If you’ve ever been in the market for a budget-friendly tablet, you probably already know that Amazon’s Fire tablet is one of the best bangs for your buck. Starting at just $50, you get a reliable 7-inch tablet with enough power to comfortably watch TV and movies, read books, go shopping, browse the web, and even do some light gaming. The Amazon Fire HD 7 is Amazon’s best-selling tablet thanks to its extremely affordable price, but after owning both the Fire HD 7 and the HD 8, Amazon’s $90 tablet, I’m convinced that the HD 8 is well worth the extra money.
Part of the reason that I’m happier with the HD 8 is because of its display. The HD 7’s 7-inch display is perfectly adequate for all intents and purposes, but the HD 8’s display is not only larger but also sharper with 189 ppi versus the HD 7’s 171 ppi. It’s subtle but noticeable, and if you plan to do a lot of reading with your Fire tablet it can make a big difference.
Another major distinction between the two is the difference in battery life. The HD 7 is stated to last up to 7 hours on a single charge, but the HD 8 can last for up to 12 hours. I don’t know about you, but 5 extra hours of battery life is a pretty big deal in my opinion. That aspect alone makes the HD 8 a stand out choice even when you include the most expensive Fire tablet, the HD 10, which is only stated to have up to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Finally, the HD 8 outperforms the HD 7 in two more areas: audio and performance. The HD 8 features Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, which aren’t terrific by any means but is still much appreciated over the HD 7’s mono speaker when streaming video content. As for performance, the HD 8 features 1.5GB of RAM, which boosts the device's ability to multitask over the HD 7’s 1GB of RAM.
While storage is an important aspect of any mobile gadget, isn’t as much of a concern with the Fire as it used to be. Older Fire tablets didn’t feature microSD card slots, but this latest generation features microSD card slots up to 200GB on all models, as well as unlimited cloud storage for storing Amazon content. For internal storage, the HD 7 comes with 8 or 16GB options, while the HD 8 comes with 16 or 32GB options and the HD 10 offers 16, 32, and 64GB options. Honestly, I think any of these are doable given their ability to expand.
Really, any of Amazon’s Fire tablets are a good buy for casual consumers depending on their needs. I personally find the HD 8 the best value of the three due to its sharper image and significantly better battery life, but the HD 7 provides a similar experience for a much lower price (especially given how often discounts are given – right now you can pick up the HD 7 for $39.99) and many may find that the HD 10’s larger screen is more appealing for their needs. Ultimately, even with its most expensive tablet, you’re getting a decent tablet experience at an affordable price (which you can now spread out into monthly installments with no interest or additional fees if you wish) and you can’t really go wrong with that.