Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 line has USB-C, wireless charging, durable Kids Edition

Amazon announced an upgrade to the Fire HD 8, alongside a new Fire HD 8 Plus and a new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. The tablets still won’t offer the software experience and performance that you get on more expensive tablets, but at only $90 for the Fire HD 8, they’re likely to be hard to beat for the price — as we pointed out in last year’s Amazon Fire HD 10 review.

The new Fire HD 8 has several notable upgrades. Perhaps the most important addition to a new 2GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 2GB of RAM. According to Amazon, the new processor will bring a 30% faster performance lift compared to the last-generation Fire HD 8. That addresses a complaint we had with its aging predecessor.

That performance is powered by a new, better battery. While Amazon hasn’t detailed exact specs of the battery, the company says that it should last up to 12 hours of “mixed use,” including browsing the web, watching videos, and so on. To charge that battery, you can now use the built-in USB-C port — which is nice to see considering that Amazon has been using the dated MicroUSB port until now.

There are increased storage options, too. You can now get the tablet in either 32GB or 64GB of storage, and there’s a built-in MicroSD card slot for expanding the storage by up to a hefty 1TB. The previous model had options for 16GB and 32GB, and the MicroSD card slot only supported SD cards of up to 400GB.

Apart from those upgrades, not much has changed — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll still get the same 1,280 x 800 pixel display, the same Amazon software, and so on. There’s also the same software, and the same Alexa support, which is good news for those who already use Alexa in their home and want to expand their use of the digital assistant.

The all-new Fire HD 8 comes in at only $90, and it’s available for pre-order from Amazon. The tablet will start shipping on June 3.

Fire HD 8 Plus & Kids Edition

As mentioned, there’s also a new Fire HD 8 Plus. Selling for $110, it provides 3GB of RAM instead of 2GB, and adds a faster charger. It also has wireless charging (with a compatible dock), which is a nice touch. Like the standard model, the Fire HD 8 Plus is available for pre-order now, with shipping beginning on June 3.

Last but not least is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, which offers the same specs as the Fire HD 8 in a kid-proof case that should survive most bumps, drops, and so on. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes at $140. It’s available for pre-order now, with shipping set to begin on June 3.

Pricing and availability

As mentioned, these tablets will start at $90 for the Fire HD 8 and go up to $140 for the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.

All three are available for pre-order now and will release on June 3.

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