CNET First Look
Amazon Show Mode Charging Dock puts on an Alexa showThis new docking accessory turns current Fire HD 8 and Fire 10 tablets into a slim Echo Show.
Amazon wants you to think of your Fire tablet as not just a tablet, but a full fledged Alexa enabled device, or more precisely, a slimmed down Echo Show. It's called Show Mode, and it's available as a free software update for current generation Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets. Like the Echo Show, the new mode serves up full screen visuals To complement voice responses from Alexa. Without touching your tablet, you can ask Alexa to play music, see trending news, the weather report, and much more. It is pretty nifty. Aside from the software update, there's also a new show mode charging dock for the current generation Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10. You don't need it to use show mode, but it does Does create a more elegant show experience. It includes a cover that magnetically adheres to the dock, fixing your device in place on the angled stand. the case has a short, integrated micro USB charging cable that plugs into the USB port on the bottom of your tablet. To charge your tablet, you set it in the dock and it charges inductively. The microphone array in a Fire tablet isn't as robust as the one you get with an Echo device. But in a relatively quiet room your tablet should hear your voice commands from several feet away. For better sound you could connect your Fire tablet to an external speaker via Bluetooth. Show more charging dock cost $40 for the HD8 and $55 for the HD10 but expect the amazon to offer the docks at discounts from time to time, either on their own or as bundle options it is selling now. I'm David Carnie for CNET.com thanks for watching.