Out of the rumor mill and into reality, the 7-inch Amazon Fire has arrived. And with a price tag of only $50, it may just be the best bang you can get for your buck when it comes to budget tablets. But wait, there’s more! To further sweeten the deal, Amazon is running a special 6-pack price that allows you to purchase six Amazon Fire tablets for the price of five, coming in at just under $250. While that still may not put it into the category of stocking stuffer per se, it would allow you to outfit every room in your house with its own Fire for less than the cost of Apple’s cheapest iPad – I like that math. Plus, all my favorite things come in a 6-pack…
We live in a world where you get what you pay for, and that is certainly the case when it comes to new technology. You’ve heard the old adage – if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. When examining the specs for the 7-inch Amazon Fire though, it’s hard to see how this could be a bad deal. Sure, it doesn’t stand up to the brilliant 2K displays we’re seeing in some of the newer tablets, but the 1,024x600-pixel resolution IPS display is more than enough to read a book, watch videos or surf the web. As senior vice president for Amazon devices David Limp puts it, this tablet is designed specifically for what he calls its “sweet spot, the consumption of media”. To further reinforce this purpose, the new Fire will come loaded with Amazon’s latest operating system, the Android Lollipop-based Fire OS 5 (code-named “Bellini”) which showcases a user-friendly interface that is tailor-made for easily consuming movies, games and books. Two of the most notable aspects of new OS are the Word Runner and On Deck features. Word Runner is essentially a speed-reading function that displays individual words at a pace set by the reader, while On Deck ensures that there is always something to watch on your slab whether you have access to internet or not. On Deck will automatically download Amazon Prime recommendations onto your tablet when you turn it on so that you can view it offline later (depending on available space, of course) and will automatically delete said content if you have a need for that space in the meantime.
The hardware and design of the new Amazon Fire are about what you would expect to get for $50. A girthy, slightly outdated makeup make the tablet feel a little bulky in comparison to the ultra-thin slabs we’ve become accustomed to. Powering the Fire is a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which can expand up to 128GB via the microSD card slot. You probably won’t want to use your Fire to capture any important moments, as it houses a meager 2-megapixel rear camera and 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. On the upside, Amazon claims it will provide seven hours of battery life – so again for the price, not such a bad deal. The Fire tablet will also be offered in a Kids Edition, which is the exact same model wrapped in a bright, bulky, ultra-durable case. The Kids Edition will cost $100, double that of the grown-up version, but also includes a two-year worry-free guarantee that covers trips to the bath, the pool, the trampoline, kitchen tile, and the inevitable eventual dive into the toilet. Both models are available for pre-order now and will ship on September 30th.
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