Amazon's 'all-new' Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition look identical to their predecessors
One of the most obvious upgrades is a 2MP front-facing camera that replaces the rather terrible VGA secondary shooter on the previous generation. You still get a 2MP “primary” cam on the back of the two all-new Fire HD 8 models, as well as “vibrant” 1280 x 800 screen resolution.
Alexa is now “always-ready” on the standard Fire HD 8, constantly waiting to be summoned to control video playback, stream music, read you an Audible book, or launch an app without requiring you to ever use your hands.
This will naturally take a toll on battery life, now estimated at “up to 10 hours of mixed use”, with a new Show Mode basically allowing you to turn your inexpensive tablet into an Echo Show smart speaker with “full screen visual responses optimized to be glanceable whether up close or across the room.”
Billed as twice as durable as Apple’s iPad mini 4 based on tumble test measurements, the latest Fire HD 8 also comes with dual Dolby Atmos-enhanced stereo speakers, dual-band Wi-Fi support, a microSD card slot, and 16 or 32GB internal storage space. Up for pre-order now starting at a measly $79.99, the tablet is set to begin shipping on October 4, just like the slightly costlier new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
That “kid-proof” model fetches $129.99 in a single 32GB configuration, including a colorful protective case at no extra charge, as well as FreeTime Unlimited access for a year, and a 24-month worry-free guarantee that means Amazon will replace the slate if your children break it, no questions asked.
Otherwise, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is pretty much identical to the regular version, offering the same 10 hours of battery life, stereo sound experience, and expandable storage. Of course, there’s also plenty of pre-loaded educational content and “award-winning” parental controls.