15 Reasons to Buy Amazon's New $50 Tablet

Amazon Cheap Tablet
Eric Risberg/AP

Amazon.com (AMZN) made it official Thursday, introducing a new entry-level tablet that will be available starting later this month for just $50. Its popularity is inevitable given the low sticker price, but let's break down the many reasons that one of its buyers might very well be you.

1. It's the anti-iPad. At a time when Apple (AAPL) is rolling out its priciest tablet ever -- the iPad Pro that starts at $799 -- Amazon's giving shoppers something cheaper.

2. It has a reasonable display size of 7 inches. That's slightly smaller than the iPad mini with its 7.9-inch screen, but The Wall Street Journal was reporting earlier this month that Amazon's bargain-priced device would be just six inches.

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-884%3. This is the first tablet that's so cheap that it's being sold as a discounted six-pack. Amazon is making a package of six Fire tablets available for $249.95. Order six tablets and enter the code FIRE6PACK on checkout and the sixth one will be free. That lowers the price to $41.66 apiece. Who says that beer and soda are the only things that are cheaper when sold as six-packs?

4. At $50, it costs less than a single video game. Die-hard gamers will argue that it's not a fair comparison, but it's now an argument to be made.

5. At $249.95 for the marked-down six-pack, we're talking about a half-dozen Fire tablets for less than a single iPad mini.

6. The Fire has half the internal storage memory of the iPad mini, clocking in at a mere 8 gigabytes, but there's a microSD slot so you can dramatically expand capacity if you need to do that.

7. The battery life is weak at seven hours, but that's more than enough time to entertain you on a trip, commute, or relaxation break.

8. At less than $42 each in volume, we're probably at the point where newspaper and magazine publishers can bundle long-term digital subscriptions with free tablets as readers.

9. You should never leave a tablet in your car, but as far as smash-and-grab robberies go, this could be the one time that replacing your window won't be cheaper than replacing the gadgetry that was stolen.

10. The leading online retailer is also launching Amazon Underground, an app store experience where it claims that more than $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are available for free.

11. Amazon is also claiming that the $50 Fire tablet is twice as durable as the iPad Air.

12. That last point is notable, because you can now hand over a tablet to your child without freaking out as much whenever it takes a tumble. Durable or not, it's still less pain on your pocketbook to have it replaced.

13. Yes, there's a camera in there -- two, actually. They're not great, of course, but the rear-facing one can record 720p HD video. The front-facing one is a weaker VGA camera that could make do for Skype and other purposes.

14. The front-facing camera means that it's cheaper to videoconference with family and friends. You're now just $100 away from a pair of tablets as a videoconferencing solution.

15. There will be more tablets in the classroom. Remember when only ritzy prep schools "went iPad" a couple of years ago? Now tablets will be accessible to even more knowledge-hungry students.

Killer App

There are a lot more than 15 reasons that the new Fire will be a hit this holiday shopping season. However, there is likely just one reason that Amazon is making this move: Amazon wants to drive more consumers to its thriving ecosystem of digitally delivered videos, books, music, games, and apps.

Willing to sell hardware at or below cost -- and that's likely the case here -- is an investment in tablet owners engaging more in Amazon's playground. With the cover charge continuing to drop to dabble in the ecosystem, it's not a bad place to be.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Amazon.com and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.

Amazon's New Lineup
Amazon's New Lineup
Originally published