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Alexa Coming To Amazon’s Fire Tablets

Yakety yak, Fire tablets talk back.

Or at least they will, with the forthcoming release of a new, Alexa-enabled Fire HD 8, and an over-the-air (OTA) software update to all current Fire, Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 models in the coming months.

Amazon said the addition of its Cloud-based digital assistant will allow users to command their tablets to play a song, open a game, say a joke, read a book aloud, provide the latest news and weather, and control compatible smart devices.

Alexa will be accessed by long-pressing the tablet’s home button, and additional capabilities will be delivered in subsequent OTA updates, the e-tailer said.

As for the all-new Fire HD 8, set to ship on Sept. 21, enhancements include:

*a 4,750 mAh battery to provide up to 12 hours of mixed use;

*a 50 percent increase in RAM, to 1.5GB, for faster performance; and

*double the onboard storage, and support for up to 200GB of expandable MicroSD card storage.

The tablet will be offered in 16GB and 32GB variants for $90 and $120, respectively, with ads ($105 and $135 without), and will be available in black, blue, magenta and tangerine.

“We believe in a different approach to tablets — providing premium products at non-premium prices — and customers love it,” said Amazon’s Fire tablet general manager Kevin Keith, who cited a better than 100 percent increase in Fire tablet sales year over year.

Pre-ordering begins today on