Amazon Aims to Stoke Holiday Sales With Cheap Fire Tablets

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-09-18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Amazon Aims to Stoke Holiday Sales With Cheap Fire Tablets
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    Amazon Aims to Stoke Holiday Sales With Cheap Fire Tablets

    Amazon's new line of low-cost tablets keeps the same "Fire" branding as previous models. Two larger devices in the new lineup have HD displays.
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    2 - Compare the Display Sizes
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    Compare the Display Sizes

    One of the first things consumers will do when they pick a Fire tablet is decide which screen size they want. The new Fire comes with a 7-inch screen, while the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 predictably feature 8- and 10.1-inch screens, respectively. Overall, the resolution on the devices isn't stellar, with the Fire coming in at 1,024 by 600 and the higher-end slates featuring resolutions of 1,280 by 800.
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    3 - Pricing Will Be a Major Selling Point
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    Pricing Will Be a Major Selling Point

    It's hard to take issue with the prices on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. The new Fire comes in at $50 to start, while the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10 go for $150 and $230, respectively. While those prices will go up with more storage, they're still much lower than products from companies like Apple, which are offered for hundreds of dollars more.
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    4 - Don't Expect to Find Much On-board Storage
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    Don't Expect to Find Much On-board Storage

    The amount of on-board storage built into the Fire tablets is nothing to write home about. In fact, the Fire comes with 8GB, while the Fire HD 8 has 8GB and 16GB options. The Fire HD 10 has 16GB and 32GB of on-board storage. That said, there's one key feature to sweeten the pot. All the devices come with unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content, including the company's music, videos and more.
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    5 - Fire Tablets Come With Plenty of Options
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    Fire Tablets Come With Plenty of Options

    It's clear that Amazon's strategic move with its Fire tablets is to give customers as many options as possible. In addition to screen size, the devices have a slightly different design and come with different speakers. The higher-end Fire HDs, for instance, have Dolby Atmos speakers, while the Fire has a standard mono speaker. Amazon has made the differences between its tablets clear so that it's easier for customers to decide which device to buy.
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    6 - Amazon Wants to Sell You Lots of Content
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    Amazon Wants to Sell You Lots of Content

    It's no surprise Amazon want you to find its content services everywhere one turns on the Fire tablets. Users will find access to Amazon's Prime Instant Video, as well as the company's Kindle Lending Library and ebook store. Amazon also offers access to its Music service and cloud storage.
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    7 - A New OS Named Bellini
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    A New OS Named Bellini

    All the Fire tablets come with a new operating system, the Fire OS 5 "Bellini." The operating system has an updated user interface that makes it easier to find content across Amazon services. The service also includes a sharing section for the "Family Library" of programming and an ASAP feature that starts movies and television episodes immediately without buffering. Look for Bellini to be a nice upgrade over its predecessor.
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    8 - Amazon Is Tempting Users With New Apps, Games, Video
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    Amazon Is Tempting Users With New Apps, Games, Video

    Amazon has delivered some rather interesting new software additions to the operating system. For one, users will find Amazon Underground, which provides access to more than $10,000 worth of apps, games and in-app items, for free. A Word Runner feature lets users more quickly read books by scrolling through words based on their complexity. In the coming weeks, Amazon will also be adding an On Deck option that automatically downloads Prime Video content when the device isn't in use.
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    9 - Kid-Control Is a Parental Selling Point
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    Kid-Control Is a Parental Selling Point

    Like previous Fire tablets, Amazon's new slates include a range of parental controls that help users govern how and when their kids can use the devices. The feature is called Amazon FreeTime and provides parental controls, limits on screen time, and access to designated kid-friendly applications, programming and movies.
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    10 - Fire Tablets Integrate With Other Amazon Hardware
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    Fire Tablets Integrate With Other Amazon Hardware

    Amazon doesn't just make tablets, which is why the company said that its Fire slates will offer full integration with its other hardware. Buying content on a Fire tablet, for instance, will mean it's readily accessible on the company's Fire TV set-top box. Everything a customer buys is fully accessible and synced via Amazon's Whispersync service.
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    11 - Fire Tablets Deliver a Solid, but Not Spectacular Performance
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    Fire Tablets Deliver a Solid, but Not Spectacular Performance

    The performance across Amazon's new Fire tablet line should be suitable for most personal entertainment activities, including playing games, using apps and watching movies. All the devices come with quad-core processors, though unlike the 1.3GHz clock speed in the Fire, the higher-end slates have up to 1.5GHz clock speeds. Another important consideration is that the Fire HDs have up to eight hours of battery life, compared with seven hours on the Fire.
 

After Apple took its turn announcing the iPad Pro on Sept. 9, Amazon on Sept. 17 unveiled a line of cheap tablets. Amazon's models all keep the same "Fire" branding as previous models, but the two larger devices in the lineup have HD displays. While that may turn some customers away from the smaller model, Amazon has announced that its 7-inch Fire will go for just $50, making it one of the cheapest tablets on the market. It's even offering a six-pack deal: buy five and get the sixth one free for those who want to hand out Fire Tablets instead of gift cards. Amazon's other tablets are inexpensive but don't come close to hitting that low price point. The Amazon devices come with a range of features apt to appeal to consumers who don't want to pay for the high-end experience found in the pricey iPad Pro but are still interested in buying tablets. The Amazon tablets may also appeal to those who bought Amazon's Kindle Fire e-readers a couple of years ago and are thinking about upgrading. This slide show covers some key features in Amazon's new Fire tablets that the e-commerce giant believes will help make them a strong seller for the holidays.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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