(Pocket-lint) - In the first year without the Kindle branding, the Fire tablets have responded to the threat Tesco's Hudl poses it seems. Tesco is about to unveil its follow-up device to the incredibly successful family-centric tablet from last year and Amazon has adapted its entry level devices to fire the opening salvo.
The main difference with the Fire HD tablets this year, which come in 6- and 7-inch sizes, is that they are multicoloured and fun. The 6-inch version is especially cheap and cheerful, available from £79 and small enough to fit in a handbag or suit pocket. Indeed, its screen is only 0.5-inches larger than the new iPhone 6 Plus, but we can guarantee that it won't bend.
Amazon told us, in fact, that the new tablets broke the torsion testing machine, not the other way around, and that rigidity is purely intentional. Amazon wanted the Fire HD tablets to withstand a bashing and that means they are suitable for all members of a family.
Also designed to satisfy family needs is the new profile mode, which allows you to create different profiles for each member of the family, thereby offering their own content on their own homescreen. However, sometimes everyone wants to share the same applications, books or videos, so Family Library functionality enables just that.
All content can be shared across the entire family or just specific profile owners. But in the case of eBooks, for example, each member has their own bookmarks. Dad, therefore, can be reading the same book as mum but leave his bookmark in a different place. The Fire HD will recognise where each member has left off and flick to that page accordingly depending on profile.
That's one of the features of Fire OS 4 that comes pre-installed and one that we saw working for real during a chance to go hands-on with the new tablets at Amazon's London headquarters.
Both models, the 6- and 7-inch, have screen resolutions of 1280 x 800, which might only equate to 252ppi and 216ppi respectively, but they look sharp and detailed, especially so for a tablet with such an entry level price.
In addition, the fact they have quad-core processors - 1.5GHz on each - means that they are much smoother and capable of running more graphics intensive applications than many other rivals on the market.
Of course, the final choice for the consumer is whether they are fans of the Fire OS front-end or if they want more flexibility, the sort a normal Android device offers, but that's something to go into further when it comes to the full review.
For now, we can safely say that Amazon has created a desirable couple of devices that don't take themselves too seriously, especially for the price.