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Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet gets some large upgrades but keeps small price

Make no mistake, this is still a budget tablet. But at this price, who's complaining?

Published onSeptember 6, 2018

An image depicting the front and back of an Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, the 2018 model.
  • Amazon just launched a new 2018 edition of its popular Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet.
  • The new Amazon Fire HD 8 features some interesting upgrades and features while retaining the same low price.
  • The Fire HD 8 now works with the Show Dock, and there’s a new Kids edition as well.

The line of Amazon Fire tablets are perfect for budget-conscious consumers who need a basic device that gets the essentials done without too many bells and whistles. Now, one of the cheapest entry points into the Fire ecosystem is getting an update for 2018: the Amazon Fire HD 8.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a tablet with an 8-inch display (naturally) and some pretty weak internal specs. But some of those specs are getting a boost with the 2018 edition and Amazon is adding some new features as well.

One thing that isn’t changing is the price: the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet will still cost $80 with free Prime shipping (assuming you opt for Amazon’s special offers). If you go with the ad-free version of the tablet, it will cost $95.

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So what’s getting upgraded? The front-facing camera is getting a boost from a simple 0.3MP VGA sensor to a 2MP lens that can record 720p video (the same lens that’s on the rear). That means when you use the Fire HD 8 to video chat, your face won’t be a series of giant pixelated squares. The microSD slot also now supports up to 400GB of storage, an upgrade over the previous 256GB limit.

However, the rest of the Fire HD 8 internals are the same: a quad-core 1.3GHz processor with 1.5GB of RAM.

An image of the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet in Show Mode.

On the features side of things, the biggest upgrade for the Fire HD 8 is the introduction of hands-free Alexa. This feature — which allows you to talk with Alexa without having to touch the tablet — was already available on the more-expensive Amazon Fire HD 10, but it’s nice to see it on this cheaper model.

The Fire HD 8 also now has Show Mode and works with the Show Mode Dock. Once again, this is a feature that the Fire HD 10 already has, but it’s nice to see it come to the HD 8. Show Mode paired with the Show Mode Dock enables your Fire HD 8 to act as a makeshift Amazon Echo Show.

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The Fire HD 8 is available as a pre-order bundle with the Show Mode Dock for the low price of $95. The Show Mode Dock itself is $40, so you’re saving quite a bit of cash.

Finally, there is also a new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition that features the same upgrades of the regular edition but has a kid-friendly bumper case built in that will protect it from drops and other kid-related mishaps. The Kids Edition costs a bit more ($130) but comes with a free year of access to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.

Click the buttons below to pre-order your preferred tablet model now! Shipments will start on October 4, 2018.

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