The best value tablet

Amazon Fire HD 8

The best Amazon tablet

Amazon Fire HD 10

The Fire HD 8 might be the best value tablet on the market, boasting smooth performance with Amazon's Fire OS and a surprisingly good display for just $80. While it isn't quite as powerful as the HD 10, it offers all the same basic functionality for half the price — most people will be served just fine with the HD 8.

$80 at Amazon

Pros

  • Half the price of the HD 10
  • Smaller size is better for e-books
  • Better front-facing camera

Cons

  • Display isn't as dense as the HD 10
  • Speakers distort at high volumes

The Fire HD 10 takes everything that's great about the HD 8 and upscales it — it has better specs, a larger display, louder speakers, and the same Fire OS experience. At $150, it's pricier (though still affordable), but it's a much better option if your primary use for a tablet is media consumption.

$150 at Amazon

Pros

  • Large screen is better for watching videos
  • Better specs than the HD 8
  • Louder speakers with more clarity

Cons

  • Larger size may be too much for some
  • VGA front camera

Amazon's Android tablets are possibly the best tablets you can buy for the money. Both the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 are extremely affordable and offer a ton of value — they run on Amazon's Fire OS, and get their apps from the Amazon Appstore rather than the Google Play Store. They have full access to Amazon Music, Books, Video, Movies, Alexa, and everything else Amazon does, which as it turns out, is a lot.

Buying one of these tablets is a no-brainer for the budget-minded. The only tough part is deciding which one to choose.

Whether reading or watching, there's a tablet for either one

As you'd expect, the larger Fire HD costs more than the smaller, but there's more to break down here. The Fire HD 10's display isn't just bigger, it's denser with a 1920x1200 resolution coming in at 224ppi, versus the smaller HD 8's 189ppi. You're also paying for a difference in storage capacity, with the HD 10 doubling the HD 8's options, though you can expand the storage on either device with a microSD card.

Specs aside, the Fire HD 8 and HD 10 offer relatively similar experiences, with both tablets running on Amazon's Fire OS interface rather than a more traditional build of Android. You get all of your apps from the Amazon Appstore, rather than the Google Play Store, and that means a much more Amazon-centric ecosystem.

Although similar, these tablets are meant for two different types of consumers. Bigger is better for movies. Get the small one for reading and games.

That's not necessarily a bad thing; both tablets come with unlimited cloud storage through Amazon, and Amazon hosts a bevy of excellent, exclusive content on its video services.

The OS is fueled by Alexa, who enables you to use voice commands to navigate the software, as well as interact with the thousands of skills available. The digital assistant can now be called upon no matter what state the tablet is in, even if it's asleep.

Complementing that is the all-new Show Mode, which gives you a visual representation of some of the things Alexa helps you with, such as showing the latest news reports, calendar appointments, weather updates, and viewing any smart security cameras you may have connected.

Fire HD 8 Fire HD 10
Display 8-inch IPS LCD
(1280x800)
10.1-inch IPS LCD
(1920x1200)
Storage 16GB/32GB 32GB/64GB
MicroSD Yes Yes
CPU + RAM Quad-core 1.3GHz
1.5GB RAM
Quad-core 1.8GHz
2GB RAM
Audio Dolby Atmos dual speakers Dolby Atmos stereo speakers
Rear camera 2MP 720p 2MP 720p
Front camera 2MP VGA
Dimensions 214 x 128 x 9.7mm 262 x 159 x 9.8mm
Weight 363g 500g
Colors Black
Marine Blue
Punch Red
Canary Yellow
Black
Marine Blue
Punch Red

When considering one of these tablets, you should think about what you'll be doing most with it. If you mostly want an e-reader for Amazon's enormous Kindle library, with the occasional video or music playback, the Fire HD 8's smaller form factor may be the better choice. It's half the price of the HD 10, and aside from weaker speakers and a slightly slower processor, you're really not missing much.

The Fire HD 8 is also available in an additional color, Canary Yellow, and has a better front-facing camera for video calls — though neither tablet is particularly great in the camera department.

Buy the HD 8 as an e-reader and light browsing device. Buy the HD 10 as a video streaming device.

If instead, you plan on watching a lot of videos and movies on your tablet, the larger Fire HD 10 is the better choice. The larger, denser display provides a much better viewing experience, and you'll appreciate the louder speakers. It's twice the price of the HD 8, but at $150, it's still a bargain compared to virtually every other Android tablet on the market.

No matter which tablet you decide on, you'll be getting a surprisingly great device for the money. They're great for media consumption and light gaming, whether you're buying for yourself, your kids, or as a gift.

The best value tablet

Amazon Fire HD 8

The Fire HD 8 offers better performance than a similarly priced traditional Android tablet, with a wide range of Amazon-focused features.

The Fire HD 8 is half the price of the HD 10 and offers a nearly identical experience. The smaller size makes it a great e-reader, and the dual stereo speakers are good enough for playing back audiobooks, music, and movies.

The best Amazon tablet

Amazon Fire HD 10

This is one of the best media consumption devices you can buy under $200.

If you plan on watching a lot of movies on your tablet, the Fire HD 10 is the clear winner. Its display is larger and higher density than the HD 8, it comes with more onboard storage, and the speakers are louder and clearer.

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