The current generation iPad Mini 4 is a great tablet if you want something compact but capable of playing media, checking emails, surfing the web, and playing games. But it’s also ridiculously expensive for what it is – selling for $399 or more. On the other hand, there’s the latest gen Amazon Fire HD 8, which packs a similarly sized screen starting at just $79.99.
Sure, the Fire HD 8’s display isn’t as razor sharp as Apple’s display, with “just” a 1280 x 800 resolution, but at 189 ppi pixel density, it’s still about twice the sharpness of your typical computer monitor.
The new Fire HD 8 packs a speedy 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU, and 50% more RAM than its smaller brother, the Fire 7. Battery life is great too, with up to 12 hours of typical use, and it also packs a 2-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing VGA camera for video chats. In addition, the Fire HD 8 supports Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant, so you can use it to ask questions, have it control apps, or smarthome appliances all from the tablet.
Of course, you get access to the complete Amazon content ecosystem on the tablet too, with hundreds of thousands of books, movies, music tracks, videos, games, TV shows and more available for purchase and download. Kindle Unlimited or Music Unlimited subscriptions are also available for full access to a massive book or music library.
The Fire HD 8 comes in four colors, and either 16 or 32GB of on-board storage, expandable by up to 256 GB using a microSD card, or unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content. And if you’re concerned about the tablet holding up to abuse, Amazon says the Fire HD 8 is substantially more durable than the iPad Mini 4.
Base price for the 16GB Fire HD 8 is just $79.99 if you’re willing to watch Amazon’s special offers advertisements, or $94.99 without the ads. The 32GB model starts at $109.99 with special offers, or $124.99 without.