Amazon's Latest Gen Fire HD 8 Tablets Bring The Heat To Apple's iPad With These Key Upgrades

Amazon Fire HD 8
Amazon's entry into the home brewed hardware space has resulted in some competitively priced products with tantalizing features. It's been an interesting ride up to this point, and it just got more intriguing with the introduction of three "all-new" Android tablets, including the Fire HD 8, Fire HD Plus, and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.

The allure of the Fire HD 8 line is relative affordability. Whereas you're looking at spending $399.99 and up on Apple's iPad mini (barring a sale), the latest generation Fire HD 8 starts at $89.99. Apples and oranges to an extent (or Apple and Android), as we're looking at two different platforms and ecosystems, and different performance levels. But in terms of affordability, the Fire HD 8 is lighter on the wallet or purse.

Amazon's entry model gets a decent upgrade in horsepower—it still rocks a quad-core processor, but it's now clocked at 2GHz instead of 1.3GHz. The refreshed Fire HD also sees a small bump in RAM from 1.5GB to 2GB, and a doubling of the internal storage from 16GB to 32GB. There's also a 64GB option ($119.99), along with a microSD card supporting up to 1TB of additional storage.

The 8-inch display checks in at 1280x800. Not class leading by any stretch, though certainly respectable for a lower cost tablet. In addition, Amazon is claiming up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life (browsing the web, watching videos, listening to music, and so forth), and a USB-C port to charge the device.

You can pre-order the Fire HD 8 with 32GB for $89.99 or the Fire HD 8 with 64GB with 64GB for $119.99 on Amazon—both are set to release on June 3. Those are the versions with "Special Offers," which are ads on the lock screen. Without them, the 32GB model costs $104.99 and the 64GB model runs $134.99.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

If you're willing to spend a little more, the refreshed Fire HD 8 Plus comes with more RAM (3GB), a faster 9W in-box charging adapter, a six-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited, and best of all, wireless charging support.

You need to purchase a wireless charging dock separately, but it's a neat upgrade for a lower priced tablet.

The Fire HD 8 Plus with 32GB runs $109.99 and the Fire HD Plus with 64GB runs $139.99, both with Special Offers (or $124.99 and $154.99 without Special Offers, respectively).

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Finally, Amazon rolled out an upgraded Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. The internal hardware is the same (quad-core processor clocked at 2GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 1280x800 resolution), but it comes protected in a colorful, rugged case. One of the benefits of the Kids Edition model is an accidental damage guarantee—if little Billy or Suzy manages to thwart the rugged enclosure and still break the tablet within the first two years, Amazon will replace it.

This one doesn't get the wireless charging treatment, but it does sport a USB-C connector and the same claim of up to 12 hours of mixed-usage battery life.

It also comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service with access to 20,000 curated apps, games, books, and videos.

Pricing is a bit higher this time around—the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition runs $139.99.