Amazon has launched a new “Reader’s Edition” of its Fire HD 8 device, a 4th generation tablet it first introduced back in September.
As its name suggests, the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition is pitched at those who like to, well, read. The tablet serves up a year’s access to its Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service, which normally costs $10 a month, plus it comes with a limited edition leather cover. However, the new version actually costs $120 more than the normal Fire HD 8 incarnation,
Above: Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition
Image Credit: Amazon
The new tablet also sports the new “Blue Shade” feature Amazon announced last week. The setting basically improves reading conditions in dark or dimly lit environments by changing the color temperature of the screen away from blue, which is known to impair sleeping, as well as dimming the brightness.
It’s certainly a useful feature, but as part of the new Fire OS “Bellini” rollout, Blue Shade is already available to other Amazon Fire tablets. So in effect, consumers are being asked to pay $120 more for a tablet that comes with a free case, given that a year’s worth of Kindle Unlimited will normally cost you $120 anyway.
However, as a marketing ploy, it may actually work. Many people prefer dedicated e-readers because of their screens. By launching a tablet aimed squarely at readers, it hopes to convince people that this tablet can be just as good as e-readers — and it does more because it’s a proper, Internet-connected device with a color screen.
Amazon isn’t the first company to merge the two worlds of e-readers and tablets. Samsung and Barnes & Noble have brought a broad range of hybrids to market, while Kobo has too.