Amazon is updating its small and inexpensive Fire 7 tablet for the first time in three years, and it’s bringing some crowd-pleasing features: the updated tablet will feature USB-C charging, better battery life, and faster performance. Amazon is, however, raising the starting price tag a tad — from $49.99 to $59.99.
Amazon says that the tablet’s quad-core processor is “30 percent faster” and that it’ll have 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB. In theory, the extra memory should make it so you can load more web pages at a time, and you won’t have to wait around for apps to start back up as often when you’re switching between them. The company also says the tablet will last about 40 percent longer between charges, estimating you’ll be able to do about 10 hours of browsing or video watching.
Of course, the headlining feature is how you’ll be charging up that battery. The previous Fire 7 featured a micro-USB charging port, but the refresh replaces it with a more modern connection. Amazon also says the tablet is “available with” a 5W power adapter in the box.
Amazon didn’t answer The Verge’s question about whether that meant every tablet would come with the charging brick or if it would be an add-on option in time for press. The company also didn’t immediately clarify whether the $59.99 price point was for a version of the tablet with lock screen ads, which the least expensive model of the current Fire 7 has.
There is one thing missing compared to the previous version. The new Fire 7 will only come in three colors — black, denim, and rose — instead of the four the previous model was available in. (Sorry, fans of the color green.)
This is more or less the same type of spec-bump upgrade the Fire HD 8 got in 2020, and it’s nice to see that Amazon’s less expensive tablet is getting the upgrades as well.
Like with the previous generation, the tablet will also be available in a “Kids” edition, which will come with a rugged case that’s either blue, red, or purple. As with the previous version, the tot-focused tablet comes with a year of Amazon’s “Kids Plus” service that includes access to educational shows as well as exclusive games. It’s also gotten a price bump. It starts at $109.99 instead of $99.99, but you can now upgrade to 32GB of storage if your kid wants to save a lot of content for long road trips or flights.
Both versions of the Fire 7 are available to preorder today and will start shipping on June 29th. While you’ll likely want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a real powerhouse of a tablet (the entry-level iPad is probably a good place to start), the Fire 7 should be fine if you’re just looking for something to play videos, read books, or act as a way to interact with Alexa.