Amazon has taken the wraps off the latest revamp of its Fire HD 8 tablet range, and the improved tablets come with more storage than ever before, and complete hands-free Alexa support with a screen in standby. In addition, the new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also comes with support for Spanish in FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited.
Not much has changed between this generation of Fire HD 8 tablets and the 2017 Fire HD 8, with Amazon making only small changes to the overall formula. Like most of the Fire tablets, the new Fire HD 8 is made from a hardy plastic shell that is twice as durable as the iPad Mini 4, according to Amazon. The 8-inch screen runs a 1,280 x 800 display, and the tablet should run smoothly with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM.
There’s been a slight boost in available storage over the last generation of Fire HD 8, and while the onboard storage options stay at 16GB or 32GB, the cap on expandable storage has been lifted to up to 400GB more via MicroSD card. As if that wasn’t enough, Amazon has also added the ability to save apps to expandable storage, helping to boost available storage significantly. That’s supported by a battery that Amazon claims will last for up to ten hours of mixed usage.
Alexa support is back, and she’s no longer tethered by the status of your screen. Unlike older generations of the Fire HD 8, users of the new Fire HD 8 will be able to trigger Alexa even while the screen is off, and will be able to ask her to play Audible books, answer questions, or control your smart home. Show Mode is included, too, and users will be able to set their Fire HD 8 up to show the latest news, weather, videos, and more.
A new Fire Kids Edition is also arriving, hand-in-hand with the new Fire HD 8. The improved Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes with the 32GB model of the Fire HD 8, Amazon’s world-class parental controls, and a kid-proof case in blue, pink, or yellow. As usual, Amazon is so confident in its kid-proof case that the Kids Edition comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee that promises no-questions-asked replacements should your child break their tablet.
Pre-orders for the new Amazon Fire HD 8 range start today and will ship from October 4. The standard tablet will start at $80, while a Show Dock to use with Show Mode will set you back another $40. Amazon is also offering a bundled tablet and dock for just $95. The Kids Edition comes with a tablet and case with prices starting at $130, but you can buy two at once for just $195.
FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited — en Español
As ever, the Kids Edition of the Fire HD 8 comes with a year’s worth of free subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service — but Amazon is expanding the reach of that service with the addition of over 1,000 books, apps, games, and more in Spanish, in addition to the 20,000 apps, books, and games available in English.
Whether fluent in or learning America’s second most-popular language, kids will be able to access Spanish-translated versions of popular books and games like Harry Potter, Lego Ninjago, Minecraft, and more. As with all of Amazon’s FreeTime catalog, each has been hand-picked and tested to ensure that all available content is totally age appropriate.
A subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service costs $3 a month for Amazon prime members, or $5 a month for everyone else.
Availability and pricing
The Kindle Fire HD 8 (2018) is available to order now. The regular model will set you back $80, while the Kids Edition comes in at $130. Amazon will begin shipping the Kindle Fire HD 8 on October 4, 2018.
Updated October 1, 2018: Added availability and pricing section.