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Amazon reveals new faster, lighter, smarter Fire HD 8 tablets

Amazon Fire HD tablets won’t be part of the September 28 launch event – that’s because Amazon has busted them out today.

The Fire HD 8, Fire HD 8 Plus, Fire HD 8 Kids Pro and Fire HD 8 Kids tablets running the – Android-based Fire OS – are available to pre-order today ahead of a shipping date next month.

First-up, the Fire HD 8 (£99.99) and Fire 8 HD Plus (£119.99) bring improved 13-hour battery life and new hexa-core 2GHz processors that are 30% faster than the predecessor.

The other headliner is the addition of “Tap To Alexa”, previously reserved for the Echo Show and Echo Spot devices. The useful accessibility feature enables users to interact with Alexa by touch instead of voice and set-up default commands.

While the HD (1280 x 800, 189 ppi) display remains the same quality, it has been strengthened with aluminosilicate glass, helping the device beat out the iPad mini in tumble tests according to Amazon. It’s also a little slimmer and lighter than previous models. There’s Dolby Atmos audio support too, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack and Bluetooth 5.2 support. You’ll also be able to use Miracast to transmit content to a bigger display.

Those paying £20 more for the Fire HD 8 Plus get additional RAM (2GB vs 3GB), faster USB-C charging (5W full recharge in 5-hours vs 9W full recharge in 3-hours), Qi-wireless charging support, and a better rear camera (2mp vs 5mp). Both tablets come with 32GB and 64GB storage options with 1TB possible via microSD expansion. They’re available in Denim, Rose and Black.

Fire HD 8 Kids

The Kids versions of the tablets include a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, the entertainment and educational content platform. The Fire HD 8 Kids is designed for ages 3-7, while the Pro edition is aimed at 6-12 years olds. They have a two-year guarantee, a durable case, and plenty of parental controls to keep the young-uns safe. They’re both £149.99.

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