As expected, Amazon is launching an updated Fire HD 10 tablet. What’s a little unexpected though, is that the new model has a higher-resolution display, a faster processor, more memory, and new features… and it’s still cheaper than the model it replaces.
The new Amazon Fire HD 10 is up for pre-order for $150 and up, and it should begin shipping October 11th.
Amazon’s new tablet sports a 10.1 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display, a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and it comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage (you pay $40 more for the extra storage).
It supports 802.11ac WiFi, has stereo speakers, features a microSD card slot with support for up to 256GB of removable storage, and features 2MP rear and 0.3MP front cameras.
Amazon says it’s 30 percent faster and has twice as much RAM as its predecessor, but still offers up to 10 hours of battery life.
Basically, it’s a big new tablet that does everything the company’s 7 and 8 inch Fire tablets can do… but it has a display with 224 pixels per inch, compared with 189 ppi for the Fire HD 8 and 171 ppi for the entry-level Fire tablet with a 7 inch screen.
Oh, and there’s one other thing that makes the 10 inch model different: it’s basically an Amazon Echo, thanks to “Alexa hands-free” support.
You can use Amazon’s Alexa voice service with any of Amazon’s recent tablets. But the new hands-free mode is exclusively available on the 7th-gen Fire HD 10 with Fire OS software version 22.214.171.124 or later. Interestingly, the tablet will ship with an earlier version of Fire OS, but the v5.5 update will begin rolling out on October 11th (the same day the tablet ships).
The tablet doesn’t have the multi-microphone array found in Echo products, so you’ll need to be relatively close to the tablet to use Alexa hands-free. But it has a chipset designed for energy-efficient always-listening mode.
Hands-free mode lets you interact with Alexa using just your voice to get answers to questions, play music or videos, view calendar appointments, or control smart home products like light bulbs, locks, and thermostats. Just start a query with the “Alexa” hotword.
You can also disable hands-free mode if you’d prefer not to use it.
The new 7th-gen Fire HD 10 will be available in black, blue, and red color options.