Amazon has refreshed its set of Fire HD tablets, and it seems the online retailer is trying to dominate the mobile multimedia experience. Two tablets, the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10, join this battle, and Amazon makes a point of comparing them to the iPad Air at every turn. Let's take a good look at these new contenders for the sofa and throne.
The pair differ mostly in screen size and pricing. The CPU is a MediaTek quad-core unit, with two cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and the other two at 1.2 GHz. 1GB of RAM provides a working space for the CPU, which should do for entertainment purposes.
The display isn't as fancy as the one present in the Fire HDX lineup. Instead, it's a 16:10, 1280x800 IPS unit covered in Gorilla Glass, which Amazon says makes it twice as resistant to drops versus the iPad Air. Pixel density is 189 ppi and 149 ppi for the 8" and 10" models, respectively. Storage is pretty limited on the Fire HD 8, which can be had with either 8 or 16 GB, while the Fire HD 10 comes in 32 GB and 64 GB flavors. Both devices have microSD slots that can expand storage by up to 128 GB, and users get "unlimited cloud storage" for all Amazon content and for photos taken with the devices.
Other amenities include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a 1080p 5MP rear-facing camera, and a 720p Narcissism Enhancer Device (or front camera). Amazon says the tablets' batteries are good for 8 hours of mixed usage, and the devices are quite slim at only 7.7 mm. They're quite light, as well—11 oz (311 g) for the Fire HD 8, and 15 oz (432 g) for the HD 10. Version 5 of Amazon's Fire OS powers these tablets, and it's distinguished by an updated interface.
The Fire HD 8 is available in black, magenta, blue, and "tangerine" finishes, and it'll cost $150 and $170 for the 8 GB and 16GB versions respectively. Meanwhile, the Fire HD 10 comes in black or white. The 16 GB flavor runs $230, while the 32 GB model goes for $260. All of these slates will arrive September 30, though it should be noted that these prices all include "sponsored screensavers." Users can opt to forego those, but that "upgrade" costs $15, and it's only available on the black version of either model.