Amazon Gives the Fire HD 8 Tablet a Spec Boost and Price Drop

Posted by at 4:58 pm on September 9, 2016


Amazon on Thursday introduced a new version of the 8-inch tablet, which offers longer battery life, two times the on-device storage, and 50 percent more RAM for faster performance than its predecessor, last year’s Fire HD 8. The new model has a 4,750mAh battery, which Amazon says offers up to 12 hours of mixed use battery life (the previous version lasted five hours and 44 minutes in our test, which streams video over Wi-Fi at maximum brightness).

 Another cool new feature included in the new Fire HD 8: Alexa. Just press and ask Amazon’s cloud-based virtual assistant to play music, launch games, or read audiobooks.

With all those improvements, one might expect a price hike, but Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 starts at $89.99, down from $149.99.

“We believe in a different approach to tablets — providing premium products at non-premium prices — and customers love it,” Amazon’s General Manager for Fire tablets Kevin Keith said in a statement. “In fact, we’ve seen Fire tablet sales more than double year over year as a result.”

This is the first time Amazon has offered Alexa on its tablets, and it’s not stopping with the new Fire HD 8. The voice service, which is the brain behind Amazon’s Echo$179.99 at Amazon speaker, will also be available on the Fire HD 10$229.99 at Amazon, the Fire$49.99 at Amazon, and last year’s Fire HD 8 tablets via a free over-the-air software update in the “coming months,” Amazon said.

In terms of specs, the new Fire HD 8 runs Amazon’s Fire OS 5, and has an 8-inch 1,280-by-800 HD display with more than a million pixels (189 ppi), a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, a 2MP rear-facing camera for taking photos or shooting 720p video, and a VGA front camera for selfies. As for storage, this year’s model comes with either 16GB or 32GB (up from 8GB and 16GB), and the microSD card slot can now take cards up to 200GB (up from 128GB) to hold more books, songs, games, movies, and TV shows.

The new Fire HD 8 is available for pre-order today in four color options: black, magenta, blue, and tangerine and is slated to start shipping Sept. 21.

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