Amazon has finally updated its Fire HD 8 tablet with some significant changes. It’s been years since the last upgrade, so it’s definitely time the cheap tablet line sees a refresh. The update brings with it some incremental tweaks, a new price, and some disappointing things that stayed the same.
The company posted the new tablets on its website with a breakdown of the features. Some of them are quite appealing for the price, making this a device that might be worth picking up for anyone in need of a device with a relatively large screen that’s cheap.
New Amazon Fire HD 8
The original Amazon Fire HD 8 is getting a boost to its specs just about everywhere. Rather than the 1.3GHz quad-core processor that was in the original to a 2.0GHz chip, Amazon says the new processor is 30% faster than the one in the original tablet. Amazon is also adding a small boost to the RAM. It’s pushing the tablet to 2GB up from the 1.5GB that came in the original. Lastly, internal storage is doubling, with models available in 32GB and 64GB. For even more storage, the device now supports a microSD card with up to 1TB. The tablet also has USB-C for faster charging.
For all the exciting improvements to the base model, there are a few disappointing things that have remained the same. First of all, the device features the same 8-inch 1,280 x 800 screen. Considering it’s called the Fire HD 8, we’d expect the same size, but it would have been nice to see a higher-resolution panel. The battery life has improved slightly, as Amazon says the tablet should get around 12 hours of juice on a charge.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus
There’s also the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, which adds some pretty exciting improvements such as Qi wireless charging, 3GB of RAM, a 9W charger included, and six months of Kindle Unlimited. It’s a bit more expensive, but those are some fairly substantial upgrades for the cost.
The refreshed Amazon Fire HD 8 tablets are available for pre-order now, with the company planning to ship them on June 3. The standard Amazon Fire HD 8 has jumped from $79.99 to $89.99. The higher-end Fire HD 8 Plus is $109.99, which is a reasonable jump in price for the amount of improvement it offers. Amazon is offering a bundle with a wireless charging dock made the Fire HD 8 Plus from Angreat.
For $139.99, Amazon is also releasing a Fire HD 8 Kids bundle that includes a case made for children, a two-year extended replacement program, and a year of Amazon’s FreeTime service.
As is always the case with Amazon, those prices include special offers. For an extra $15, the devices are available without them.