Amazon Updates Fire 7 Tablet With More Storage, Faster Processor

(Photo: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

Amazon announced a new version of its Fire 7 tablet Thursday. As with the previous model, this one still has the $49.99 price tag and is now available for preorder before shipping begins on June 6.

Amazon's Fire tablets have always been the go-to of people looking for a more affordable alternative to products like the iPad. Though cheap, Fire tablets provide easy access to a host of Amazon products, including, the company's app store, Prime Music, Prime Video, and its Alexa voice assistant.  To compare, the iPad Mini, which is just about the same size, costs a hefty

The new Fire 7 is equipped with twice the storage, meaning instead of 8GB, you get to have 16GB on the base model. There's also a microSD card slot in case you need more space. Amazon will also offer a 32GB model.

According to Amazon, the new Fire 7 now supports Alexa hands-free, enabling users to call up the voice assistant by just speaking to the unit. The company added that the new model is resistant to drops and spills.

Amazon's Fire tablets are surely a great alternative to iPads. The Fire HD 8 model has a longer battery life and a sharper screen for $80. And for $150, there's a 10.1-inch model with a 1080p display up for grabs. Note that these models were not updated, but if you have more to spend, you can always get the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10, which are still cheaper than Apple's products.

The Fire 7 is available in four colors: sage, plum, blue, and black. Amazon will also sell a special Fire 7 Kids Edition that ships with a "kid-proof case," at $100 each. It comes with a library of child-friendly videos, books, apps, and games, and a whole year of Amazon's FreeTime service.

Like the previous model, the new Fire 7 features a 1.3 GHz processor -- but presumably it's a new processor that indeed is faster. Other than that, there are other changes. Amazon actually touts less battery life and no WiFi or resolution upgrades have been mentioned. The Kids Edition is also mostly the same beyond the common enhancements, including the child-proof case that now comes with an adjustable stand so kids can watch shows with ease.

Perhaps the best news is the fact that the upgrades won't hike the regular price of the Fire 7. It's the same $50 for the 16GB and $70 for the 32GB version, both come with special offers. If you want none, you'll have to pay an extra $15 for both storage options.

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