There is virtually nothing special aboutAmazon’s latest tablet, the Fire HD 8. It’s a wide-screen, 8.4-inch x 5-inch by 0.4-inch thick, 12-ounce device, that ticks off all the boxes for above-average entry-level tablets. It should not be mentioned in the same breath as the thinner, lighter and significantly more powerful AppleiPad Mini – except in one key respect.
It costs just $89.99 (if you accept lock-screen ads, which are no big deal).
That is a fraction of the cost of the iPad mini 4 ($399) and even beats the older and less powerful $269 iPad Mini 2.
After years of trying to slug it out with Apple and other premium tablet manufactures, this is Amazon’s new-ish tablet strategy: create scale and put Amazon.com in potential customers’ hands by delivering good-enough (or better) tablet technology at bargain-basement prices.
When you look at the Amazon Fire HD 8 in this context, it’s kind of a winner.
What you get
The 16:9 wide-screen design that worked so poorly on the original and more expensiveAmazon Fire HD 10 last year actually works much better on a smaller device like the Fire HD 8. It’s comfortable to hold and I ended up appreciating the extra length when reading in portrait mode.
The 1280x800 screen is HD and more than up to the task of playing back crisp video and delivering an excellent web browsing and reading experience. My only criticism would be that the screen is maybe a bit too reflective for my tastes.
The top edge of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8, with basic buttons, expected ports.
Image: Dustin Drankoski/mashable