Fire HD 10: Amazon Gives Alexa a Bigger Role

Fire HD 10: Amazon cuts price and doubles storage of new 10in tablet

Your money gets you a tablet that's 30-percent faster, Amazon says, than the old Ford HD 10. Also, Amazon already had been working to integrate the Alexa virtual assistant into the Fire TV platform, announcing in July that Alexa could be used to control Fire TV features.

This is not the first time Alexa has been available on an Amazon Fire tablet, but it is the first time the feature is hands-free like the speaker-based Echo.

Kevin Keith, general manager of Amazon Devices, swooned: "For less than £150, the all-new Fire HD 10 offers a handsome 1080p Full HD display, plus faster performance, more storage, and up to 10 hours of battery life". If you have an Amazon Prime account and make most of your digital purchases through Amazon, this is no bad thing.

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The tablet introduces Alexa hands-free for the first time on a Fire tablet. The new For You page is also available for customers on previous generation Fire tablets. You might not actually need one, though: Amazon claims that the Fire HD is more durable than the iPad Pro 10.5 in its tumble testing. This is far from new in the mobile world (just ask anyone familiar with "hey Siri" or "OK Google"), but it's definitely helpful if you want access to Alexa's skills when your tablet is across the room.

It seemed to work well in our testing and Alexa can open up apps when you've got your hands full or you're in the middle of cooking.

The sturdy construction should make this tablet ideal toddler fodder, too - it'll survive a beating better than the ultra-delicate iPad Pro you had to take out a second mortgage to buy, anyway.

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Although Amazon remains in fourth place in the tablet market - behind Apple, Samsung and Huawei - its business is growing at a faster rate than its fellow tech giants, according to a recent study by International Data Corp. Anything you can do with an Echo Dot or an Echo you can do with the Fire HD 10, with the addition of handy visual cards like weekly weather reports and Wikipedia summaries.

Really, the only reason not to buy the Fire HD 10 is if you're not enamoured with Amazon services. If all you want to do is watch videos, flick through Facebook and do a spot of online shopping, the Fire HD 10 is ideal.

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