Amazon just launched four new Fire HD 8 tablets in the UK. Amazon has announced four new tablets in the company’s Fire 8 line that, while certainly having their limitations, seem to be welcome upgrades from previous iterations.
The announcement comes with the usual semi-annual upgrades: the 2022 versions of the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Kids, with both devices, also launching next to more powerful versions of themselves, the Fire HD 8 Plus and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro, respectively.
Amazon has announced that four new Fire HD 8 tablets are coming. A brand new Fire HD 8 (£100), a more powerful Fire HD 8 Plus (£120), Fire HD 8 Kids, and Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (both from £150). All four models promise to be faster and more impressive than the previous generation, though you will have to contend with the price going up.
Another new feature is Tap to Alexa, which enables users to access Alexa via touch instead of voice. You can have a dashboard of Alexa commands on their Fire tablets with their own touch-based shortcuts to more easily access popular requests.
- Amazon launches the new Fire HD 8 tablet series for 2022.
- The Fire HD 8 Plus features 3GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, faster USB-C charging, and wireless charging with a dock.
- The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro includes a year of Amazon Kids+, while the HD 8 Kids is available in a Disney Design bundle.
New Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus in the UK
The Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus include a Hexa-core processor that’s 30% faster than the previous version. Battery life has been given a boost too, with a total of 13 hours (one more than before) and the HD 8 recharges in five hours with a 5W charger. As before both models charge via a USB-C port.
Storage is available in 32GB or 64GB configurations, with support for microSD cards up to 1TB. Prime members also get unlimited full-resolution photo storage in the cloud, and 5GB of video storage. Both tablets are thinner, lighter, and stronger than before, and Amazon claims they’re twice as durable as an iPad mini in a tumble test.
The Fire HD 8 starts at £100, but for £120 the Fire HD 8 Plus does come with some extra features. A total of 3GB of RAM, for starters, which is 1GB more than the standard model offers better multitasking and a 5MP rear camera.
The HD 8 Plus also comes with a 9W charger, which can offer a full charge in three hours, and Qi wireless charging of an undetermined speed. Compatible wireless charging docks, which are sold separately, also automatically switch to Show Mode, letting you use the Fire HD 8 Plus as an Echo Show-style smart display.
New Fire HD 8 Kids and Fire HD 8 Kids Pro in the UK
Like previous Fire HD tablets for kids, the tablets’ hardware isn’t that different from the standard ‘adult’ model. Instead, the benefit is making sure kids have access to a device built to offer appropriate content and make sure they can interact with tech safely.
The Fire HD 8 Kids and Fire HD 8 Kids Pro both start at £150 but are aimed at very different audiences. The 8 Kids is for kids aged 3-7 and comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids Plus — which offers thousands of age-appropriate books, games, videos, and apps.
And like all Fire Kids tablets, it comes with a “kid-proof” case, parental controls, and a two-year worry-free guarantee.
The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is designed for kids aged 6-12, coming with a protective case, guarantee, and Amazon Kids Plus subscription. However, it differs by offering a digital storefront, where kids can ask parents to purchase eBooks and apps for them to use — including popular games like Minecraft and Roblox.
The case is also a little less kiddy, which older kids will appreciate, but still offers better protection from whatever accidents may occur.
Fire tablets are getting Tap to Alexa
Amazon is bringing more accessibility features to its Fire tablets — including the new Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus announced today — adding support for Tap to Alexa, compatibility with Bluetooth switch access controllers, and launching a new Text to Speech feature.
Tap to Alexa is an accessibility feature that lets you interact with the voice assistant using touch rather than voice. Previously only an option on Echo Show devices (speakers with touchscreens), it’s now available on Amazon’s Fire tablets, eighth-generation or newer, in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan.
With Tap to Alexa enabled, a small “tap” icon sits on the screen that, when tapped, opens a dashboard of common commands. These include Stop, Timer, Alarm, Weather, Traffic, and Joke. Tapping on any of these tiles makes Alexa respond as if you had said the command aloud.
Text to Speech on Fire tablets will let users type out phrases and have them spoken aloud
Some are one tap and you’re done (press Joke, and it tells you a joke). Others require more interaction. Tap on Alarm and go through the steps of choosing the time and date on the screen. A Quick Question tile lets you type any request in, and Alexa will respond as if it was said aloud.