Amazon Released a New Fire Tablet That's Also an Echo

GE Sol Price

Accessories Image Source GE

Like the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 refreshes before it, Amazon's new Fire HD 10 includes Alexa integration as standard.

Telling Alexa to play music, control your smart home, and check the weather all worked in my brief demo with the tablet.

Dim the lights or adjust the thermostat using just your voice. Another key addition to the tablet is support for handsfree Alexa voice assistant.

The Fire HD 10 is available for pre-order beginning today with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, and starting at $149.99, far less than the tablet's current entry-level model. Also, Amazon already had been working to integrate the Alexa virtual assistant into the Fire TV platform, announcing in July that Alexa could be used to control Fire TV features.

This device comes at a time when there simply isn't much activity in the Android tablet space.

Amazon likely sold about 2.4 million tablets during the second quarter of the year, up 52 percent from a year earlier and good enough for 6.4 percent of the global market, IDC estimates.

This isn't the tablet for you if you're looking for a top-end powerhouse of a slate, but if you want something to read your ebooks on, watch the odd film and browse the internet, the Fire HD 10 (2017) could be a great option.

"We realized right away that Alexa in many ways is the thing that we would be focusing on", Daniel Rausch, Amazon's vice president of smart home, said in an interview in July.

Currently, Alexa can only launch most of Amazon's apps and the most popular apps within its own app store. Of course, if you're concerned about the always-listening microphone, you can choose to disable Alexa when the screen is locked. Amazon's Echo devices make up 76 percent, or 15 million units, of the total base of smart speakers in the USA, thanks in large part to Echo's launch two years ahead of the competition. "The company also claims that the Fire HD is "more durable than the latest iPad Pro 10.5" (and costs a lot less too)".

You can buy the new Fire HD 10 with special Amazon offers displayed on the lockscreen, or without. The company built numerous tablet's biggest upgrades - a high-powered 10.1-inch, 1080p screen, increased RAM, 10 hours of battery life compared to eight in previous models - with that vision in mind.

Latest News