Amazon announces new Fire tablets, TV boxes

fire tablets newAmazon has announce their new Fire lineup. There are three new Fire tablets,  two new Fire TV devices and an upgraded Fire for kids.

For the new tablets, Amazon has / is released a new version of its Fire operating system, Fire OS 5,  “Bellini.” All of the new tablets have a slot for a micro SD card.

  • The new 7″ Fire: – Retails for $49.95, with special offers. Released on September 30, 2015. Amazon obviously intends this one for gift giving:  They are offering a special promotion to buy five tablets and get one free. (Details for the offer are here. Note that the resolution on this tablet is only 171 ppi / 1024 x 600, so it is not considered an HD tablet .
  • The new Fire HD 8: retails for $149.95 and up, with special offers. Released on September 30, 2015. Available with either 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage.
  • The new Fire HD 10: Retails for $229.95 and up, with special offers. Released on September 30, 2015. Available with either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage.
  • The new Fire Kids Edition, 7,  Retails for $99.99. This replaces the prior, 6″ version and with a lower price point. Released on September 30, 2015. The SD memory card slot is going to be a very attractive draw for this tablet. There were a lot of complaints about insufficient memory during for the prior version.

In my opinion, the big news with these tablets is the pricing and the expandable memory. Note that the higher end HDX devices and are no longer showing in the Fire family ribbon. (The Kindle Fire HDX 7″ and the Fire HDX 8.9 are still for sale new on the site. The Fire HD 6 Kids Edition is still available as well.) Amazon is obviously focusing on lower pricing with the new line up. Also interesting is the fact that there were no new 4G LTE versions in the new lineup

Amaon also announce three new Fire TV series updates:

  • A new, updated Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote  featuring Alexa. Retails for $49.99. Released on October 22, 2015. Hopefully, this version corrects some of the frequent Wi-Fi connection problems I have heard about with the first version….
  • The new Amazon Fire TV box featuring Alexa and 4K Ultra HD. Retails for $99.00. Released on October 5, 2015.
  • A new Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition that includes a gaming controller. It also features 75% more processing power than the previous generation Amazon Fire TV, better Wi-Fi support with dual-band 802.11ac, a dedicated graphics engine, 2 GB of memory and Dolby sound. Released on October 5, 2015.

So, does anything strike your fancy?

2-day sale: Fire TV stick only $19 for Prime members

Fire TV stickIf you are an Amazon Prime member and have been thinking about trying one of the Fire TVs, Amazon may have a great deal for you. For two days only, Prime members can pick up the new Fire TV Stick for $19 – that’s $20 off the regular price of $39.

The stick comes with a remote control, but it is not voice-activated like the Fire TV Box. Instead, there is a downloadable app for voice control that can be used with the device, or you can purchase a voice-activated remote control separately. You can play games with the included remote control and it also supports the use of the optional Fire game controller.

There are some differences between the Fire TV Box and the stick. The Box has a Quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM The Fire stick is a Dual-core processor with 1 GB RAM. Both devices are wireless, but the Fire TV Box can also connect directly with an Ethernet cable.

I had personally held off on the Fire TV Box because I already own a Roku box and a Chromecast stick, both of which I use pretty much daily. Truthfully, when the Fire TV came out, I didn’t see much of a need for another streaming system. But for only $19, I am willing to give this one a try. 🙂

ETA: The Fire TV Stick  is a pre-order and will be released on  November 19th.

How about you? Is the $19 price tag tempting to you?

Daily Links: Free Photography e-books

Amazon Fire TVFrom Lifehacker: Over 40 free photography e-books (Note: many of these are in a PDF format and require giving your email address)

Do you know what your rights are if customs wants to search your laptop or smartphone? via MakeUseOf

From the Leftsetz Letter: An interesting article on book availability

The Amazon Fire TV is currently on sale for $84.00. That’s $15 off its regular price of $99.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news.