Alexa is the excellent voice assistant that powers Amazon’s Echo range of speakers

It's a very tempting package, but screen quality isn't great

Amazon has announced the new Fire 7, a basic tablet that’s tantalisingly cheap.

Though that £49.99 price tag is undoubtedly its biggest selling point, the Fire 7 isn’t simply a bare-bones device.

Its screen is underwhelming, but it has a very respectable set of features otherwise.

The Fire 7 is equipped with a 7-inch 1,024 x 600 display, which is functional but very grainy. 

It’s the same resolution that held the previous version of the Fire 7 (which also cost £50) back last year, though Amazon says it’s improved contrast this time around. We’re disappointed that it hasn’t been bumped up to at least HD.

However, that’s the only real criticism we have. 

The Fire 7 is available with either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by 256GB through the microSD card slot, and comes with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and claimed battery life of eight hours.

It also squeezes in Alexa, the excellent voice assistant that powers Amazon’s Echo range of home speakers.

You can launch it by holding the home key, and ask it questions, tell it to play videos, music or audiobooks, read the news headlines and the weather. 

It looks smart, is available in black, red, blue and yellow colour options, and is available to pre-order now, before shipping from 7 June.

The new Fire HD 8 is the same, but comes with a much better 8-inch 1,280 x 800 screen, up to 12 hours of battery and a £79.99 price tag.

Both would be good choices for families with young children, but Amazon has also launched a pair of new tablets that come pre-loaded with software specifically built to cater to parents and kids.

They are the £99.99 Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet and the £129.99 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet, both of which add a “kid-proof” case, a handy two-year guarantee, parental controls and a year of free access to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited.

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