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Amazon just released ‘new’ seven-inch Fire tablets and honestly, what was the point?

Seriously, these are pretty much the same tablets from two years ago.

Amazon fire 7 inch colors
Image: Amazon

Today, Amazon took the wrappings off its newest Amazon Fire 7 range, with both the Amazon Fire 7 and the Kids Edition getting a new coat of paint.

They’re essentially the same devices from two years ago, just with twice the storage and some new color options. They also added Alexa hands-free capabilities too. Again, pretty much the same other than a few minor things.

I get it though, it’s hard to sugarcoat what is essentially the same screen, design, and internals. Sure, there are a couple of new colors, but that’s it on the outside.

Internally, storage has been doubled but there’s a catch

The $50 version has “Special Offers” on the lock screen. Amazon’s advertising is fairly unobtrusive at least, as you’ll only see it when your device isn’t being used. If you want it gone, it’ll cost you $65 for the same tablet. Not so ‘budget friendly’ now, is it?

Things get worse for your wallet if you want the Kids Edition. Sure, you get a nice rubber bumper case to hopefully protect against the inevitable toddler-abuse. You even get one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a two-year replacement policy.

That “Worry-Free Guarantee” is a bit of a misnomer, as it only protects against the usual manufacturing defects

The prior device had an “If they break it, we’ll replace it. No questions asked” guarantee, so when your little monster stomped on it for the fifth time this month, Amazon’s customer service would speedily send out a replacement.

In an email, An Amazon spokesperson told KnowTechie: 

Whatever kids dish out, with the 2-year worry-free guarantee, parents should know that if the device breaks, just return and we will replace it. We warrant the Device against defects in materials and workmanship under ordinary consumer use (including ordinary kid use) for two years from the date of original retail purchase.

Kindle fire seven inch new kids edition

Image: Amazon

The Kids Edition is $100, when it’s the same tablet hardware inside that jauntily colored case. Just look at how bounceable it looks in the above image. That picture was probably taken seconds before the tablet was rage-kicked through the window when then parent-set screen time limits were hit and the tablet turned into an expensive frisbee for the night.

You’d be better off buying two of the normal edition, and some parenting lessons.

Oh, and both “All New” tablets have Alexa built in, without having to press a button

That means she’s always lurking, listening, waiting for you to call her into existence. Lovely. It’s also nothing that you can’t get on the prior devices, as one of the last FireOS updates brought hands-free Alexa to the range.

If you really want an Amazon device to read on – buy a Kindle Paperwhite, it’s far superior. If you want a tablet, go buy an iPad Mini, again it’s far superior and Apple understands how to make their devices kid-friendly.

What do you think? Interested in either one of these tablets or will this be a hard pass? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was updated on 5/17 with minor clarifications from Amazon. 

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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