Apple had its big event last week and Microsoft is preparing one of its own for next month, but Amazon wasn’t going to be left out of the hardware extravaganza this fall. On Thursday, the online marketplace unveiled six new devices that will begin shipping in the coming weeks, including a fascinating Apple TV competitor.
Let’s start with the new Fire TV — a “Fire” product from Amazon that didn’t burn out within days of launch.
After seeing the fourth-generation Apple TV for the first time last week, it’s hard not to look at Amazon’s updated set-top box as a direct reaction to Apple. It features its own voice companion (in the form of Alexa), it’s 75% faster than the previous model and Amazon is already hyping up its potential as a gaming console.
But here’s where Amazon is separating itself:
- Price — The new Fire TV costs $99.99, fifty bucks cheaper than the 32GB Apple TV.
- Storage — Although the Fire TV only has 8GB of internal storage, expandable memory allows for up to 128GB.
- 4K streaming — Fire TV has it, Apple TV doesn’t.
- Dedicated game controller — This is especially interesting after Apple’s insistence that developers use the Apple TV remote came to light earlier this week.
- Multiple models — Don’t want a set-top box? Get the new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote instead for $49.99. Love to game? Pick up the Fire TV Gaming Edition, which comes with the game controller, a 32GB microSD card and two games for an additional $40 over the standard model.
The new Apple TV won’t be available until “late October,” but Amazon is going to begin shipping its upgraded Fire TVs on October 5th. You can preorder the device on Amazon right now.
Moving on, Amazon also announced new 8-inch and 10.1-inch models of the Fire HD, which the company is calling its “thinnest tablets ever.” The tablets feature 1.5 GHz quad-core processors, up to 128GB of expandable storage, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras and the latest operating system: Fire OS 5.
8GB and 16GB models of the Fire HD 8 will start at $149.99 while 16GB and 32GB models of the Fire HD 10 will start at $229.99. Both are available for preorder on Amazon now, and will start shipping on September 30th.
If you’re looking for a device that your kids won’t be able to break, you might want to look into another tablet that Amazon announced today: Fire Kids Edition. It has a new protective case, one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, curated sites and videos and a two-year guarantee. It’s also available for preorder on Amazon, starting at $99.99.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Fire tablet — a $50 tablet with a quad-core processor that Amazon thinks is going to flip the market on its head. After trying to keep from getting dizzy while adding up the expense of buying an iPad Pro with all its accessories, the Fire tablet might be exactly what some customers are looking for.
You can preorder the Fire tablet from Amazon now before it launches on September 30th.