If you’ve considered buying an Echo Show (UK readers click here) but want something more flexible and mobile, Amazon’s got a new product you’ll want to check out. The new Show Mode dock turns a Fire HD 10 tablet (UK readers click here) into an Echo Show.
Note that this device is currently only available for pre-order in the US (with a release date of 7/12/18), but it should be coming to other regions where Alexa is supported soon.
The information provided here is accurate as of this writing, on 6/29/18, but is subject to change in the future as Amazon releases updates to its devices and software.
Fire HD 10 Dock Charges & Adds Always-On Alexa
A free, over-the-air software update to the Fire HD 10 tablet (UK readers click here) upgrades the existing Alexa functionality such that, when it’s resting in the new Show Mode Charging Dock it mimics the behavior, performance, features and functionality of an Echo Show.
You’ve got the same access to Alexa’s native functions, like checking weather and controlling smart home devices, streaming music, playing Audible books, reading Kindle books and so on, plus video chat and Alexa calling and messaging features. But on top of that, you’ve also got a fully functional and fully mobile Fire HD 10 tablet. Keep it docked at home or the office to get the equivalent of an Echo Show, then pick it up and go when it’s time to hit the road.
There’s one more added convenience. Because the dock is also a charging station, there’s no more need to use a charging cable with your Fire HD 10 tablet when you’re in the same location as the dock: just set it in the dock and it will charge and impersonate an Echo Show simultaneously.
Price Comparison With Echo Show
Amazon’s set the pre-order price for the new dock at around fifty dollars, and its normal price is about ten dollars higher than that. The Fire HD 10 tablet is currently priced at about one hundred and fifty dollars. The usual cost to get the two items separately would be just above two hundred dollars, but as part of the launch Amazon’s offering a package deal on the Fire HD 10 tablet + dock.
Compare this to the Echo Show, which (as of this writing) is normally priced around two hundred and thirty dollars. Amazon’s currently got a deal going where the Show is discounted to about one hundred and sixty dollars (the price is currently listed at about two hundred pounds on Amazon UK).
Buying the tablet + dock bundle at current prices will run you about $30 more than getting a Show at the current discount price in Amazon’s US store, but if we take this limited-time discount out of the equation then the bundle saves you about forty dollars compared to the regular price of a Show alone.
Worth the Buy?
If you already own the the Fire HD 10 tablet (model year 2017 or later), it might be worth picking up the dock as a charging station alone. It is possible to disable the Alexa features if you prefer to use the dock only for charging.
Those who don’t own either a Show or a Fire HD 10 tablet can save some money compared to the cost of buying a Show and Fire HD 10 tablet separately as well. It really comes down to your specific needs and how you would use the devices. In my opinion and experience, added flexibility is never a bad thing.