Amazon upgrades Fire HD 10 lineup as remote work and school led to renewed interest in tablets

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet. (Amazon Photo)

Amazon announced the next generation of Fire HD 10 tablets on Tuesday, improving the biggest in its line of devices after a year in which more people are using tablets to connect for work, do schoolwork and stay entertained during the pandemic.

What’s new: Amazon is releasing the Fire HD 10 with 50% more RAM and updated design for $149.99. The Fire HD 10 Plus comes with 4GB of RAM, wireless charging and a soft touch, slate-colored finish for $179.99.

The company is adding what’s called a “productivity bundle” which includes a Fire HD 10 or Fire HD 10 Plus and adds a 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal and a detachable keyboard case, starting at $219.99.

New for kids: Amazon is also introducing new Fire Kids Pro Tablets for kids ages 6 to 12. Intended to help older kids independently explore, the tablets include expanded, age-appropriate content through a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. The tablets start at $99.99 for the Fire 7 Kids Pro, $139.99 for the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro, and $199.99 for the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro. A next-generation Fire HD 10 Kids tablet designed for kids ages 3 to 7 is also $199.99.

Tablet market: Amazon was fourth in market share at the end of 2020 with 6.8% of the worldwide shipments in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IDC. Amazon had 7.6% year-over-year growth in the quarter and shipments totaling 3.6 million. The company trails Apple, Samsung and Lenovo.

IDC cited unprecedented demand in the consumer and education segments as work from home and online learning led to a resurgence in tablet demand. The firm said that “Amazon has created a sweet spot for itself” with budget-friendly tablets and Fire Kids edition tablets which gained in popularity during the pandemic “as parents searched for ways to keep their kids indoors and entertained.”

Availability: All tablets and accessories will begin shipping on May 26.

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