Amazon has just announced an all-new Fire HD 10 Tablet. The new model is a significant update to the previous version thanks to its 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU that offers a 30% boost in performance over the previous generation. The new Fire HD 10 also bumps the screen up from 720p to 1080p and doubles the RAM to 2 GB. Also included, which is a first for any Amazon tablet, is hands-free Alexa capabilities that let you control the tablet and access all of Alexa’s features without having to press any buttons.
For Amazon’s new flagship tablet, they’ve thankfully made improvements nearly across the board, making it a potentially great media consumption device. Applications should launch quicker and run smoother with the new MediaTek quad-core CPU that splits its cores at 1.8 and 1.4 GHz. Amazon says this results in a 30% performance improvement over the 1.5 Ghz/1.2 GHz CPU in the previous model. A bump up from 1 GB of RAM to now including 2 GB of RAM will also go a long way to make using this tablet a smooth experience.
The new Fire HD 10 finally brings a full HD 1080p screen back to Amazon’s tablet line. With a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and a 224 ppi, the IPS display should provide a great experience viewing movies, TV shows, photos, and reading. The tablet comes with 32 GB of internal storage, but there is a 64 GB model available for $40 more. The extra internal storage is likely unnecessary for most because the tablet comes with a microSD card that can take up to a 256 GB card to expand the internal storage. Amazon Video, Netflix, and Showtime all offer downloading videos onto the microSD card for offline viewing.
The tablet hardware is rounded out with a pair of stereo speakers that are capable of immersive Dolby Atmos audio. There’s also dual-band 802.11ac WiFi support as well as a VGA front-facing camera for video calls and a 2MP rear-facing camera. All of this combines for a rated 10 hours of battery life.
On the software front, the big new feature is hands-free Alexa capabilities. Amazon added support for Alexa to their tablets by holding the home button last year, but now this new Fire HD 10 is the first model to allow talking to Alexa by just saying the voice assistant’s wake word, just like with an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. This, of course, gives you access to all of Alexa’s various capabilities and skills, but it also gives you hands-free control of the tablet, much like the Echo Show’s screen. You can ask to start playing Amazon content or ask to launch apps, as well as control video playback (play, pause, rewind, and fast forward) all without needing to touch the tablet.
Amazon is also bringing the ability to view your home security cameras through Alexa on the new Fire HD 10, just like you can currently do on the Echo Show and will soon be able to do on the Fire TV. There’s also a new “For You” personalized page on the home screen that shows you what you’ve been watching/reading and makes it easy to continue or quickly find what’s next. It will also make personalized recommendations based on your viewing/reading preferences.
The all-new Fire HD 10 is available to pre-order now for $149.99 and will be released on October 11. That’s a significant drop in price from the previous model’s price of $229.99, which is impressive because they’ve made improvements nearly across the board.