All new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet announced

Amazon has announced an all-new Fire HD 10 Tablet. The 10.1″ tablet comes with Alexa Hands-Free and features a 1080p full HD Display (224 ppi). At only $149.99, Amazon has shaved over $80 to $100 off the price of the old Fire 10.

This tablet is a huge improvement over the old one:

  • The previous generation only had a 1280 x 800 display (149 ppi). The new tablet is 1920 x 1200 (224 ppi).
  • The old Fire had 1.5 GHz processor, the new one is a faster 1.8 GHZ.
  • Old tablet cost $229.99 to $259.99, this one is $149.99.
  • The previous generation required you to push the home button for Alexa, the new tablet will be voice-activated and hands free (after an update).
  • The new Fire weighs 2 ounces less and is marginally thinner than the first version.
  • It also promises better battery life.

In order to bring this tablet in cheaper than the previous version, Amazon did seriously downgrade the cameras in this device. The new version has VGA Front-facing camera and a 2 MP rear-facing camera with a 720p HD video recording. The previous Fire had a 720p HD Front-facing camera + 5 MP rear-facing camera with full 1080p HD video recording. Since most people do not buy these tablets for the cameras anyway, this will probably not be a deal-breaker.

(You can find the specs for the previous generation here if you want to compare.)

I passed on the previous tablet model because at only 149ppi, it didn’t offer a good enough resolution for reading and watching video for my tastes. This one may be a different story. There are no third-party cases and covers for the new tablet available yet, but given past experience, new one should be popping up soon.

The new Fire 10 HD will be released on October 11, 2017. Amazon is offering the tablet on a payment plan of 5 monthly payments of $30.00.  You can pre-order the tablet here.

What do you think of the new tablet?

More Fire de-registration issues for children’s tablets

kids_freetime_xSeveral times this year, owners of Fire tablets have had issues with Amazon Fire tablets spontaneously unregistering. This happened in back in April and in June (see here and here). The problem seemed to be especially prevalent in Fires that had Freetime installed.

Well, it seems that the issue has been happening again over the past week. I’ve had a number of Fire users reach out to me here on the blog trying to find out if there has been a fix for the problem. Just like in June, the problems seem to be related to Fires running Freetime under child profiles. The Fires de-register and all app data is lost. Since most of these are tablets used by children, it is particularly frustrating for parents and children alike.

The bad news, from what I can find, is that Amazon still does not seem to have an explanation for the problem.

While your best bet for assistance is to call Amazon Kindle support, there are several threads on this issue on Amazon forums that may be helpful:

You can stay updated on the issue by clicking the “Track this discussion” button located on the right side of the screen on any of the forums.

Many parents are complaining that Amazon isn’t being helpful on the issue. More on this to come….

Cases and Covers for the new Fire HD 8

fire_hd8_coverMy new Fire HD 8 is due to arrive on Wednesday and I haven’t bought a case for it yet. I prefer not to buy the Amazon cases, partly because of the cost (I like to change out cases). I had been checking the measurements of the 2015 devices and covers and comparing them to the new ones. The new Fire HD 8 is ever so slightly narrower and thinner, so I wasn’t sure the old cases would fit the new tablets.

Today, when I was looking at cases, Amazon flashed a warning on the product page that said “We want you to know: This product is not compatible with the All-New Fire HD 8 (2016 release). Explore compatible products.

Since we now know definitively that these 2015 model covers will NOT fit the new devices, for right now at least, the only covers available are by Amazon. The available Amazon cases are:

The Amazon covers will be available upon the Fire HD 8’s  release on September 21, 2016.

The good news is, there are other third party cases and covers on their way. Covers will soon be available from manufacturers like Fintie and MOKO. I have bought cases from both companies and been satisfied with them. Both offer decent quality budget cases that include Vegan leather options. Amazon currently has these cases available for pre-order, however, NONE OF THESE ARE CURRENTLY ELIGIBLE FOR PRIME SHIPPING. The cases are showing availability dates starting September 22 and prices start at $4.99 plus shipping. In the past, Amazon has add these covers to its inventory (and Prime shipping) fairly quickly. All cases that will fit the new Fire HD 8 are marked “All-New Amazon Fire HD 8 (6th Generation, 2016 release)”.

If you happen to need a case for the older Fire HD 8, you must search for accessories marked “Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (Fire 8″ HD Display 5th Generation – 2015 release)” to make sure you get the right sized item.

Pictured case is the Fintie Folio Case for All-New Amazon Fire HD 8 (6th Generation, 2016 release), Slim Fit Premium Vegan Leather Standing Cover for Fire HD 8 Tablet (2016 6th Gen Only), Starry Night.

Amazon announces all-new Fire HD 8 tablet

new_fire_8For the last few weeks,the Fire 8 HD tablet has been sold out on Amazon. Today, Amazon announced an all-new version of the Fire 8 HD tablet. The new version is cheaper, too: $89.99 compared to $149.99 (with special offers). The new Fire promises to incorporate Alexa digital voice assistant from the Echo line of products into the Fire 8. According to Amazon’s website, other products in the fire line will be also receiving the Alexa update in the future .

The new device has a faster processing speed, more storage, an SD slot increased battery life and features a 1200 by 800 189 PPI resolution screen. You can find more specs listed here.

I ordered one of these for myself to give it a try. I have an aging Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet which I have been thinking of replacing. Like the Fire 8 HD, the Note 8 also has a 189 ppi resolution screen and I frequently use it for reading Scribd and Pocket articles. I bought one of the $50 fire 7 tablets last year and found the 171 ppi resolution bad enough that, with my vision problems, I won’t use it for reading. The 189 ppi screen is the minimum I find acceptable for reading.

Personally, my ideal would be an Alexa update for my favorite Fire tablet, the Fire HD 6. The HD 6 has a 252 ppi screen resolution that makes for really enjoyable reading experience on a tablet. There’s no word yet on whether that model will receive the update that incorporates the Alexa features. Amazon has had an ongoing price reduction on the HD 6, so they could be clearing stock for a new version. You can pick up an HD 6 for $69.99.

The new devices will be released on September 21, 2016. Like the other Fire tablets, it comes in four color options: Black, blue, magenta and tangerine.  Amazon is offering a payment plan for the new device where you can pay in 5 monthly payments of $18. 🙂

And, for you fellow case fashionistas, I am already checking into the case/cover situation and will have an update soon.

What about you? Is a new Fire tablet on your radar?

More 2015 Fire 7 Covers and Cases

fire_7_casesWhen the new Fire 7 came out, I did this post on the available covers. These are for the 2015, 5th generation model. There were only a few styles available when the device first came out. We are now starting to see more cases and covers on the market. Since Amazon has announced that they will be selling the $50 device for only $35 as one of its Black Friday deals, I thought I would do another round-up post on some more of the new covers.

Swees® Ultra Slim PU Leather Case Cover – Magnetic case cover, flip stand, precise cut-outs. Prices start at $4.99.

MoKo Fire 7 2015 Case –  Has built in flip stand,  magnetic closure and stylus loop and interior hand strap. Prices start at $9.99 for black; other colors and designs available at various pricing.

Fintie Fire 7 2015 Slim Shell Case  – This is a one piece clip-on case with flip capability. Prices start at $9.99 for black; other colors and designs available at various pricing.

i-UniK Fire 7″ case – Custom fit, magnetic closure, dual angles servce as kickstand, bonus stylus pen, hand strap. Multiple colors and designs. Prices start at $9.99.

ACdream (TM) Ultra Slim Premium PU Leather Cover Case – Clip on, standing case. Multiple colors and designs. Prices start at $10.99.

Fire 7 Case, SUPCASE [Heavy Duty] Case  – Snap-On design. Polycarbonate hard shell with built in screen protector. Multiple colors. Prices start at $22.99

MoKo Fire 7 2015 Case – Kids Shock Proof Convertible Handle  – Impact-resistant polycarbonate with a handle that converts to a stand. Multiple colors. Priced at $19.99.

We are also starting to see more covers on third-party sites such as eBay. I personally like 360 degree cases for tablets and there are some wild design on there! And for fellow Roocase lovers, there’s nothing directly from Amazon right now…. Stay tuned for more. 🙂

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?

New Kindles are confirmed and up for pre-order

kindle_voyageAmazon now has the new lines of Kindles and Kindle Fire tablets up for pre-order. I am still sorting through the info, but here are the links to learn more about the new models:

  • The new basic Kindle with touch screen. The price has also increased by $10 over the previous model.
  • The brand new Kindle Voyage, with improved screen resolution (300 ppi), an intelligent frontlight with brightness sensor and a physical page turn  method called “PagePress.”
  • The new Fire HD 6,  a slightly smaller, six inch tablet that will retail for only $99 (with special offers).
  • The new Fire HD 7, starting at $139 (with special offers).
  • The Fire HD Kids Edition, 6″ or 7″ HD Display,  with a blue kid-proof case, your choice of sizes, starting at $149.
  • The new Fire HDX 8.9, lighter and with a faster processor, starting at $379 (with special offers).

Amazon is also rolling out a new Fire OS called Sangria with new, updated features which include individual emails and profiles for family members. Both the Fires and the E-ink Kindles will also be getting a new feature  called Family Library which will allow family members to share books and videos on an account. This is a feature that I have personally wanted for a long time!

I’ll have more to come on the new devices and features! 🙂