Amazon adds always-on Alexa Hands-Free to Fire HD 8 tablet

The Fire HD 8 tablet is slowly turning into a more robust Echo Show.

Amazon on Thursday announced a minor refresh to its Fire HD 8 tablet. The $80 tablet keeps its low price tag but gains Alexa's Hands-Free feature. Instead of requiring the tablet to be plugged in for users to interact with it via voice after the screen went to sleep, the new Fire HD 8 will constantly listen for the Alexa wake command regardless if it's charging or not.

The revamped Fire HD 8 will begin shipping Oct. 4. It comes with 16GB of storage, expandable up to 400GB via microSD card and 10 hours of battery life.

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Amazon

Amazon also announced a new Kids Edition version of the Fire HD 8 tablet. The tablet designed for kids comes with 32GB of storage, 10 hours of battery life, a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a "kid-proof" case, and Amazon's 2-year worry-free guarantee for $130. The Kids Edition will begin shipping Oct. 4.

Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited feature is designed to help parents manage a child's tablet, limiting the amount of time spent on the device and access to specific types of content. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will also be the first product to feature a redesigned FreeTime design.

Lastly, Amazon also announced FreeTime is now available in Spanish. Parents can switch to Spanish in a child's FreeTime profile, giving the child access to Spanish versions books, videos, games, and kid-friendly websites.