the ultracheap $49 7-inch Fire (now called the Fire 7) with a brighter display and a lighter design, dropping from 11 ounces to 10.4. The biggest change to the Fire HD 8 slate is that it’s now $10 less expensive, as the company dropped it down to $79.

According to Amazon, both the Fire 7 and HD 8 will offer longer battery life (8 and 12 hours, respectively) a claim we look forward to testing on our own. The previous Fire 7 was rated for 7 hours but only lasted 6:30 on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (internet surfing at 150 nits), whereas the previous HD 8 posted a time of 11:19 minutes.

While Amazon says the Fire 7 will feature an improved IPS display, that panel will still feature the the same low-res, 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. The Fire HD 8’s display is also staying put at 1280 x 800 pixels. Of course, Amazon’s charging you $15 extra to remove the advertisements (adorably referred to as Special Offers) from the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. Doubling the Fire 7’s storage from 8 to 16GB bumps its price to $69, whereas getting the Fire HD 8 with 32GB of RAM will run you $109.

And while the Fire HD 7 now supports dual band networks (the previous only allowed for one), it’s still packing an 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi card. Why do we bring that up? 802.11ac is the industry-wide standard that all devices should pack in 2017. Amazon’s kept a black version of the Fire 7 and HD 8, but dropped the hot orange and blue colorways for yellow, dark blue and red versions.

Fire Kids Edition Tablets

The $99 Fire Kids Edition tablet is now called the Fire 7 Kids Edition, as Amazon’s introduced the slightly-larger $129 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. The newer, bigger version packs 32GB of space. Amazon’s also added a yellow case option, adding to the blue and pink cases that yesteryear’s Fire Kids tablets offered.

Just as with the non-Kids editions, the 7-inch tablet’s packing a 1024 x 600-pixel screen whereas the 8-incher has a 1280 x 800 panel. Amazon’s still throwing in the same 2-year worry-free guarantee it did with previous kids tablets, as well as that familiar gratis year of FreeTime Unlimited for tons of popular kid-friendly content.

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