Alexa coming to new $89.99 Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet

Amazon claims its all-new Fire HD 8 tablet is designed for all-day entertainment with up to 12 hours of battery life as the firm reports that Fire tablet sales have doubled year on year.

The new device features an 8-inch HD display and quad-core processor, 50% more RAM for faster performance, and double the previous the on-device storage, plus the capability to have 200Gb of additional storage with a microSD card.

The Fire HD 8 is certainly competively priced at just $89.99 and it will also include Alexa, the cloud-based voice service, for the first time on Fire tablets. Alexa can play music, launch games, read audiobooks, and more.

The new high-definition device follows last year’s launch of a Kindle Fire at just $49.99 which proved to be a massive seller.

Kevin Keith, General Manager, Fire Tablets, says, “We believe in a different approach to tablets — providing premium products at non-premium prices — and customers love it. In fact, we’ve seen Fire tablet sales more than double year-over-year as a result. The all-new Fire HD 8 packs more battery life, more storage, faster performance, plus Alexa — all for less than $90.”

The specification of the new Fire HD 8 includes:

  • High-definition display — 8-inch widescreen (1280 x 800) HD display with over a million pixels (189 ppi) for bright, vivid image quality.
  • Fast performance — Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5Gb of RAM — 50% more than the previous-generation Fire HD 8 for faster performance when playing games or launching apps.
  • 2x more storage — with options for 16Gb or 32Gb, and support for up to 200Gb of expandable storage via microSD.
  • All-day battery — 4,750 mAh battery for up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life.
  • Reliability — Measured in tumble tests, the Fire HD 8 is claimed to be 2x more durable than the iPad Mini 4 and costs $300 less.
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras — Video chat with friends and family with the front-facing camera, take and share photos.
  • Dolby Audio — Fire HD 8 stereo speakers are custom-tuned for immersive, high-quality sound.
  • Fire OS 5 — Includes a user interface that replicates the look and feel of a magazine, making browsing and searching for your content easier than ever, now with support for Comixology and Twitch.
  • Alexa — Press and ask to enjoy music, listen to audiobooks, ask questions, shop, find news, hear the weather, and more on your Fire tablet.
  • Amazon Underground — App store with thousands of free premium apps, games, and even in-app items.
  • Color options — Black, magenta, blue and tangerine.

Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that is the brain behind Amazon Echo. When connected to wi-fi, long-press the home button and ask Alexa to play a song, open a game, or read you an audiobook. You can ask Alexa for news, weather, jokes, questions, and more and it provides natural-language responses, combined with on-screen information on the tablet’s display.

Third parties can publish Alexa skills, so you can ask Alexa to play music from services including Pandora and Spotify, and turn off the light or adjust the temperature on compatible smarthome devices.

Alexa will be available on the new Fire HD 8, Fire HD 10, Fire and last year’s Fire HD 8 tablets via a free over-the-air software update in the coming months.

The new Fire HD 8 will start shipping on September 21 and is now available for pre-order with 16Gb or 32Gb of memory starting at $89.99 at Amazon. There are four colour options — black, magenta, blue and tangerine.

Protective covers are available for the Fire HD 8 in black, magenta, blue and tangerine and can stand in portrait or landscape orientations, starting at $29.99.

Amazon lights a Fire under tablet prices with $49.99 Kindle