Amazon introduces new Fire tablets starting at $99

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Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet.

Amazon announced the latest versions of its Fire 8 tablets Wednesday. The four new models are the Fire HD 8 at $99, the Fire HD 8 Plus at $120, and the Fire HD 8 Kids and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro both for $150.

The Fire tablets are a cheaper alternative to Apple’s iPads. Unlike Apple, which counts on hardware for the bulk of its revenue, Amazon’s devices serve as a gateway into the company’s ecosystem of services such as the Alexa voice assistant, music, books and apps.

All four tablets will be available for preorder Wednesday and will begin shipping next month. The new generation of Fire 8 tablets are thinner, lighter and faster than the previous versions, according to Amazon.

Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet in rose.

The $100 Fire HD 8 is 30% faster than its predecessor. It has 13 hours of battery life, an hour longer than the previous device. It has USB-C charging, and like the prior version, it will be fully charged after five hours.

Amazon also says the HD 8 is twice as durable as the iPad Mini in tumble tests.

Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet.

The Fire HD Plus is going up by $30. It’s fully charged after three hours and has a faster processor than the base model. The Plus also supports wireless charging and has a sharper camera.

The $150 Fire HD Kids and Kids Pro come with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which includes content such as books, apps and games. For an extra $10, Amazon will also sell Disney Mickey and Princess cases.

In addition to unveiling the new devices, Amazon said it will make its feature Tap to Alexa available on Fire tablets. That allows customers to use Alexa via touch instead of voice, helping improve access for people with speech and mobility challenges.

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