To start out, I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of the Android platform. For me, its always been slow and unpredictable. But, I’ve also owned almost every version of Amazon’s Fire tablet. So, despite my disdain for the OS, I snagged the latest updated Fire tablet device from Amazon. And, after testing, I’m glad I did.
Those that are already familiar with Amazon’s tablets are familiar with how Amazon has completely customized the Android experience. The core is definitely Android, but Amazon has taken it and molded it into a media and shopping experience. Understand that these are media consumption devices – not something you should expect to use to get work done (I have my Surface Pro 4 for that). And, that’s what Amazon does just right – and one of the reasons why I also always choose the model that has “special offers.” You can pay just a little extra for the model that comes without ads (or pay to remove them later), but I actually find the way Amazon does ads as useful. This is a feature I like because it exposes me to things that interest me that I wouldn’t think of otherwise.
The unit I chose is the Fire HD 8, 32 GB, with special offers. I’ve traveled down a long path to finally realize that, for me, an 8-inch tablet is the right size. A 7-inch tablet just doesn’t have enough screen landscape to appease my 50 year old eyes – but an 8-inch tablet is just right. In fact, I also have an iPad – but its an iPad mini which is also an 8-inch tablet.
I also snagged the official All-New Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Case. The design is not new, but the case material is. Its protective and still sends the tablet into sleep mode when closed and wakes it up when its open, but the feel of the case is better. It looks and feels like its been upholstered which makes it seem more posh and stylish.
There are a number of small enhancements in Amazon’s latest round of tablet refreshes. Like Apple has done with its latest MacBook, there’s nothing major or monumental here. There’s nothing earth shattering or future defining. Its just that everything works better and is more fluid. Except for the ever-crappy Facebook app, all apps are quicker to respond and performance is instantaneous. This is absolutely the best Fire tablet yet. I can already see that I’ll be using the iPad mini less and less.
If you’ve never experienced an Amazon Fire tablet yet, this device is a perfect starter experience and will turn you into a longtime fan. And, if you already own a previous version, this is a great time to snag the latest generation and pass down your old one to a family member. This is a solid generation of Amazon devices and with Alexa built-in, its also a great way to get a first taste of Amazon’s voice command AI.
All-New Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Case ($29.99)
- The next generation of our best-reviewed Fire tablet, with up to 12 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. More durable than the latest iPad.
- 16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage
- Now with Alexa, for quick access to the information and entertainment you want. Ask questions, play music, check your calendar, get the news, weather, and more – just press the home button and ask.
- Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, apps and games – including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Spotify, and more
- Prime members get unlimited access to over a thousand books and magazines, millions of songs, and thousands of movies and TV episodes – at no additional cost
- Watch downloaded videos anywhere with a Prime membership, Netflix plan, or Showtime subscription
- Enhance your entertainment experience with features you only get from Amazon, including ASAP, X-Ray, On Deck, Blue Shade, and FreeTime Parental Controls
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