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Amazon Fire HD 8 Reader's Edition is great for bedtime reading, but ...

James A. Martin | Dec. 18, 2015
Amazon's 'Blue Shade' filter for its new Kindle tablets blocks blue light that can interfere with sleep. The feature works well, but tablet use at night can still cause restlessness if users don't pay attention to what they read, as well as how they read.

Pros and cons of Amazon Fire 8 Reader's Edition

Amazon Fire OS5 Bellini, based on Android Lollipop, is currently only available on the company's fall 2015 Fire tablets with 7-, 8-, or 10-inch screens. The OS update, including Blue Shade, is supposed to be coming soon to older Amazon tablets.

The Fire 8 Reader's Edition is a great tablet for readers. It's compact, the 8-inch screen is a nice size for reading, and it weighs just 11 ounces. The Reader's Edition includes a year of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's Netflix-like subscription service for ebook lovers, which otherwise costs $120. Amazon also throws in an attractive, chestnut-brown cover that retails for $80 and bends slightly to prop up the tablet.

Unfortunately, Fire 8's screen is reflective, so it doesn't work as well in bright sunlight as some dedicated ereaders. The Reader's Edition Fire 8 comes with just 8GB of storage, but it supports microSD cards up to 128GB. Amazon says the tablet's battery lasts about 7 hours, which seems about right in my experience — though that's significantly less than the "weeks" of life Amazon says you get from its Kindle Paperwhite.


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