What To Do With A Kindle Fire – The Fire HD 8 Plus is good value, but a slow and clunky operating system with limited app access means it’s not worth it for many users.
I have always been an avid reader. My physical book collection continues to grow, but—thanks to the endless free e-books I’ve read on OverDrive’s viral app, Libby—I’m now leaning toward e-books. They are practical, portable and perfect for reading anywhere: in bed, at the gym, on vacation, etc…
What To Do With A Kindle Fire
For years, most of my e-book consumption has been done on my iPad—and occasionally my iPhone—but I was interested in testing Amazon’s latest update to the Fire HD 8 Plus tablet as an alternative to the 8th-generation iPad.
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Right out of the box, the 12th generation Fire HD 8 Plus tablet is compact, light and powerful. It’s the same size as the iPad Mini, but at 0.37 inches thick, it definitely weighs more than the 0.25 inch thick iPad Mini. As someone who is accident-prone (and afraid of dropping a $329 iPad), I appreciated the emphasis on durability, but I wasn’t sure if the plastic case would work.
Stand by Amazon’s claim that the Fire HD 8 Plus is “twice as durable” as the iPad Mini.
Fortunately, Amazon’s compatible tablet eliminates all of those concerns—I attached it to the device and was immediately surprised by how good the combination felt. It’s a little heavier than I expected, but I’m sure I’ll throw this tool and cause more damage to walls than panels.
The back of the Fire HD 8 Plus feels cheap and plastic, but the tablet case makes the device very durable. Credit: RJ Andersen /
How To Set Up An Amazon Fire Tablet
But then I was a little disappointed with the Fire Tablet. There’s nothing special or impressive—the Echo Show 10’s performance is nearly identical—and while I appreciate the simplicity, it also feels dated. There is a thick black frame around the 8-inch HD screen, and the actual experience of using the device felt years behind Apple’s product or its colleague Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra. The 1280 x 800 screen is a bit dull compared to my other devices, the colors are a bit muted and the screen brightness is harsh.
If you’re expecting a super-fast, smooth screen from the Fire HD 8 Plus, let’s get that out of the way: you’re going to be disappointed. Although the tablet has a processor that is 30 percent faster than the previous generation, the operating system is still slow and clumsy. The tablet wakes automatically when you open the lid (or you can press the power button once), but I hated that you couldn’t touch the screen to wake the tablet afterwards – your only option was to press the power button again. From the lock screen, you have three options: access your Amazon “Device Dashboard” (where you can see the other Amazon devices you have on your account), swipe the middle to open, and another option to see more special offers… if the whole ad isn’t enough.
If you choose the cheaper version of the Fire HD 8 Plus, your lock screen will be loaded with ads. Credit: RJ Andersen /
Then it’s a bit confusing to navigate on the Fire Tablet. There are three options available after opening the tablet: a ‘for you’ page (full of weather, latest apps, supported apps and prompts to continue reading whatever book you have open on the device), a more traditional ‘home’ page and your device’s ‘library’. You can download additional apps to the device – including Netflix, Minecraft, TikTok and Zoom – with the exception of YouTube (although there are many available).
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Because the Fire Tablet uses Amazon’s app launcher, Fire OS, you’re limited to using their libraries—although I’ve heard of people installing the Google Play Store on previous versions of the Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet—which means your options are somewhat limited. That’s not a big deal if you’re someone who uses Amazon’s various entertainment options (like Kindle Unlimited, Audible, Prime Video, and Amazon Music), but if you’re looking for a little more flexibility, the Fire tablet might not suit those purposes.
Here’s the thing: If you’re looking for a tablet to use primarily for entertainment (like reading or streaming), the Fire HD 8 Plus is a decent choice. It’s very cute and powerful, making it the perfect companion – cycling non-stop with my iPad is a terrifying experience – and the entertainment options are amazing. I was able to watch all my favorite shows on the tablet without issue, the sound quality was decent, the battery life was great, and I finished the long Kindle Unlimited free trial quickly.
Plus, at $120 for the 32GB version (with ads on the lock screen), the Fire Tablet is a great value compared to other brands — especially since it’s often sold out on Amazon — making it a great tablet for anyone interested in entertainment like streaming, social media, and reading on the go. And if you have kids, the durability factor alone makes it an attractive option, and there’s an impressive array of parental controls to make it even more kid-friendly.
If you’re looking for a more powerful tablet, I’m not sure I’d recommend this one. It’s clunky and slow, the whole experience made me feel like I had a device from 2005. Also, the amount of content supported – along with the limitations of the app – was overwhelming. Of course, you only get the ad-free version of the lock screen for $15, but there’s still a lot of advertising content in various places on the device, and – while I like using the tablet for reading – the experience isn’t with other devices. It’s certainly cheaper than the iPad Mini, but it’s close to the price of other compact tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 or the Lenovo Tab M7.
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If you’re on the fence or looking for a budget-friendly entertainment tablet, you might want to check out the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet. At just $99 (and often on sale for less), it’s not much like the Fire HD 8 Plus. The Plus has a slightly faster processor and wireless charging, but most people won’t notice the difference.
We decided to try this product because it is the latest generation of the popular Fire HD 8 Plus tablet on Amazon. We want to see if this tablet really is “perfect for personal entertainment” and is worth the upgrade from previous models.
After unboxing the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, we used this tablet for about a month. Most uses involve reading books on Kindle Unlimited and Libby, the popular e-book app that lets you download free e-books from your local library, but we’ve also used it to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime.
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Amazon Kindle Fire Hd 8 Review: For Amazon Prime Users Only
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The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is a good value for streaming videos, but not when watching YouTube or Apple TV Plus
Amazon Kindle Fire 001400 Black 7.0" Ips Lcd 512mb Ram 8gb Rom 4400mah Tablet
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The Fire HD 10 display comes in Full HD resolution (1080p) for less than $100 sometimes. Antonio Villas-Boas / Insider
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The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) tablet has a very tempting price of $149.99 for a 10-inch tablet, and it’s even more attractive when the price sometimes drops to $74.99.
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However, this is a case in point
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