Amazon just introduced a new feature that lets you turn your Fire tablet into a fully functioning Echo device

  • Amazon introduced a new way to use your Fire tablet: as a fully functioning Echo Show.
  • With the new Show Mode, your Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 tablet can turn into an Echo device with a screen, complete with a full version of Alexa.
  • Amazon also introduced the $US40 Show Mode Charging Dock to keep your tablet propped up and fully charged at all times.

Amazon’s latest product lets you turn your Fire tablet into a two-in-one device – but maybe not in the way you’d expect.

On Thursday, Amazon unveiled Show Mode, a new feature for its Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets. With Show Mode, you can turn your tablet into a fully functioning Echo Show, Amazon’s Echo device with a screen.

There will be virtually no difference between the Alexa in Show Mode and the Alexa that lives inside the Echo Show, regular Echo, or any of Amazon’s other Echo devices. But rather than have separate devices, Show Mode lets you make your Fire tablet a dual purpose device.

Here’s how it works: By pressing the “Show Mode” button on the tablet’s pull-down menu, you can switch to an “always on” screen like the Echo Show. The device will show you the weather, timers, your shopping list, and play your video flash briefings. Turning off Show Mode will let you use your tablet normally again to watch videos, play games, or read.

If that sounds like a battery suck, it is, which is why Amazon created the Show Mode Charging Dock. The dock is a snap-on charging station which will prop up your tablet and keep the battery topped up at all times.

The dock will cost $US40 for Fire HD 8 users, and $US55 for Fire HD 10 users, although anyone who preorders the dock will get $US5 off. You can also get a bundled deal – a tablet and a dock together – starting at about $US110. The dock will start shipping on July 12.

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