Amazon Fire 7

Amazon's most popular tablets continue to be the 7- and 8-inch offerings, in no small part because they offer a compelling package at exceptional value.

And better still, while the hardware gets a little bit better over time, the price stays the same. So, once again Amazon has two affordable tablets that are actually worth buying. But which should you go for?

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Spec comparison

Fire 8

Here's what makes up the two newest Fire tablets:

Category Fire 7 Fire HD 8
Display 7-inch IPS (1024 x 600) 8-inch IPS (1280 x 800)
CPU Quad-core 1.3 GHz Quad-core 1.3 GHz
Platform Fire OS Fire OS
Internal Storage 8GB or 16GB (microSD up to 256GB) 16GB or 32GB (microSD up to 256GB)
Battery Up to 8 hours Up to 12 hours
Connectivity Dual-band WiFi Dual-band WiFi
Audio Mono speaker, built-in microphone Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers, built-in microphone
Colors Black, blue, red, yellow Black, blue, red, yellow
Dimensions 7.6" x 4.5" x 0.4" (192mm x 115mm x 9.6mm) 8.4" x 5.0" x 0.4" (214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm)
Weight 295g 369g
Price From $49.99 From $79.99

Which should you get?

The two Fire tablets are very much alike, but the Fire HD 8 has some important upgrades for that extra $30 asking price. For starters, there's a higher resolution display, and though not a massive increase in PPI, it looks noticeably better than the 7-inch model. There's also more RAM and more internal storage, along with a fairly significant boost in battery life over the smaller one.

For media lovers, the Fire HD 8 is also going to deliver better audio, with stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support for an all-round better experience watching video content or listening to music. The HD 8 like the HD 10 also supports Show Mode which, with the optional dock, turns your tablet into essentially an Echo Show you can then take outside with you.

Here's the thing, though. The Fire 7 is a better choice for a tablet to give to your young ones. At 50 bucks it's verging on impulse buy territory, and the new model has a better screen and dual-band WiFi support to boast over its predecessor. For someone looking for the cheapest tablet possible that isn't garbage, the Fire 7 is still the one we recommend, especially for young ones.

Both of these also come in child-friendly Kids Editions, but if you're looking for a decent, low-cost tablet to consume media, browse the web, check your email and even play some games on, the Fire HD 8 is the one to get. The $30 difference is small enough that the improvements you get are well worth the extra investment.

Both are still excellent low-cost tablets, though.

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Updated July 2018: We've added information on the new Show Mode for the Fire HD 8, new for 2018.

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