Bought a 2017 Amazon Fire HD8 tablet (16g, no “special offers”) on Prime Day (hereafter referred to as the “Fire Sale”).

It “went missing” (Amazon’s words, not mine) somewhere in the melee of USPS handoff in Baltimore. This will probably only go to reinforce any stereotypes regarding Baltimore which you may have picked up in the course of binge watching The Wire.

On Saturday the timeout finally expired and they shipped me a new one. It arrived Monday (only five days late!) and I have now had a chance to play with it a bit.

Even without making allowances for its low price tag, the Fire HD8 feels reasonably zippy; it appears to be on the right side of the OS cpu suck vs. processor evolution curve.

The display is adequate, though it could definitely profit from application of an oleophobic glass screen protector. Nobody would mistake the screen quality for that of an iPad Mini but then again nobody would mistake the invoice amount for that of an Apple product either.

It doesn’t have the nice fit and finish of more expensive implementations, but for a quarter of the cost it’s surprisingly good.

By far the most interesting thing though (which may be old news to some people) is that one no longer need perform gyrations with a laptop, a USB cable, and adb in order to sideload the Google Play store; it’s now a matter of simply visiting to a web page, tapping clicking a few links and following directions, then rebooting.

Not quite the same as having Google’s store preinstalled, but close enough that my sister (non-technical paralegal) could probably follow the instructions with no problem at all.

In summary, not a bad device at the price for running Netflix or video streaming on your desk as a distraction from Real Work(tm).