Amazon has updated the 7-inch Fire Tablet—it’s now the “2022, 12th gen” version. The big news this year is that Amazon is finally upgrading to USB-C, which is tough to come by in this bargain-basement pricing tier. About that price: The Fire 7 is $74.99 without lockscreen ads or $59.99 if you want to put up with the ads.
For the SoC, we have a MediaTek MT8168V. This is a 12 nm chip with four ARM Cortex A53 cores running at 2 GHz and an ARM Mali G52. There’s a 7-inch, 1024×600 LCD, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (or $20 more for 32GB), and a 3750mAh battery that Amazon says is good for “10 hours.” There’s a microSD slot, a headphone jack, and Wi-Fi 5 (that’s 802.11ac) support. There are technically front and back cameras on the Fire 7, but at 2 MP each and “no autofocus,” they might not be useful for much. There’s no GPS and no NFC, but the tablet comes with a 5 W USB-C charger.
The 2022 Fire 7 also marks the launch of Amazon’s “Fire OS 8.” This is a fork of Android 11 that doesn’t seem to stray far from the normal codebase, but it doesn’t have any Google apps or services. Amazon is promising four years of security updates, even at this ultra-low price point.
For $109.99, there’s also a “Kids” version, which takes the same hardware and embeds it in a 1.1-inch-thick, brightly colored “Kid-Proof Case” designed for ages 3-7. That’s a huge price increase over the normal version, but it doesn’t have ads and comes with a two-year “Worry-Free Guarantee.” Amazon says, “If it breaks, return it and we’ll replace it for free.” It also comes with a 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription and parental controls.
Both tablets are available for preorder now and start shipping on June 29.
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