Scott asked: “I was looking into getting an Amazon Fire HD 8, wasn’t sure of the features or if there were limitations to it. Also looked at an iPad and the Samsung tablets. Could you compare the three and maybe rate them for which is best for computing and Internet and Facebook and things like that?”
Scott, the main feature on an Amazon Fire HD 8 is the price. You won’t find a lot of tablets for $79. Amazon does claim that it’s “2x more durable than the iPad Mini 4” which is interesting considering that “2x more durable” means pretty much nothing.
The Fire line in general, like the Echo line, Amazon’s Buttons, and the Kindle readers are inexpensive devices to get you into the Amazon ecosystem. They’ll make it easier for you to buy their products and services, so the devices themselves are subsidized.
In terms of performance, both the Samsung tablets and iPads will probably be considerably better than the Fire HD 8 and neither of the two will come with ads like the Fire HD 8 will, having said that, they’re also not $79.
Apple has been trying to push the iPad Pro line in particular as a laptop replacement, which it can be, maybe even a little better than a Chromebook can be, but it’s not for more people. Samsung has been a little more modest about those claims, but basically their tablets have similar capabilities, and unlike Apple they do bundle in their pen.
If you’re using an Android phone already, Samsung may be more appealing to you, if you’re using an iPhone, the iPad will play nicer with it.
Just keep in mind that the high end Samsung Galaxy Tabs and iPads are comparable, the Amazon tablets are more basic devices, but they cost much less, and if you’re looking for a web browsing device, they can handle that well enough.
Since you wanted a ranking, the iPad and high end Samsung Galaxy tablets are roughly comparable and largely a matter of personal preference, the Fire HD 8 ranks lower than both.