Amazon refreshes the Fire 7, Fire HD8 Tablets

Contrary to all reasonable expectations to the contrary (*), Amazon launched a new(ish) pair of Fire tablets on Wednesday.

The Fire 7 ($49) and Fire HD8 ($79) are up for pre-order today, and are shipping on 7 June.

These aren't new tablets so much as minor refreshes that don't really offer anything to justify upgrading from an existing Fire tablet.

The Fire 7 (2017) replaces a two-year-old model with a tablet that has the same screen resolution, CPU, camera resolutions, etc. just about every detail except the external dimensions are the same (1mm thinner and half an ounce lighter).

The Fire HD8 (2017) refreshes a 9-month-old tablet with one that has the same basic specs and costs $10 less.

If you have a functional Fire tablet, you are almost certainly better off keeping it rather than replacing it with this year's models.

I myself am using a 3-year-old Fire HD 7 tablet. It has been updated to run the latest software (including Alexa, if I wanted it) and has specs and performance equal to or greater than Amazon's latest model.

Until it dies there's really no reason to upgrade to the latest model, and the same is true for many of Amazon's previous tablet models.

Specs

Fire 7 (2017)

  • OS: Fire OS 5
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 7",  1024 x 600 resolution IPS screen
  • Storage: 8GB or 16GB of storage, microSD card slot
  • Cameras: VGA, 1.8MP
  • Connectivity: BT, dual-band 802.11n Wifi
  • Audio: a single speaker, headphone jack
  • Battery: up to 8 hours
  • Dimensions: 192mm x 115mm x 9.6mm (7.6? x 4.5? x 0.4?)
  • Weight: 295 grams (10.4 ounces)

Fire HD8 (2017)

  • OS: Fire OS 5
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 8", 1280 x 800 resolution screen
  • Storage: 16GB or 32GB of storage, microSD card slot
  • Cameras: VGA, 1.8MP
  • Connectivity: BT, dual-band 802.11n Wifi
  • Audio: a single speaker, headphone jack
  • Battery: up to 12 hours
  • Dimensions: 214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm (8.4? x 5? x 0.4?)
  • Weight: 369 grams (13 ounces)

P.S. Feel free to laugh at my prediction - I certainly am.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

8 Comments

  1. Michael Anderson17 May, 2017

    haha – I was debating whether to give you crap about being wrong, or to admit that I agreed with you on the more likely September refresh. 🙂

    I have a non-Alexa capable Fire 7 HDX from a few years ago (2013, apparently) that is still really solid … but actually thinking about the Fire 8 and wondering if it offers any advantages …

    Reply
  2. Anthony17 May, 2017

    What’s the oldest Fire models Amazon still supports/offers updates for? I’m under the impression there’s more support for the Fire line vs the standard Android tablet…

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 May, 2017

      Michael’s comment suggests that the 4yo Fire HDX tablets don’t have the latest updates.

      My 3yo Fire HD 7 does (I double checked the model name and release year before I posted).

      Reply
  3. tired17 May, 2017

    So what company do you look for to find someone making serious tablets with great hardware and high resolution? I’m sorry but these are junk.

    Reply
  4. tired17 May, 2017

    Actually I change my mind about asking that because it looks like (http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/do-you-need-a-tablet) tablets are on the way out. I had not been paying attention.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 May, 2017

      I wouldn’t say _tablets_ are on the way out, but yeah most companies have really stopped coming out with improved models.

      Android tablets are on the way out, that I would agree; I’m mostly seeing Windows tablets with new features and upgrades.

      Reply
  5. John18 May, 2017

    I think the new Fire 7 has a longer battery life, or so Amazon is claiming.

    My approx. 4-year old Fire HDX 8.9 is still going great here, plan to use it till it completely gives up the ghost.

    Reply
  6. […] might think that the two tablets Amazon launched back in May were all they planned to release this year, but you would be […]

    Reply

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