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.