Amazon Fire HD 8 gains always-on Alexa capabilities

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The Fire HD 8 now works with the Show Dock, and there's a new Kids edition as well.

"We are excited to bring this always-available feature to the all-new Fire HD 8 and take the Alexa experience one step further by introducing Show Mode and the Show Mode Charging Dock". The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will also be the first product to feature a redesigned FreeTime design.

This feature first debuted in the U.S. earlier this year and it's created to work alongside the new Show Mode Charging Dock, which you can buy in a bundle with the Fire HD 8.

Bottom line: If you're in the market for a budget tablet to surf the web, consume multimedia or to double as an Amazon Echo Show, the new Fire HD 8 is tough to beat for under $80.

The tablet's technical specs aren't changing much, though - you still get the 8-inch HD display, with a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM.

It costs £79.99 / US$79.99, the same as the current model, but if you want 32GB of internal storage rather than 16GB, you'll pay £99.99 / US$99.99. To name a few, some of these include asking Alexa to deliver you the latest news, weather updates, your calendar details, movie trailers, and more, apart from several other things.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 comes with an 8-inch IPS display with the resolution of 1280×800 pixels at a pixel density of 189 PPI. Now you can install apps to the microSD card so you can enjoy even more entertainment while on the go.

It can even play music and videos, show lyrics, plus you can control smart home gadgets, such as lights and heating, via speech. The tablets, which Amazon said were developed to look real and not like a toy, support up to two adult profiles (accessible with a PIN) and four child profiles. It also includes the new Show Mode, which turns the tablet into a makeshift Echo device. They're cheap and you can access a wide variety of books, movies, TV shows, and more from Amazon.

You can pre-order this bundle now and you'll get the device when it's shipped on October 4.

"Amazon-exclusive" features with the Fire tablet are Alexa, ASAP, For You, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, and Prime Video downloads, added the company.

In a related announcement, meanwhile, Amazon also announced a Kids Edition of the Fire HD 8 today, with a bundle that includes different brightly colored bumpers and a two-year guarantee.

The tablet comes with a year's worth of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.

To use the dock, you have to put the tablet in a compatible case, which has the charging points that connect to the dock.