Despite the hype around the latest iPad pros, there is something to be said for cheap vinyl records. They’re great communication devices and mainstays in the living room for the whole family to watch videos, play mobile games, send emails, and surf the web. But affordable tablet options have declined over the years, and while devices like the Samsung Tab S6 Lite are solid, you still have to pay over $ 300 to get it.
Many just don’t have that much leeway in their budget, and this is where Amazon’s Fire tablets bring the savings. The new $ 90 Fire HD 8 and $ 110 HD 8 Plus continue the pattern that Amazon has pushed for the past several years: upgrade the tablet’s hardware just enough to warrant a slight price increase while keeping the cost well below. The competitor. This time around, Amazon largely managed to develop better versions of the previous Fire HD 8. However, the company focused on hardware while leaving the software largely untouched – and the latter held back Fire tablets.
Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 tablet updates the previous model with key hardware features, including a nifty design, faster processor, USB-C charging, and longer battery life. At $ 90, it’s easy to sell as a living room slate – a device that everyone in the family can use to watch videos, play cell phone games, and surf the Internet. Thanks to showing mode and speakerphone, it can also be used as an improvised echo device. The biggest downside is Amazon’s Fire OS, which constantly puts the products and services of the store first.
Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 Plus has all of the improvements that the regular Fire HD 8 has: a sleek design, faster processor, USB-C charging, and solid battery life. To make it “plus”, Amazon added an additional gigabyte of RAM, wireless charging capabilities, and a 9W power adapter to speed up wired charging. While these are nice features on paper, they don’t make much of a difference to the daily tablet experience. You’d better pocket the extra $ 20 and get the Fire HD 8 standard.
Let’s start with the hardware improvements. Both the Fire HD 8 and the HD 8 Plus are practically identical from this perspective. These new slates have rounded corners and slightly smaller edges around their 8-inch displays with 1280 x 800 pixels. The edges are just wide enough for my thumbs to sit comfortably so they don’t accidentally activate the touchscreen. The back is made of smooth plastic and comes in a variety of colors including black, white, plum, and twilight blue. Does it feel cheap? Yes, but let’s not forget, this is a $ 90 tablet. Even so, the build quality is actually decent. The Fire HD 8 won’t bend under pressure and appears to be able to withstand a fall from your desk or counter without major injuries.
Both tablets have quad-core processors, two speakers, headphone jacks, and 2-megapixel cameras at the front and rear. You also have a choice of 32GB or 64GB storage options, which can be expanded up to 1TB using the microSD card slot. Both also have USB-C charging ports, which is arguably the most significant hardware change from the previous Fire HD 8. We expect this change for 2020 devices that don’t yet have USB-C and they make it easier to charge faster. The Fire 7, updated last year, still has a micro-USB charging port. This makes the new Fire HD 8s with USB-C the cheapest Amazon device. I would recommend the Fire HD 8s for this reason alone, if you’re arguing between the two, not to mention the HD 8 also offers a huge improvement in screen resolution, speaker configuration, and battery life.
The differences between the Fire HD 8 and the HD 8 Plus are small: the latter has 3 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB and supports wireless charging. It also comes with a faster 9W power adapter, so wired charging is less time-consuming. Both tablets actually have the same 4850 mAh battery inside. So if you already have a similarly powerful adapter, you can charge the regular Fire HD 8 from scratch just as quickly.