Alexa goes hands-off for Amazon's new Fire HD 10 tablet
After updating the lower end of its Fire tablet line earlier this year, Amazon has now refreshed the flagship model, the Fire HD 10. The new tablet sports a higher-resolution screen than its predecessor, more powerful internals, a new hands-free Alexa mode, and a lower price tag.
This new Fire HD 10 squeezes more pixels into the same 10.1-in screen, bumping the resolution up to 1080p Full HD from the previous model's 1280 x 800. Hiding underneath that shiny new screen are spruced-up innards, with 2 GB of RAM and a quad-core processor up to 1.8 GHz making the new edition up to 30 percent faster than the last generation.
While Alexa was available on last year's model, users had to hold the home button to activate it. The new Fire HD 10 adds hands-free functionality, so the assistant can be triggered just by saying Alexa's name. Along with the usual commands like playing or pausing music, setting reminders and Googling questions, the tablet can connect to other Internet of Things devices to allow voice control over lights, security cameras and thermostats.
To round out the device, Amazon's new Fire HD 10 keeps some of the specs from its predecessor. Internal storage comes in either 32 GB or 64 GB options, with an additional 256 GB possible via the microSD slot, and the cameras are relatively low-resolution, with a 2-MP rear camera and a grainy VGA (640 x 480) front-facing cam. It's encased in a sturdy shell that Amazon says is more durable than an iPad Pro, and it comes in your choice of Black, Marine Blue or Punch Red colors.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is available for preorder now, ahead of its release on October 11. Prices start at US$149.99 for the 32 GB model, or $189.99 for the 64 GB, which is about $100 cheaper than the previous models.