Amazon has taken its casings from the latest tablet – the new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018), which is equipped with Alexa smarts and optional smart docking system.
The new Fire HD 8 is now Alexa hands-free, meaning you can access Alexa without having to wake up the tablet first.
This was a feature that was first introduced on the Amazon Fire HD 10 and Amazon moved it to the Amazon Fire HD 8 proves its popularity.
Specs-wise, there is not much change compared to the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) edition. The screen resolution is the same 1280 x 800 (a snip above 720p), the chips are the same. On board is a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5 GB of RAM.
The lifetime of the battery is in fact slightly reduced to 10 hours (there is a reason for this) and storage is 16 / 32GB. You can now expand that storage to 400 GB via the microSD card slot.
Cameras are also the same (HD 720p front camera, 2MP camera on the back) and have the same design. Dolby Atmos is back on board a well.
There are a number of interesting additions. Although we would have liked the screen to be upgraded to 1080p (what is on the Amazon Fire HD 10), the biggest changes here are the software and the latest accessory to get to the UK, the charging station for the show mode.
Alexa hands-free has come to the new Amazon Fire HD 8 which is accessible (by saying "Alexa") even when the screen of the tablet is not turned on. Although it is great to see Alexa getting a deeper integration in the tablet, this has to do with the cost of the battery – that's why the battery is shaved for two hours compared to the 2017 model.
There is also a new show mode. This is similar to the way the Amazon Echo Show is performed, where you get full-screen visuals in addition to your voting requests. So if you ask for the weather, you get some nice clouds and extra information.
It is a mode that is logical on the tablet, but that is even more logical when you combine it with the Docking mode charging station. This is a dock that automatically puts your tablet in Show mode for an immersive Alexa experience and also charges the device.
To use the dock, place the tablet in a compatible box with the charging points connected to the dock.
The prices for the new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) are the same as last year – £ 79.99 / $ 79.99. But you can now bundle it with the dock in the UK. This makes you back € 109.98. The dock is already available in the US.
You can now order this bundle in advance and you will receive the device when it is shipped on October 4th.
If you only want to buy the dock for your existing tablets, then it is only available for this gen Fire HD 8 and the previous gene for £ 39.99 / $ 39.99 and for the current Fire HD 10 for £ 49.99 / $ 54.99. Again, this is already available in the US.