Online retailer Amazon has launched two new low-priced Fire tablets, which will integrate its Alexa personal assistant.
The devices will come with either a 7in or 8in display. The Fire 7 boasts an IPS display in a package that is thinner and lighter than the company's current 7in tablet computers. It also packs an extra hour of battery life, according to Amazon.
There's also a new Fire HD 8 tablet, which packs an 8in HD display, a quad-core processor, up to 12 hours of battery life and 16GB of storage expandable up to support for up to 256 GB more.
These specs aren't necessarily Earth-shattering, but the two tablets also come with Alexa built-in, enabling people to shout at their Fire tablets and, for the first time, expect a response.
Unlike the Echo, Amazon's tablets cannot be woken up by saying "Alexa", and must instead be activated by holding down the tablet's physical home button, in the same way that Siri or Google Assistant are activated on smartphones and tablets.
Amazon couldn't be more pleased with itself. Kevin Keith, general manager of Fire tablets at Amazon, said: "We think customers should expect more from their tablet - better hardware, more features, access to tons of great content - but shouldn't have to pay a premium for it.
"Our approach is to offer premium products at non-premium prices. The all-new Fire 7 is thinner and lighter, offers an improved display, longer battery life, and better Wi-Fi connectivity - while keeping the same low price of £49.99. For only £30 more, the all-new Fire HD 8 offers a vibrant 8in HD widescreen display, up to 12 hours of battery life, faster performance, and 16 GB of storage.
"Plus, both tablets include Alexa—it's an incredible value we think customers will love," he swooned.
Children's editions of the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, which cost £99.99 and £129.99, come with a two-year warranty, a year of free downloads of kids' movies, games, apps and books, and a protective case.
Computing's IT Leaders Forum 2017 is coming on 24 May 2017. The theme this year is "Going Digital: Why your most difficult customer is your best friend".
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