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Amazon launches 6 major new devices, including a 4K Fire TV and a US$50 Fire tablet

Michael Brown | Sept. 18, 2015
Amazon took the wraps off no fewer than seven products yesterday: two new media streamers, four new tablets, and a new tablet operating system, Fire OS 5.

Amazon also announced a new Fire TV Game Controller that includes a mic for voice searches and a headphone jack for private listening. The controller can be purchased separately for $40, or as part of a $140 bundle that includes a Fire TV, a 32GB microSD card, and two games: Disney’s Ducktales and Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight.

The new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote, $50, doesn’t get a boost in resolution, but it does get a new remote control with a built-in mic for voice searches and Alexa support. Amazon will also continue to offer the original Fire TV Stick at $40, and users will be able to add voice-control features to it by downloading an Android app or buying an add-on voice remote. Both of the new Fire TV devices also get Amazon’s Mayday tech support feature. First introduced with Amazon’s tablet series, Mayday enables the consumer to get live tech support on demand. The tech-support rep can take control of the device, with the user’s permission, and then guide the user through the steps that will resolve the issue.

The new Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote, and the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller are all available for pre-order today and will ship in October.

Amazon Fire tablet (and Kids’ Edition)

Amazon’s Senior VP of Devices, Dave Limp, demonstrated three brand-new tablets at yesterday’s briefing. “The sub-$100 tablet market is growing the fastest,” said Limp, “But those products are usually compromised. The new Amazon Fire isn’t, even though we’re selling it for just $50.”

Amazon Fire Kids Editio
Amazon says it will replace a broken Fire Kids Edition up to two years after it's sold with no questions asked. Credit: Amazon

Where most very inexpensive tablets are based on TN panels that deliver poor image quality and limited viewing angles, the new Fire tablet features 7-inch IPS display offering resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The new Fire tablet is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It’s equipped with front and rear-facing cameras, and a microSD card slot that enables you to expand the tablet’s onboard storage up to 128GB. Amazon will entice holiday shoppers to give Fire tablets as gifts this year by offering a “six pack” of the tablets for $250: Buy five tablets and you’ll get one free.

The new Fire will also be available in a $100 Kids Edition, which will include a rubber bumper case, a one-year to Amazon Free Time Unlimited (a collection of more than 10,000 books, videos, educational apps, and games, plus a curated collection of age-appropriate websites and YouTube videos), and a two-year “worry-free guarantee:” Amazon will replace a broken tablet during that time no matter how it becomes damaged.


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