For those that thought Amazon had given up on the tablet market, we have a surprise for you; the company has just announced an all-new Fire HD available in two sizes, 8in and 10.1in. This comes on the same day that Amazon also announced a brand new 7in Fire tablet for only £49, and yes you did read that right.
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Amazon Fire HD 8in and 10.1in Tablet: Pricing and availability
So, when will you be able to get your hands on Amazon’s latest Fire HD tablet? Well, according to the company, you’ll be able to pre-order both the 8in and 10.1in variations from today. The smaller 8in tablet will set you back £129.99, while the larger 10.1in tablet will cost £40 more at £169.99. It’s also worth noting that you can buy protective covers for both the 8.1in Fire HD and 10.1in Fire HD from only £29.99, giving you that extra level of protection against scuffs and damage.
The 8in Amazon Fire HD will start shipping on 6 October 2015, while the 10.1in Amazon Fire HD doesn’t ship until the end of the month, on 30 October 2015.
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Amazon Fire HD 8in and 10.1in Tablet: Specification
So, what kind of spec does the all-new Amazon Fire HD boast? Well it seems the guys at Amazon’s R&D center have been busy, as the latest tablet boasts a 7.7mm thickness, making it the thinnest Amazon tablet ever. Aside from that, both variations of the Fire HD house a high definition (1280 x 800) display with a 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio, which the company claims offer a ‘more HD video viewing area’ when compared to similarly-sized tablets with a 4:3 aspect ratio, although we’re not quite sure what this means. Specifically, the Fire HD 8 offers 15 percent more HD viewing area and the Fire HD 10 offers 22 percent more HD viewing area.
Inside, the new Fire HD boasts a quad-core processor which runs at up to 1.5Ghz, which should be enough for casual tablet gaming and general browsing but don’t expect to run the latest 3D games. You can also expand the on-board 8/16GB (Fire HD 8) or 16/32GB (Fire HD 10) storage by up to 128GB, thanks to the inclusion of a microSD card slot.
Audio wise, the Fire HD boasts stereo speakers with Dolby Audio technology built in, which Amazon claims are custom-tuned for immersive sound, however we can’t yet confirm this. The new Fire HD also features dual-band Wi-Fi, which should marginally improve download speeds.
With regards to the cameras, both models feature a 5Mp rear facing camera capable of recording 1080p HD video. However, it seems that Amazon is referring to its front-facing camera as being “HD”, which doesn’t bode well in terms of resolution. Don’t expect an industry leading selfie camera!
Amazon Fire HD 8in and 10.1in Tablet: Features
So, what does the new Fire HD offer users, apart from spec? According to Amazon, the company ran a series of tumble tests and the result was the latest Fire HD tablet is 2x more durable than Apple’s iPad Air which makes this ideal for families with younger children.
As well as this, the Fire HD features Amazon’s latest OS, Fire OS 5 ‘Bellini’ that features an updated UI and the inclusion of Amazon’s Underground app store, which contains genuinely free premium apps and games with free in-app purchases and no hidden fees. It’s a great feature of the Fire HD, enabling users to browse a wide variety of apps without having to part with any money.
For Amazon Prime members, the Fire HD includes ‘On Deck’, built-in software that’ll keep your Fire HD up-to-date with popular Prime movies and shows available for offline viewing – say goodbye to long, boring train journeys staring at the person sat opposite you. Amazon claim that On Deck only uses available storage, and that when you download something you want, On Deck will automatically make space (by deleting its offline content) and won’t prompt you to delete files/apps.
There’s also the inclusion of Mayday Screen Sharing, which allows an Amazon expert to remotely take you through any feature of your tablet directly from your screen. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and the best part is that it’s absolutely free of charge.
Alongside Mayday Screen Sharing comes ASAP predictive buffering that’ll make videos start as soon as they’re selected, Word Runner that’ll help you read faster by learning your preferred reading speed and bringing each word to the centre of the screen, and completely free unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on the Fire HD. Parents will also be able to access the Activity Centre to provide them with an easy way to see what their kids are doing on the Fire HD tablet.
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