Amazon’s Fire devices are generally the best in the Android tablet category, offering decent power and quality screens for media consumption at a fraction of the cost.
The company’s latest Fire HD 8 tablet is no exception. The base model retails for $99.99 ($10 more than the previous version), has a 30 percent faster processor than the previous model, and runs for up to 13 hours on a single charge. Amazon also updated the more powerful Fire HD 8 Plus model ($119.99), which offers even more improvements.
Both tablets have the same 8-inch HD screen. Amazon hasn’t revealed the resolution of either, but we expect it to be the same (1,280 x 800 pixels) as the previous model. Amazon says the devices are thinner and lighter than before, but we can’t yet confirm how much smaller they are than older versions.
Both the Fire HD 8 and HD 8 Plus now feature improved six-core processors, though the company didn’t specify which one. For reference, older models run quad-core chips. Amazon didn’t add 2GB of RAM to the base model, but higher-end models benefit from an upgrade to 3GB of RAM. The extra memory should help it switch between apps and multitasking more smoothly.
The Fire HD 8 Plus also has some charging advantages over the base model. It supports 9W wired charging (Amazon includes a power adapter in the box) as well as (slower) wireless charging. By contrast, the more affordable models come with 5W wired chargers and don’t support wireless charging at all.
Both tablets are available in 32GB and 64GB configurations, with support for up to 1TB of additional storage via a microSD card. The Fire HD 8 is available in black, denim, or rose, while the Fire HD 8 Plus is available in notched gray.
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Amazon also introduced the Fire HD 8 Kids (for ages 3 to 7) and Fire Kids Pro (for ages 6 to 12), which have the same hardware as the HD 8 and HD 8 Plus tablets, respectively. The Kids model is pricier (starting at $149.99), but supports kid-friendly features, including a case, unlocks access to Amazon Kids+, and comes with a two-year warranty.
All new tablets are available for pre-order now and ship in October. We’ll be putting them to the test, so be sure to check back for our full review.
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