Amazon Announces New Fire HD 8 Models

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When it comes to quality and value there are few tablet manufacturers that can pull off those two qualities effectively but Amazon has consistently made a compelling case in that department for over the years. Their latest Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet continues that trend with a variety of improvements and Alexa hands-free integration.

The newly announced tablet comes with an 8′ HD display and a quad-core processor. The 16 GB of internal storage may raise an eyebrow or two but it can be expanded up to 400 GB via microSD or you can opt for the larger 32GB option and still expand via microSD. Battery life for the tablet can be up to 10 hours with mixed use. All of these features including Alexa can be had for less than $100 as the new Fire HD costs $79.99.

Here is the full spec rundown for the Fire HD 8:

  • Beautiful display–Vibrant 8″ widescreen 1280 x 800 high definition display with over a million pixels and bright, vivid picture.
  • Fast performance–Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5 GB of RAM to quickly and easily switch between apps, stream movies, and browse the web.
  • All-day battery life–Up to 10 hours of reading, listening to music, watching TV shows or movies, browsing the web, and more.
  • More expandable storage–16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus support for up to 400 GB more via expandable storage. Now you can install apps to the microSD card so you can enjoy even more entertainment while on the go.
  • Alexa hands-free–Just ask Alexa to play a song, pause a movie, video call a friend or family member, read an Audible book, answer a question, show your calendar, control your smart home, and more–using only your voice, even when your screen is on standby.
  • Show Mode–A new, immersive hands-free experience for Fire tablets with full-screen visuals that complement voice responses from Alexa. Show Mode lets you ask Alexa to see trending news, weather, movies trailers, camera feeds, and more–all glanceable whether you're up close or across the room.
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras–Video chat with friends and family with the HD 720p front-facing camera; take and share photos with the 2MP rear-facing camera, and save them for later with free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire tablets.
  • Durability–As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is 2x as durable as the iPad mini 4.
  • Dolby Atmos Audio–Dual stereo speakers optimized for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos for enhanced realism and dynamic range.
  • Fast Wi-Fi connectivity–Dual-band Wi-Fi support for seamless video streaming.
  • Amazon-exclusive features–Alexa, ASAP, For You, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, Prime Video downloads, and more.
  • World's best content selection–Access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps, and games–with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.
  • Screen Sharing–Let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen, available 24×7, 365 days a year–for free.

The Fire HD 8 will be available in Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, and Canary Yellow when it launches on October 4th and can be pre-ordered here.

If you are looking to grab the Fire HD 8 tablet for your little ones Amazon will also be releasing an updated kids edition which is a bit more at $129 but keeps its durable kid proof look thanks its colorful kid proof cases and the  two-year worry-free guarantee–if they break it, return it and they'll replace it. No questions asked. The Kids Edition comes with the same specs as the new Fire HD 8 models and will include a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which offers more than 20,000 premium books, videos, Audible books, educational apps, and games that have been curated for age-appropriateness, plus access to tens of thousands of hand-selected websites and web videos and award-winning parental controls–at no additional cost. The FreeTime service will also be available in Spanish as well when the device arrives on October 4th.

If you're not familiar with Amazon FreeTime here is what it offers:

Award-winning parental controls that encourage learning before play, and give parents the ability to manage their child's FreeTime settings, including:

  • Weekday and weekend settings–parents can set time limits by weekdays and weekends.
  • Bedtime–parents can control when FreeTime shuts down for the day and turns back on the next morning.
  • Learn First–parents can set daily goals for educational content, and block access to entertainment content until after educational goals are met each day.
  • Screen time by category–parents can restrict certain categories, such as apps and games while leaving unlimited time for reading.
  • Total screen time–parents can choose a set amount of total screen time per day, after which the tablet will shut down for the day.
  • Age filters–parents can adjust settings to tailor the FreeTime experience for each child and ensure the content their kids are viewing is age-appropriate for them.
  • Add or remove content–parents can add titles from their own content library into FreeTime, or choose to remove unwanted FreeTime Unlimited content.
  • Enable the web browser–parents can choose to enable or disable the kid-friendly web browser within FreeTime.

Additionally, parents can use Parent Dashboard (parents.amazon.com) to connect with their kids over digital content, and starting October 4, parents can now access a new Spanish language version of Parent Dashboard. With Parent Dashboard, parents can view daily activity reports of the digital content their kids are using in FreeTime and determine how to manage time limits and educational goals. Plus, remote parental controls in Parent Dashboard make it easy for parents to adjust their child's FreeTime settings remotely from any web browser. Parents can control bedtime settings, set daily goals and time limits, adjust age filters, lock and unlock the device for a set amount of time, and enable the web browser–all without touching their child's device. Parents can also remotely add new books, videos, and apps to their child's FreeTime profile.

You can preorder the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition here.