How the 2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 stacks up against the iPad mini

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Amazon Fire HD 8 takes on Apple iPad mini 5
The Amazon Fire HD 8 certainly costs less than iPad mini 5, but has other advantages too.
Photo: Amazon/Apple

Amazon significantly upped the specs of the latest Fire 8 tablet, with a faster processor, more storage, USB-C and even wireless charging. But how does this inexpensive 8-inch slate stack up against the 7.9-inch iPad mini 5 released in 2019?

Advantages of iPad mini 5: Screen, processor and storage

The Amazon Fire HD 8’s display has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, putting it at 189 pixels per inch. The slightly smaller screen in the iPad mini 5 is 2048 by 1536 pixels, so it’s at 324 ppi. Obviously, the iPadOS device comes out ahead here.

The 2019 version of Amazon’s tablet uses a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor from Mediatek. The newly upgraded version has a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, which will increase the performance by 30%, according to its manufacturer. Apple’s offering has a hexa-core A12 chip, with a pair of 2.5 GHz cores for greater performances and four 1.6 GHz cores for increasing battery life. Another win for the iPad mini 5.

The 2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 is available with either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. The previous version maxed out at 32 GB, by the way. And while the iPad mini 5 is also available with 64 GB of capacity, Apple also sells one with 256 GB. Advantage iPad.

The base model Amazon slate has 2GB of RAM, up from 1.5GB in the previous model. And the Fire HD 8 Plus comes with 3GB. All versions of the 7.9-inch iPad include 3GB of RAM.

Advantages of the Amazon Fire HD 8: Connectivity, wireless charging and price

Apple stuck with its proprietary Lightning connector in its iPad mini. On the other hand, Amazon built a USB-C port into its latest tablet. As that’s the standard charging and data connector for most desktops, laptops and phones, the new Fire HD 8 comes out ahead in this category.

Apple steadfastly refuses to put removable memory card slots in all iPad models, including this one. Amazon includes a microSD card slot that can hold up to 1TB.

The 2020 Fire HD 8 Plus really stands out is one of the few tablets with built-in wireless charging. That’s a feature usually reserved for phones. The iPad mini can’t match this.

But the most obvious advantage of the Amazon Fire HD 8 is price. The base model is only $89.99, and the Fire HD 8 Plus — with more RAM and wireless charging — costs $109.99.

The iPadOS device is much, much more. Despite being Apple’s smallest tablet, the iPad mini isn’t its most affordable. It starts at $399. Adding more storage bumps the cost up to $549.