Amazon Fire 7 (2017) vs HD 8 (2017): Amazon has just released the latest hardware revisions to its Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablet lines, both of which now come with its Alexa virtual assistant built in. But what else is new and how do these two new slates differ from their respective predecessors?
|Fire 7 (2017)||Fire HD 8 (2017)|
|Weight||295 grams||369 grams|
|Memory||1GB RAM||1.5GB RAM|
|Storage||8GB/16GB. Expandable up to 256GB||16GB/32GB. Expandable up to 256GB|
|Extras||Alexa assistant, ASAP, X-Ray, On Deck, Blue Shade, Fire for Kids Parental Controls|
Black, Punch Red, Marine Blue, Canary Yellow
A glance at the specs of either slate and you'll be hard-pressed to see any real differences but they are there. Amazon typically likes to refresh the chipsets and screen tech used by its Fire range to ensure that the latest generation of each device feels current enough that it offers fluid performance during everyday use whilst also keeping costs down - a huge draw for potential owners.
On the outside, the Fire 7 sports a slimmer (9.6mm versus 10.6mm), more lightweight (295 grams versus 313 grams) design than the 2015 model, with four colourways on offer including a new Canary Yellow option. Whilst retaining an impressively low £49.99 price tag it also packs in an improved 7-inch 1024x600 IPS LCD with better contrast and tacks on an additional hour of battery life, bringing the total to eight hours between charges.
Beyond those small tweaks, the only other alteration is a new 1.3GHz quad-core processor, which both tablets benefit from. The £79.99 HD 8 boasts a higher resolution 8-inch 1280x800 IPS display, up to 12 hours of battery life and double the storage options of the Fire 7, with 16GB and 32GB models on offer, both of which are expandable up to 256GB via microSD card too.
On the software side, these Fire OS-powered tablets are also the first of the family to sport the company's Alexa voice assistant out the box. Long-pressing the home button will let you perform voice searches to do everything from playing music and videos to checking the weather and even hearing jokes. Not unlike the newly announced Echo Show, responses are presented not only audibly but with on-screen information too.
Amazon is continuing its trend of creating modified variants with 'Kids Edition' branding of both the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 which include a protective bumper, a free year's access to kids-specific software and entertainment as part of the 'Fire For Kids Unlimited' pack, more robust parental controls and a no-questions-asked repair/replacement policy should your little ones really do a number on them. The Fire 7 Kids Edition will cost £99.99, with the HD 8 version costing £129.99.
You'll also be able to supplement your new tablet with a range of first-party accessories at launch. Screen protectors for either tablet will cost £9.99 whilst the HD 8 can also be had with a colour-matched case or the bumper case you'd otherwise if you opted for the Kids Edition, each costing £22.49.
In the UK, Amazon's new 2017 Fire 7, Fire 7 Kids Edition and HD 8 tablets will be available from June 7th both online, directly from Amazon, and in high street stores including Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis, Tesco and Shop Direct. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will also be available online and at John Lewis.
You can pre-order any of these new slates starting May 17th and the company is sticking a 20 per cent discount on when you buy a mix of any three (at one time) between now and their official launch in June.