Amazon refreshes lineup of low-cost tablets, new kids' model

Amazon Fire 7PlayThe Associated Press
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Amazon is offering a thinner and lighter version of its cheapest, 7-inch tablet and shaving $10 off the price of an 8-inch model.

Amazon's bare-bones Fire tablet is now called the Fire 7. It also promises about an extra hour of battery life, for eight hours, and a display with higher contrast and sharper text. The price remains at $50.

The Fire HD 8 model is now $80, rather than $90. Features are largely the same as before.

Amazon has found a niche in the tablet market with lower-cost models, while Apple, Samsung and Microsoft chase professionals with higher-end devices.

Both models come with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant built in, allowing users to control lights and household appliances, ask for the news or jokes and check the weather.

Amazon is also selling a kids' version of the 8-inch tablet, for $130. It comes with a hardened case for kids and free replacements for two years. Before, a kids version was available only for the 7-inch model, for $100.

Amazon will start taking orders Wednesday. It will start shipping the new tablets on June 7.