Holiday Tech Gift Ideas 2016-2017: Amazon Fire HD 8

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The tablet market is in pretty rough shape. The only companies that appear to be selling any tablets these days are Amazon and Apple. Apple is able to sell tablets simply because of who they are. But Amazon is much different. Sure their brand makes a lot of people interested in their tablets, but their pricing is a big part of it. The majority of their tablets are under $100. That's a stark difference from tablets out of Samsung, ASUS, Huawei and others, who are closer to about $300-400 as starting points. The Fire HD 8 was updated this year, by Amazon, giving users even more value at a price tag that is still very low.

Amazon's Fire HD 8 does run on Fire OS, as you'd expect. Which means it's not the same version of Android that you'd find on your smartphone. The biggest difference, besides the user interface here, is the fact that there are no Google services, at least by default. There are a good number of Google apps available on Amazon's App Store (now called "Amazon Underground"), so you are able to still play YouTube videos, and check your Gmail. However, the feature that everyone cares about, with the Fire HD 8, is Alexa. That's right, Amazon's personal assistant is built into the tablet. So you can press the button and ask Alexa to find you a show to watch, or you could even ask it to turn off the lights in your home, if you use a compatible light bulb (from Philips or Belkin).

The Fire HD 8 comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage, but don't worry there is a micro SD card slot included, which can support up to 200GB of storage. SanDisk has a great 200GB micro SD card that's available as well. Additionally, there is a 1.3GHz quad-core processor running the show here with Dolby Audio for the speakers. The Fire HD 8 has an 8-inch HD display (that means it's 720p), along with about 12 hours of battery life.

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If you're a member of Amazon Prime, the Fire HD 8 is a great tablet. And that's because you get access to Amazon Prime Video on the Fire HD 8. Of course, you do also have other apps available, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and many others. If you haven't signed up for Amazon Prime, you can get a 30-day free trial, and after that it'll cost you $99/year. Which is a pretty low rate, especially if you order from Amazon often. The Amazon Fire HD 8 comes in four colors, and would be a great gift to put under the tree this year.

Buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 Buy the SanDisk 200GB Micro SD Card Sign Up for a Free Trial of Amazon Prime!