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Amazon updates $50 Fire 7 tablet with faster processor, more storage

The new version of the company's entry-level tablet is getting a much-needed speed boost along with support for hands-free Alexa voice recognition.

The Fire 7.
Sarah Tew/CNET

We always thought Amazon's entry-level tablet, the Fire 7 ($50, £50), was a good value, particularly when it was discounted by $10 or even $15 during flash sales. Now Amazon is updating it with a faster processor and bumping the base storage from 8GB to 16GB. The "all-new" Fire 7 is available for preorder now and will ship June 7.

The other addition Amazon is highlighting is support for hands-free Alexa. That means that instead hitting a virtual button on the screen to activate Alexa, you simply say "Alexa" like you would with an Echo device -- so long as you're on Wi-Fi. The feature can be toggled off in the settings menu. It was already added to the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10.

Like other Amazon tablets, the Fire 7 gives you access to the company's exclusive features, which include Alexa, ASAP, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck and Prime Video downloads. Prime members also have access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps and games with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.

The tablet will be available in 16GB ($50, £50) or 32GB ($70, £60) configurations.

Amazon has also announced a new Fire 7 Kids Edition ($100, £100) that comes with 16GB of storage, one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a "kid-proof" case with a new adjustable stand and a two-year free replacement policy. 

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. As soon as I get a review sample, I'll let you know how much of a difference the new processor makes. 

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Key Features

  • 1,024x600-pixel display
  • 10.4 oz (295 grams)
  • 7.6x4.5x0.4 inches (192x115x9.6 mm)
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz processor
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras
  • Free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire devices
  • Up to 512GB of expandable storage via microSD card (up from 256GB on previous model)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi support
  • Battery life: Up to 7 hours of reading, listening to music, streaming video and web browsing
  • Screen sharing: Let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen for free
  • Access to exclusive Amazon features, services and media libraries
  • New color options: Black, Sage, Plum, and Twilight Blue

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