Amazon is sticking to its strength - value for money - with the new Kindle Fire tablets. The 8" model is in the middle of the pack, a great mix of affordable and capable and comes in several attractive colors too.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 has an 8" LCD display with 1,280 x 800px. It was a pleasant surprise - bright and with great viewing angles thanks to the IPS tech. A screen is typically the most expensive price of a tablet, so it's great to see Amazon didn't skimp on the most important component.
At 189ppi it's not exceptionally sharp, but it's similar to the quality you get from a fairly expensive laptop.
The plastic around the back - available in Black, Magenta, Blue and Tangerine - is glossy and the Black one especially is a massive fingerprint magnet. The plastic feels cheap, though it's not a deal-breaker, not at this price. On the up side, at 7.7mm and 311g it's feels thin and fairly light.
All controls (power button and volume rocker) and ports (3.5mm audio jack and microUSB 2.0) are on top. That's the short side since the tablet is intended mostly for portrait use. The microSD card slot is on the right - great since you get 8GB or 16GB of built-in storage and of that only 4.5GB and 11.6GB are available to you respectively.
The Kindle Fire 8 is powered by a MediaTek chipset with a big.LITTLE CPU - two cores at 1.5GHz and two at 1.2GHz. The software (Fire OS 5.0 Bellini) feels pretty snappy, but the single gig of RAM will prove limiting.
The tablet has stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos certified at that. Other specs include a 5MP/1080p camera on the back and a 720p selfie cam. There's no mobile data option, you get dual-band Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity. There's no GPS either, just Wi-Fi positioning.