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Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 tablets run faster, last longer, and start at $100

Amazon has announced four new tablets in the company’s Fire 8 line that, while certainly having their limitations, seem to be welcome upgrades from previous iterations. The announcement comes with the usual semi-annual upgrades: the 2022 versions of the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Kids, with both devices also launching next to more powerful versions of themselves, the Fire HD 8 Plus and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro, respectively.

The Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus don’t have jaw-dropping specs but do feature a handful of improvements from previous iterations. According to Amazon, they both run 30% faster than the most recent Fire 8 releases, thanks to Amazon’s improved hexa-core processor. The 2022 Fire HD 8 features 2GB RAM, the same as the previous iteration, but the 8 Plus sports 3GB RAM.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 and HD 8 Plus side by side.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (left) and Amazon Fire HD 8 (right) Amazon

Both tablets are designed to be thinner, lighter, and more durable than previous iterations of the Fire HD 8, and sport a battery life of 13 hours. Unfortunately, while Amazon is incrementally increasing the battery life of each of its tablets year to year, the charge times still leave a lot to be desired. The base Fire HD 8 takes four hours to be fully charged after a complete drain, while the 8 Plus takes three. Although that’s certainly an improvement, a three-hour charge time is pretty excessive.

Aside from the improved charging time and extra RAM, the Fire HD 8 Plus also features wireless charging and an improved 5MP rear camera. Amazon’s Fire tablets aren’t exactly known for their camera fidelity; however, a jump from a 2MP shooter to a 5MP one is bound to show improvements for those willing to spend the extra cash.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and HD 8 Kids Pro tablets side by side.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (left) and Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids (right) Amazon

The 2022 Fire HD 8 Kids and Kids Pro feature the same specs found in the HD 8 but come bundled with a plethora of kid-friendly features — such as a protective case, intuitive parental controls, and a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids Plus (a service that makes kid-friendly content easy to find and access through a single app.) The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is largely the same as the base model, however, it skews more toward older kids aged 6-12 by featuring a digital store where users can request e-books and other apps for parental approval.

All four tablets support Alexa, so they’re also able to sync up with other Alexa devices around the house. Although all four may not hold up well when compared to the likes of the 2021 iPad when it comes to processing power and other specs, they cost only a fraction of the price. The new Fire HD 8 starts at $100 while the 8 Plus is just $20 more at $120. The new Fire HD 8 Kids and 8 Kids Pro start at $150.

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