In an effort to challenge Apple’s iPad, a new Amazon tablet was released this week and the price point is eye-opening, to say the least. The new 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet, which hit shelves on Thursday, retails for only $49.99, making it the first mainstream tablet computer to become available for less than $50.
Compare that to the price of Apple’s cheapest iPad offering, which goes for $269, and it’s easy to see how this new Amazon tablet could seriously shake up the entire product category. Suddenly, those who couldn’t afford a tablet, or couldn’t justify the expense because they already have a smartphone and/or laptop, will become much more open to picking up the handheld device.
The Cheap New Amazon Tablet
Previously, the cheapest Amazon tablet on the market was the Fire HD 6, which rung in at $99.99. That means this new Amazon tablet is half the price of the previous standard for cost-conscious shoppers. Part of the company’s strategy is to sell these products in bulk; they are offering six-packs at a price of around $250, which reduces the cost to just over $40 per unit. The idea is that you could outfit an entire family with these Fire tablets for less than the cost of a single iPad.
This could be just the breakthrough that Amazon needs to level the playing field in the tablet space.
New Amazon Tablet Versus iPad
So we know the new Amazon tablet is much, much cheaper than Apple’s least expensive option, but does it match up in terms of performance? Obviously, this device isn’t going to quite match up to the technical prowess of an iPad or even the more expensive Amazon Fire models, but believe us when we say it’s no joke. The device contains a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and displays on a 7-inch IPS screen with 1024 x 600 dimensions. Amazon claims that the unit is almost twice as a durable as the new iPad Air.
The new Fire tablet includes 8 GB of internal storage with unlimited space for cloud storage of any videos, photos or content captured with Fire brand tablets. Like with products such as the Roku Netflix player, you can plug in a microSD card for additional storage space.
From a software standpoint, the new Amazon tablet comes loaded with the latest version of Amazon’s operating system, Fire OS 5, which is designed for quick access to apps and comprehensive personalization. The battery life is estimated at up to seven hours.
Is It Worth It?
In short: yes. If you’ve had any interest in picking up a tablet but have been hesitant to fork over the cash, this is the perfect opportunity for you to join in. Despite it’s astoundingly low price point, the Amazon Fire brings plenty to the table and will allow you to do almost anything you’d want to on a tablet, from reading to playing music to watching media to surfing the Web and more. With the holiday season fast approaching, this figures to be a hot item indeed.