On sale now for Prime members
This is probably of interest mostly to people who are already Amazon Prime members. The new Fire tablets are out, and Prime members get a 4,000 yen off coupon for each sized tablet. I couldn't find an end date for the campaign, so if you are interested I recommend ordering sooner rather than later. Even if you're not a Prime member, you might be able to find one who will let you order using their coupon.
If you order before October 17th you also get a 770 yen coupon you can use for Prime Video for the next couple of months.
I find the Fire tablets are very reasonably priced (couldn't find anything cheaper -especially after the discount), and if you have a Prime membership you get video and music free. They are not the best tablets around, but after the discount we are talking under 5,000 yen for the 7, under 8,000 yen for the 8, and under 14,000 yen for the 10.
They run on Fire OS, which is a modified version of Android. I believe you can hack them to run Android apps (there is a Fire app store with a lot fewer apps than the Android one), but didn't bother trying to do so.
I ordered one of each for my wife's school (we have the students use the tablets to do online language practice). We already had an older 7, so I was happy to get a chance to check out the new 7, the 8 and the 10 this time.
One thing I really like is that they come pre-loaded with your account. You just confirm that you are you, and you can download your settings, previously installed apps, etc. Of course, if you get someone else to order for you, you can sync with a different account :)
To be honest I didn't notice much difference in the new 7. I guess it's a bit faster, and they claim to have improved the screen. A small, very cheap, functional tablet. It's pretty resilient too (our junior high school students have been using it for about three months now and haven't managed to break it, even though we didn't bother getting a case or protective films). Overall though it feels cheap, the screen seems dull, and apart from the amazing price it doesn't have much going for it.
The 8 is a big improvement over the 7. The screen is HD and much clearer, it seems a lot larger than the 1 inch difference would suggest, and it feels like a proper tablet (the 7 can feel a bit like a huge smartphone at times). If this was the only tablet you were going to get, and you planned to watch films on it then I think it would be worth paying an extra 3,000 yen for this over the 7. I've read a few reviews that say this is the best tablet you can get at this price point, and that is without the discount.
The 10 is beautiful. It's widescreen, so basically designed to watch movies. Screen is very nice, seems fast, and easy to use. It's quite easy to download movies to watch later, so I think I will probably borrow the 10 to watch on planes in the future. I'm not really used to large tablets (have an iPad mini) so I found the 10 quite unwieldy for web browsing and reading on Kindle. My verdict is it is fantastic for watching movies or TV, but I would probably prefer the 8 for pretty much everything else.
Just to be clear, none of these really compare to a premium tablet like an iPad, but then again they are only around 1/6th of the price :)
What do you think? Anyone else have a Fire tablet? Happy with it?