Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today’s list is headlined by an excellent deal on the 32GB variant of Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet, which is down to $59 (and potentially down to $54 for some users with the code “SAVE10OFF” at checkout). That’s a low for this higher-capacity model, which normally sits between $90-$110. Amazon says this deal will expire on Friday.
The Fire HD 8 has been around for a little bit now, and it’s totally possible Amazon is cutting the price ahead of the release of a new model in the coming months. But generally speaking, it remains the most affordable tablet that’s actually worth buying. It’s no iPad, to be sure: the display only has a resolution of 1200×800, it’s not exactly a gaming powerhouse, there’s no 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and it’s all made of plastic. Amazon’s Fire OS is still a far cry from stock Android, too, with baked-in ads and no official support for Google apps like Gmail or Google Drive.
But with Android tablets an eternal mess, a dirt-cheap yet competent slate like the Fire HD 8 is arguably the only worthwhile iPad alternative. Its 1.3GHz MediaTek MT8163V/B SoC and 1.5GB of RAM are still enough to do the basic Web browsing and video streaming without too much frustration, it gets a solid 10-12 hours of battery life per charge, it’s comfortable enough, and that HD display is well worth the step up over Amazon’s cheaper Fire 7 tablet. While Fire OS pushes Amazon’s services in your face at every turn, it still has its advantages if you use the Kindle or Prime Video apps often. It recently gained the ability to work like an Echo Show, too. And if you wanted to avoid it altogether, it’s still not that difficult to load it with the Google Play Store and bring Google apps in that way. (Just know you might have to do a little extra legwork.)