APC Australia

AMAZON FIRE HD 8

Plenty of rough edges, and not much firepower, but the Fire HD 8 offers serious small-screen value.

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1TB, $215 | seagate.com

The Fire HD 8 is a real step up from the smaller Fire 7, not just in terms of size but in almost every way. You get a better class of IPS screen with a higher 1,280 x 800 resolution, so still not Full HD but a tangible improvemen­t. There’s more number-crunching power, too, with an 8-core MediaTek CPU accompanie­d by 3GB of RAM. You also enjoy double the storage, with 32GB on the base version and 64GB on the higher-end model.

While all this comes at a correspond­ingly higher price, you’re still getting better value. Within its limitation­s, the Fire HD 8 is just a nicer device to use.

It helps that the screen is brighter than its smaller sibling’s, peaking at 492cd/m2 in our tests, with a punchy contrast of 1,550:1. Colours still look dull when compared to tablets such as the iPad mini, but gamut coverage of 83 percent in sRGB and 61 percent in DCI-P3 are good for the price. It works perfectly well for casual browsing and streaming.

Sound quality is also an improvemen­t over the Fire 7, with more depth and a wider stereo spread, though it can sound harsh and congested if you push up the volume.

Performanc­e is significan­tly better than the Fire 7, particular­ly in Geekbench’s multicore tests and the WebXPRT browser benchmark. However, 3D performanc­e is still underwhelm­ing, with the Fire HD 8 lacking the horsepower to handle the 3D Mark Wild Life tests (it managed 1,225 in 3DMark’s easier Slingshot test to the Fire 7’s 686). Stick to less demanding games.

One thing this tablet has in spades is stamina. We left it streaming HD video, and it was still up and running nearly 18 hours later, eclipsing any other tablet in this test. Charging up takes a long time – we only reached 17 percent with a 30-minute charge – but it’s unlikely to be a daily chore.

This is still a budget tablet, and not as fast as the Nokia T10, let alone the iPad mini. You still have to be comfortabl­e within Amazon’s rather limited app ecosystem. But if you’re realistic about this, then the Fire HD 8 has a lot to offer for a small amount of cash.

 ?? ?? The screen is good for the price.
The screen is good for the price.

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