Amazon has rolled out a pair of new Fire tablets including Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Kids units. The first of the new tablets is the Fire HD 8, and its main new feature is hands-free and always-ready access to Alexa previously only available on the Fire HD 10 tablet. The tablet offers up to ten hours of battery life per charge in mixed usage. The 8-inch screen offers 1280 x 800 native resolution and the SoC running the show is a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Buyers can opt for 16GB or 32GB of storage, and there is support for up to 400GB of extra storage via a microSDXC card.
Another cool new feature is Show Mode that gives a hands-free experience that allows full-screen visuals that go along with voice responses from Alexa. This mode is meant to make it easy for users to ask Alexa to show them things like trending news, weather, movie trailers, camera feeds, and other content from across the room if desired. The tablet has front and rear cameras with the front offering 720p resolution and the rear packing 2MP resolution. Amazon also includes Dolby Atmos audio, dual-band WiFi, and claims the tablet is twice as durable as an iPad mini 4. Amazon offers the Fire HD 8 in four colors - Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, and Canary Yellow. It can be pre-ordered right now for $79.99 and ships on October 4.
The other new tablet is a kid's version of the Fire HD 8 called simply enough the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. The Kids Edition has an 8-inch HD display with 32GB of integrated storage. It will run for up to ten hours per charge and ships with a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. After that first year, it costs $4.99 monthly or Prime members pay $2.99 monthly. To keep the tablet safe, it comes in what Amazon calls a kid-proof case and has a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Kids like lots of apps, books, and movies on their tablets and if the 32GB of onboard storage isn’t enough, Amazon does include a microSD card slot for cards up to 400GB. The tablet will support two PIN accessible adult accounts and up to four child accounts.
Amazon's worry-free guarantee is a big deal with this tablet, and if it gets broken for any reason Amazon replaces the tablet with no questions asked. The included FreeTime Unlimited subscription offers access to 1,000 kid-friendly Audible books, and parents can add additional books. The Audible books will be available "coming soon" with no specific date offered. The tablet also now supports FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited in Spanish. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will sell for $129.99 and can be pre-ordered today. Shipments kick off October 4 with pink, blue, or yellow tablets offered. Two Fire HD 8 Kids tablets sell for $194.98 in a multipack saving parents some loot.