What I’m trying out now – Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet

Intro
I had previously praised an HP Touchpad Tablet, but that was another time and times have moved on. Now I’m trying the new Fire HD 8 Tablet and am quite impressed. It’s not perfect however.

Here are some features I really like.

Pros
Long battery life – the HP Touchpad died too quickly – after a couple hours – giving me recharge anxiety
Bright display
Lightweight and sufficiently small – I often carry it around from room to room in the house
High-def resolution: 1280 x 800
Reasonably good app selection
Quad processor makes it responsive and able to run lots of apps at the same time
Switching between apps is pretty easy

Cons
No Groupme app
no X-windows server
no ability to cast, even to Amazon Fire TV Stick!
Speedtest does not work
Home screen is locked to Amazon advertizing
Very unresponsive to swipes – in general very slow

Apps and features I like
Serverauditor – gives me ssh access to my Raspberry Pi and Amazon hosts
Weatherbug
NY Times
Netflix
Hulu
Silk Browser
Calculator is pretty good
Maps is alright
Fitbit – and the Bluetooth actually works with my Charge device
stereo speakers, but not the best dynamic range
prints to WiFi printer, e.g., Canon printers
Bluetooth enabled – can pump audio out to an external Bluetooth speaker

After several months of use I am less impressed. The thing bogs down with my palette of apps and is slow as a dog. I need a minimum of three swipes to unlockl the Amazon home screen advertisement, which gets really tiring really fast.

References and related
My old HP Touchpad article, just for the historical reference

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