Amazon Brings Hands-Free Alexa to Fire HD 10 Tablet

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 5 Comments

Amazon Brings Hands-Free Alexa to Fire HD 10 Tablet

Amazon today announced an inexpensive new 10.1-inch Fire HD tablet which offers hands-free access to Alexa, the firm’s popular digital personal assistant.

“For less than $150, the all-new Fire HD 10 offers a beautiful 1080p Full HD display, faster performance, more storage, and up to 10 hours of battery life,” Amazon general manager Kevin Keith explains. “We’re also excited to introduce Alexa hands-free for the first time on a Fire tablet. Now, you can ask Alexa to play a video, show you your calendar, dim the lights, and much more, using just your voice.”

Voice activation of other personal digital assistants has been available for some time on competing device’s: Apple’s Siri does this on iPhone and iPad, and Google Assistant does so on Android. Even Cortana, Microsoft’s entry, works this way on Windows 10 PCs.

But with the leading personal digital assistant, Amazon is smart to finally bring this capability to its affordable line of tablets. This is a great way to get Alexa all around the home.

Aside from Alexa support, the Fire HD 10 delivers on Amazon’s traditional sweet spot in this space: Affordability. At $150, the Fire HD 10 is $200 cheaper than Apple’s admittedly more capable and well-made cheapest iPad. But it delivers on the basics, too, offering better performance, more RAM, and better battery life than its predecessor. Granted, that’s a low bar. But it also offers Dolby Atmos Audio, front- and rear-facing cameras, and all those strange Amazon exclusive features like ASAP, X-Ray, Whispersync, Second Screen, and so on.

Frankly, the whole Amazon value proposition makes tons of sense to me. I’m honestly not sure why I’m not a bigger users of the company’s products and services.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is available now in both 32 GB ($150) and 64 GB ($190) variants. (Note that these are “with special offers” prices.) If that’s too rich for you, the firm also offers even cheaper Fire HD 8 ($80 and up) and Fire HD 7 ($50 and up), though those devices lack hands-free Alexa.


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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Amazon Brings Hands-Free Alexa to Fire HD 10 Tablet”

  1. goodbar

    I was hoping they'd refresh their 10" tablet. I'd rather use my phone that a 7 or 8" tablet, but 10" is best for browsing the web on the couch. This doubling as a portable Echo Show on the cheap is an added bonus.

  2. wolters

    Amazon tablets are quite good, especially if you are invested in their ecosystem of Kindle, Amazon Music, Amazon Video, Alexa and Audible. I find that I do miss some of the apps you can't get in their app store but then I remind myself what really need from a Kindle Fire, and that is consumption. The Battery Life on the Kindle Fire's are pretty good, especially standby time. I find that I have to charge my Samsung Tab S3 tablet with LTE about every day or every other day, even if I don't use it. So if you are looking for a solid, pure consumption tablet and you are in the Amazon ecosystem, this is the best choice.

  3. skborders

    I would love to switch from an iPad to something cheaper, but the fact is, I use iBooks and have yet to find an application in any other eco system that works as well, has highlighting, notes and will sync those between devices.

  4. edboyhan

    I've always been a Microsoft and Amazon partisan. Lately, I find myself drifting more to the Amazon side of the bar. I particularly like the "Ambient" computing aspects of Amazon's Alexa (I have at least one of each of all Amazon's Echo/Alexa devices). I suppose I'll get this as well (as my Fire HDX 8.9 has a warped screen :-( ) -- although probably the 64 GB version at $189.

    I find MS's progress -- slow and steady -- more to the taste of enterprises,; whereas Amazon seems more nimble and quick to innovate -- especially in the consumer space where I, these days, find myself more and more.

  5. jbinaz

    "Frankly, the whole Amazon value proposition makes tons of sense to me. I’m honestly not sure why I’m not a bigger users of the company’s products and services."

    Paul, I think I've heard you say that you but most of your video content from Apple and use Spotify. Any reason you haven't consolidated around one company for audio, video, ebooks, audio books, etc.? Is it the family and the kids wanting to use Spotify?

    I've taken your advice and moved away from MS for content, although the only thing I ever used them for was music - and even that was just the music pass; I never bought music from them. I (should say we, as in the wife and I) have gone with Amazon for it all (ebooks, music [Amazon Music Unlimited as well as purchases], streaming video and audio books) as I'm not an Apple fan/in their ecosystem.