By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 09/18/2015
Apple may have just released its largest tablet ever, but Amazon is getting attention for unveiling a tablet at the other end of the spectrum. While Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes with a supersize price, Amazon's new seven-inch Kindle Fire (with no "HD" suffix) is just $49.99. That's about the same amount as the sales tax on Apple's iPad Pro! It's even cheaper by the half-dozen, as Amazon has a "Buy Five, Get One Free" promotion! That could be great for schools or large families; everyone gets a tablet.
To be fair, there have been low-cost Android tablets for a while. I've bought a few in that price range. But those are usually "no name" brands with little support. This tablet has the backing of Amazon and it even comes with a free month of Amazon Prime, which is a great service. In addition to free two-day shipping on many items, Prime members get access to streaming music, movies, photo storage, and more.
In order to achieve this rock-bottom price, Amazon imposes "Special Features" on the device. That means you can expect to see Amazon ads as part of your tablet experience. If that's a turn off, they offer regular versions, dubbed "HD" thanks to their higher resolution, starting at $99.99, although that's for a smaller, six-inch model. In another way, this new cheaper model is better. It ships with 8 GB but unlike the more expensive Fire HD 6 (or Apple iPads), the $50 Fire offers expansion via microSD cards.