Fortnite season 9 is live.
Fortnite season 9Â is almost over. Epic Games’ popularÂ battle royale gameÂ is preparing for the upcoming season 10, and it will end with a fight between a monster and a giant robot.Â
When does season 9 begin?
Fortnite season 9 went live May 9 after servers were taken down for updates. Once the servers were back, Epic tweeted the season trailer.
According to the trailer, the volcano eventÂ on May 4 had a lasting effect on the island. The two destroyed areas, Tilted Towers and Retail Row, are now replaced with futuristic versions of the locations, called Neo Tilted and Mega Mall. The volcano also changed and is now known as Pressure Plant.
Epic tweeted on May 14 that the first official update, v.9.01, would happen May 15 at 1 a.m. PT.Â
Get up close and personal when the v.9.01 update releases tomorrow, May 15.
Downtime begins at 4 AM ET(0800UTC).â€” Fortnite (@FortniteGame) May 14, 2019
As the company regularly does, Epic also included a tease within its tweet with the phrase “get up close and personal.” This could reference a new weapon Fortnite players saw when logging in: the tactical assault rifle.Â
Fortnite v9.10 update went live on May 22 and featured a new crossover with Nike called FortniteXJumpman. Players can purchase new skins decked out in hyped Air Jordan 1’s and play in the new Downtown Drop limited time mode.Â
Season 9 will last for the next 10 weeks, and then Fortnite season 10 will start Aug. 1, according to fan site Fortnite Intel.
As prominently shown in the Fortnite season 9 trailer, there are two new areas to explore: Neo Tiled Towers and Mega Mall. Players who know the island like the back of their hand will have to spend some time exploring to figure out the places to loot and where to ambush others, as these two spots will be popular in the early days of the new season.
Another futuristic addition: the Slipstreams. Located around Neo Tilted Towers, Mega Mall and a large portion of the inner island, these new towers will propel players once they enter the wind stream. Players should use these Slipstreams as both a mode of transportation and a way to get out of trouble. Air vents were another mobility addition to propel players into the air and make them immune to fall damage.
Slipstreams around Mega Mall
Epic added only one new weapon at the start of season 9: the combat shotgun. The semi-automatic weapon takes the place of the pump shotgun, which was vaulted — aka removed from the game. Several other weapons, items and throwables were also vaulted, including clingers, buried treasure, poison dart trap, scoped revolver, suppressed assault rifle, thermal assault rifle and balloons.
Epic also made changes to the Battle Pass for Season 9. As in previous seasons, those who purchased the pass for 950 V-Bucks, or just shy of $10, will have 100 levels to work their way through to unlock new emotes, pickaxes and skins such as the Sentinel, Rox progressive and for those who make it to tier 100, the Vendetta skin.
Something new with this Fortnite season 9 Battle Pass are the Fortbytes. These collectible computer chips are hidden across the island with a new one unlocked each day of the season. Collecting these items will piece together an image that hints at what’s in store for Fortnite season 10.
With these new additions, Epic made various changes to the gameplay and improvement. The company also added new Limited Time Modes such as Trios, where players can make three-person squads, the Legendary-focused Solid Gold mode and One Shot, which has players with 50 health and can only access sniper weapons, meaning one hit is all it takes to eliminate players.
After the first week of Fortnite season 9, Epic released the first update of the season, v9.01, on May 15. That includes a new weapon, the tactical assault rifle.Â
Fortnite tactical assault rifle
The automatic weapon, unlike most rifles, is far more effective up close than at a distance. It also has:
Deals 22/23/24 damage
Headshot multiplier of 1.75x
Epic also reduced the damage of the drum gun, which was brought back from the “vault” during the volcano event that kicked off the season. Many players complained about the weapon’s damage, so it was decreased from 26/27 to 22/23.
The v9.10 update on May 22 added a new way to get loot during a match: Hot Spots. Random named locations on the map will turn gold, meaning Loot Carriers are in the vicinity. These floating caches can be shot down to acquire a high-end weapon.Â
A Loot Carrier added in the Fortnite v9.10 update
Other changes in the v9.10 update are the reduced availability of the Shadow Bombs and Combat Shotgun and unvaulting of the Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle.Â
For Season 9 week 4, Epic added a new Burst SMG weapon for players to shoot quick four-bullet bursts.Â
Epic delayed the v9.20 update by a day and plans to release it on Thursday, June 6. New in the update is a throwable called Storm Flip. When thrown in an area where the storm is active, it will create a safe area for players that can be a huge advantage as those players who are safe can easily pick off opponents running in the storm while taking damage. On the flip side, those who use a Storm Flip in a safe area will create a small storm when thrown, which will damage players within.Â
Storm Flip, however, is reportedly causing issues near the end of games, making it almost impossible for players to tell which areas are safe and which aren’t. Epic Games on Thursday said it’ll be disabling the item during this weekend’s World Cup and in Arena mode.
Other changes in the v9.20 update are changes to Loot Carrier drops and the vaulting of all Hunter Rifles.Â
Update v9.21 went live on June 12 featuring the new Proximity Grenade Launcher to deal damage to opponents near the projectile.Â
The update also had weapon balance changes, especially to the new Storm Flip item, which is now harder to find and does less damage.Â
Also included in the v9.21 was a new limited time mode called Horde Rush. The new mode is a four-player co-op with its own challenges launching on June 13.Â
The Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am competitionÂ took place on June 16 when 50 of some of the best Fortnite players in the world teamed up with 50 celebrities. During the event, Epic played a trailer for a new Flare Gun item.Â
It’s unclear what the Flare Gun will do in the game or when it will come out.Â
Update v9.30 on June 18 added a new healing item made for helping out a squad called Chug Splash. When used, the rare six-pack consumable will create a splash that will heal all allies in its proximity.Â
As the case with every new update, data miners were in full force inspecting every file to find something new that may be added in a future update. One discovered assets for a new Drum Gun variant called the Drum Shotgun.Â
The Drum Gun was a controversial weapon when it came out as it was deemed too powerful for matches. It was soon removed from the game, or vaulted, but then unvaulted during the Fortnite season 8 volcano event. This new Drum Shotgun may show up in the coming weeks before Fortnite season 9 comes to an end.Â
On Tuesday, June 25, Epic released a content update for update v9.30. The patch marks the beginning of the Fortnite 14 Days of Summer that will unvault a new weapon each day as well as have new challenges and limited time modes.Â
The weapons unvaulted in the update include the Pump Shotgun, Shockwave Grenade, Suppressed SMG, Revolver, Tactical Shotgun, Burst SMG, SemiAuto Sniper Rifle, FlintKnock Pistol, Infantry Rifle, Minigun, Heavy Assault Rifle and the DrumGun. The Rare Tactical Assault Rifle, Impulse Grenades, Rift-To-Go and Pirate Cannon were all vaulted in the patch.Â
A second content patch for v9.30 went live July 2. It was a small update adding a new weapon, the Drum Shotgun.
The Drum Shotgun doesn’t have as much power as other shotguns, but it shoots a lot faster.Â
The Drum Shotgun has 12 clips and is available in common, uncommon and rare variant. What it lacks in power in comparison to other shotguns, it makes up for how fast it can fire.Â
Fortnite’s v9.30 content update #3 went up Tuesday, July 9. Like the previous content updates, there was one new item added, and the Air Strike is a throwable that calls for missiles to rain down on enemies. Â Â
Air Strike is a legendary throwable that emits a colored smoke to signal for 20 missiles to strike randomly in a nine-meter radius. Players can find the new item in chests, supply drops, vending machines, and Supply Llamas.
Wednesday, July 17, saw the release of update v9.40, the first official update since Epic gave its developers a much-deserved vacation.Â
The revamped Tactical Shotgun.Â
The redesigned Tactical Shotgun deals 83/87 maximum damage, hold eight shells and has a 2.25 multiplier for headshots.Â
Fortnite players should expect more content, modes, weapons, skins and, eventually, clues to the next season.
Hidden secrets and Easter eggs
Epic tends to add clues and Easter eggs on the island that hint at upcoming events or the next season. A less than subtle example in Fortnite season 9 is the addition of a building in Paradise Palms that looks remarkably like the house from the John WickÂ films.Â
The John Wick house in Fortnite
One data miner also discovered a set of challenges for a limited-time mode called Wick’s Bounty, or WAX. This event started May 16,Â just before the third entry in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, opened in theaters.Â
To add more fuel to the John Wick fire, the Fortnite v9.01 update had a slew of movie-related content leaked by data miners. First is the new John Wick outfit that has a secondary style called “Damaged.”
Another data miner found more info about the Wick’s Bounty limited-time mode in the v9.01 update. The new mode will have infinite spawns, and players will have to collect coins off of other players, which most likely drop when eliminated.Â
There’s also a new skin known as “Sofia,” which is the name of Halle Berry’s character in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. The data miner noted that the head is temporary and could change when the skin officially goes live in the future.Â
On Friday, June 28, Epic completed the John Wick set with the official release of the Sofia outfit. This time based on Halle Berry’s look in the film. Players can purchase the new skin in the Fortnite Item Shop for 1,500 V-Buck, or approximately $15.Â
Another subtle reference found in Fortnite season 9 is a storefront called Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream shop in Stranger Things. Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, said on June 12 at an E3 panel that the company has plans for a Stranger Things crossover in the coming weeks. The third season of the Netflix series was released July 4, during the second half of Fortnite season 9.Â
Players saw the next step in the Fortnite Stranger Things crossover on Wednesday, July 3, just in time for the premiere of the show. Portals that look like they’re from the Upside Down appeared across the island.Â
A portal found in a house in Fortnite.
There are several portals, and entering one will transport players to another.Â
In time for the release ofÂ Stranger Things season 3, Epic revealed the Fortnite X Stranger Things crossover on July 4.Â
The crossover event featured skins based on Chief Hopper and the Demogorgon, which are on sale in the Fortnite Item Shop for a limited time.Â
In the v9.10 update added to the game on May 22, players found something weird at Polar Peak. There’s a block of ice that shakes as wind comes out of the cracks. It almost appears as if there’s something hidden inside. This could be the start of the event that could be the transition to Fortnite season 10.
On May 28, Fortnite players who visited Polar Peak saw something new in the form of a giant eyeball. The creepy eye will track the movements of the player in front of it.Â
June 6 saw a big change at Polar Peak. The block of ice holding a monster is broken, taking part of the ice castle with it. Giant footprints can be seen walking away from it toward the Viking Village.Â
The Polar Peak monster continues to be on the move, but this time in the water. Players have seen remnants of the castle destroyed by the giant beast floating around in the waters around the island.Â
Another sign of destruction by the Polar Peak monster appeared on June 16. Players saw the modern house located in Pleasant Park in a pile of rubble.Â
There’s no rhyme or reason as to where the Polar Peak monster will appear next, but it will likely be the catalyst for changes to the island coming in Fortnite season 10.Â
After the downtime for update v9.30 on June 18, Fortnite players logged on and found something new at Snobby Shores: a large neon triangle.Â
With Fortnite season 9 only weeks away from ending, these kinds of weird additions to the island are typically indicators of an event coming. The triangle isn’t nearly as big as the mysterious cube from 2018, but something could be changing very soon to end the season.Â
Starting on July 2, players saw something strange at Pressure Plant. It appears that someone is building a giant robot similar to the mechs in the Gundam series. So far, only the feet and part of a leg have been built.
We are currently in ‘Stage 2′ of the building of the Robot.
The upcoming stages “http://www.cnet.com/”in the files”http://www.cnet.com/” are: Stage 3: Calf RightStage 4: Thigh LeftStage 5: Torso Stage 6: Bicep Left Stage 7: Bicep RightStage 8: Forearm Left
I expect Stage 3 to be released at Thursday. pic.twitter.com/73Okfdzp59â€” FortTory ðŸ – Fortnite Leaks & News (@FortTory) July 2, 2019
The giant robot in Pressure Plant appears to be almost complete as of July 8. Players saw the robot’s legs and torso have been built with just the arms and head missing. Â
One data miner found on Sunday, July 7, an image of what could be the countdown clock for the fight between the monster and robot, which Fortnite players are calling Cattus (the monster) versus Doggus (the robot).Â
The name Cattus comes from the file name for the monster in Polar Peak. Players have since called the monster’s opponent, in the case for the robot, the player base came up with the appropriate name of Doggus.Â
On Wednesday, July 10, the giant robot now has an upper left arm.Â
On Friday, July 12, the robot’s right arm is complete.
A giant clock down timer went up Saturday, July 13, in Fortnite. It will end on Saturday, July 20, at approximately 2 p.m. ET. It’s believed that when time runs out, the Polar Peak Monster will finally do battle with the Giant Robot being built at Pressure Plant.Â
A giant clock is counting down.Â
This fight between the robot and the monster appears to be the finale for Fortnite season 9 and the lead-in for season 10.Â
After weeks of speculation, Epic confirmed the name of the season 9 finale event:Â The Final Showdown.Â
Wednesday’s v9.40 included a slew of leaked content for the event including a robot skin and monster emote.
Players who went to Pressure Plant Wednesday, they were able to see the giant robot that looks more like something out of Voltron or the Might Morphin’ Power Rangers.Â
The Final Showdown will start at 11 a.m. PT on July 20.
Fortnite is available on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and Android and iOS devices.
Originally published May 7.Â This story has been updated regularly throughout season 9 to add the latest weapons, Easter eggs and events.
How Fortnite, AR and YouTube influence toys
The best VR games and experiences on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 – CNET
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over…
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over the last year at home, VR gaming has become an even bigger part of my life. Despite existing in a company-controlled walled garden (and increasingly Facebook-oriented login and data policies), the Quest has turned into quite a destination for the best VR games. (Note to access top PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Star Wars: Squadrons, you’ll need to plug into a gaming PC with a USB cable.) The rate of good games arriving has accelerated this year. The Under Presents is one of my favorite, weird, endless games in VR.
All of these games work with the year-old Oculus Quest and the new Quest 2, but many apps are receiving extra updates and graphic boosts for Quest 2 owners. We’ll continue to update this list over time.
Oculus Quest 2 is better and cheaper… with one Facebook…
I missed my chance to go to Disney and see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but ILMxLab’s Batuu-themed game is the next best thing. It’s not exactly a tour of Black Spire Outpost, but the incredible character acting, world design and intense blaster battles are an impressive feat. It’s over too soon, but it still costs less than most Disney souvenirs. (Also check out Vader Immortal, ILMxLab’s previous lightsaber-wielding adventure involving Darth Vader.)
Read our hands-on experience and interview.
Big Box VR
The multiplayer battle royale experience of Population One is very Fortnite-like. In fact, it’s extremely Fortnite-like. That’s a good thing. There are few large-scale multiplayer VR games right now, and this is one of the best. Dropping down from above, navigating the shrinking map, climbing and hunting for supplies, and excellent controls make this a must-play team shooter.
It’s expensive, and the file size can get up to 8GB on the Quest 2, but this is console-quality VR shrunken down into a portable headset. Saints & Sinners was already an acclaimed PC VR game, and the transition to the Quest keeps its polish and RPG-like feel. It’s freaky, but it’s also deep. There’s a lot more going on than simple shooting.
A lot of Quest games are expensive, but a surprising number are free. Rec Room is a social hub that’s also a doorway to tons of social games, with a seemingly limitless set of possibilities. Sometimes it feels a bit like Wii Sports or VR Roblox. There are mini-adventures, paintball games and more. I just want there to be improved parental-control features (there seem to be a lot of parents letting kids into Rec Room lately).
Read our original impressions of Rec Room, pre-Quest.
This is Oculus Quest’s killer app, and if you want to get moving, love lightsabers, or just want a fun dance challenge, this is it. There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy, the lightsaber tracking is fantastic, and there are extra music packs to buy if you feel compelled. I’m currently exhausting myself trying to beat my nephew’s high scores.
Bullet time, grab the gun, wait — the faster you move, the faster everything else moves. Get it now? Superhot was one of the first games that hit the Quest, and it’s still amazing. Runner-up pick: Pistol Whip. (Sorry, I still like Superhot more.)
For Fun Labs
Seriously, ping-pong in VR is so good. The table physics, the size of the play area, the way VR matches what you need perfectly — who knows? You can play online with real people, and the gameplay is shockingly unforgiving.
If you’re up for a creepy dive into mysterious puzzle boxes, this all-new VR game from the makers of the hit game series called The Room is a fantastic and spooky mental challenge (it’s not great for kids, though). There are lots of other escape room games on Quest, including the excellent I Expect You To Die, and a ticketed live multiplayer escape-room experience from Adventure Labs, too.
Read our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter.
The synesthetic Tetris Effect was one of the best games of 2018, and the Quest version is mostly as good. It’s intense, the music is amazing, and even though the levels are frantic, it’s also weirdly zen. This is a perfect way to unwind.
Read our review of Tetris Effect.
Oculus’ zero-gravity ultimate frisbee game is a relentless three-on-three experience that gave me vibes of Rocket League, but in VR. The controls, which rely on your hands to catapult around, are brilliant. The open beta is free right now, and it’s great. But expect to lose.
Moss is about a small mouse with a sword who goes on a quest. You’ll follow him through levels that feel like dioramas you can peer down at. Walking around and exploring the beautiful worlds is half the fun, but the game itself is also great and plays like a console platformer, but in 3D.
With other people in your home, VR can be a solitary disconnect. Keep Talking involves others by having people not in VR handle a bomb-defusing manual while the person in VR tries to communicate and stop the bomb in time. It feels like a weird board game, which is something most VR games never succeed at.
An endless and randomly generated set of castle enemies meet you every time you play, and this roguelike game uses a bow and arrow as your only method of navigation and attack. The mechanics feel great, and being surrounded by enemies you’re firing arrows at can be incredibly intense.
If you miss miniature golf (or real golf), Pro Putt’s courses feel like a pretty great stand-in. The courses are cartoonish, but not mini-golf crazy. The putting realism is surprisingly good. I find the whole thing a little meditative.
Talk about a game that never seems to get old. While Space Pirate Trainer has been around since the launch days of the HTC Vive, the simple arcade design is perfect. You stand still, shoot at aliens and shield yourself. Survive as long as you can. It’s perfect.
Want to revisit ’90s games, including the experience of sitting on the floor with a controller playing games on a TV? You can do that already with a little retro 16-bit console, but Pixel Ripped pulls it off uncannily in VR. You’re a kid in a home, playing games that don’t exist. Then you enter the pixel world, and it gets stranger. The original 80s-set Pixel Ripped 1989 is now inside as add-on DLC, too.
VR can turn your sense of reality inside out, and A Fisherman’s Tale is the best type of out-of-body experience. A room with puzzles to solve also has a dollhouse, which is a perfect model of the room you’re in. You can reach into your own space and as you do, a larger hand from above enters your room. It’s like living in your own weird puzzle dollhouse universe, and it’s fantastic.
Red Matter was one of the best-looking Oculus Quest games, and an update for Quest 2 pushes the graphics even further. The puzzle-solving, atmospheric, brooding adventure is set in an alternate-timeline Cold War in space. Your tool-filled space suit glides around and grapples with the brilliantly evoked world, which often has Half-Life vibes.
If you subscribe to only one CNET newsletter, this is it. Get editors’ top picks of the day’s most interesting reviews, news stories and videos.
More VR and gaming advice
Mi 11 and Mi 11 Pro Launch Announcement by Xiaomi Likely for Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual…
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual conference to announce its next-generation product developments. The Mi 11 is speculated to accompany the Mi 11 Pro, and both new phones are likely to come with Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon processor rumoured to be the Snapdragon 875.Qualcomm has posted details on Weibo that highlighted the presence of Lei Jun at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020. An official image shared by the San Diego-headquartered company on the microblogging network shows that the executive will announce Xiaomi’s latest product developments for global customers alongside sharing its long-term partnership with Qualcomm.The product announcements are likely to be around the Mi 11 as Xiaomi at the Snapdragon Tech Summit last year announced the Mi 10. The new Mi flagship phone is expected to be among the first models to come with the next-generation Snapdragon SoC.A listing on benchmark site Geekbench recently suggested the existence of the Mi 11. It showed Android 11 and 6GB of RAM. The phone also received a single core score of 1,105 and a multi-core score of 3,512.The Mi 11 is speculated to come along with the Mi 11 Pro. Both new Mi phones are rumoured to come with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and an enhanced image stabilisation. The Mi 11 Pro is also tipped to feature a QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate.In addition to its announcement, Jun is expected to reveal some key specifications of the Mi 11 series at the forthcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit. The flagship phones, however, may take some time to reach global markets.Is Redmi Note 9 Pro Max the best affordable camera phone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Black Friday 2020 Fire tablet sales: Amazon Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition are both $80 – CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including…
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including Fire tablet deals, are already going strong. Are you in the market for a new Amazon Fire tablet or want to give one as a gift for a special someone? Several of the models have returned to their lows first seen during last month’s Prime Day sale. Specifically:The Fire HD 10 (10-inch tablet) is now $80 ($70 off)The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is now $130 ($70 off)The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is now $80 during Prime Day ($60 off)The Fire 7 Kids Edition is now $60 ($40 off)The Fire HD 8 will also be returning to its Prime Day low of $55 by Cyber Monday. Thus far, Amazon hasn’t confirmed Fire HD 8 Plus tablet discounts, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these Amazon devices return to their Prime Day lows over the next few days: The Fire HD 8 (8-inch tablet) will be returning to $55 ($35 off)The Fire HD 8 Plus was $75 during Prime Day ($35 off)Note that the Fire Kids Editions include a case and a year of Amazon’s Kids Plus subscription service, a $36 value.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Amazon has come a long way from the first Kindle Fire tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s biggest tablet with a 10-inch screen size and powerful speakers (and it now charges via USB-C). Just like its smaller 8-inch sibling, the Fire HD 8, the tablet is packed with benefits for Prime subscribers, making it easy for members to stream and download movies, TV shows and games. The Fire tablets don’t use a pure version of Android, but instead Amazon’s Android-based Fire operating system, and pull apps from the Amazon App Store. You can still get apps from Google Play, but you’ll have to install the store yourself — meaning gaming enthusiasts have access to all of their favorite mobile games for an excellent gaming tablet experience.
This child-friendly version of the Fire HD 8 tablet adds a padded case, parental controls, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Kids Plus (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited), which normally costs $3 a month and gives you access to a bunch of kid-friendly content. It’s not really suitable for remote learning, but it’s a much more affordable option than giving a young child a full-on iPad.
This has all of the same extras as the HD 8 above, but it’s the childproof version of the smaller, more affordable Amazon Fire 7. You’re getting a 7-inch screen instead of 8, and a less robust processor.
The Fire HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and more RAM (3GB instead of 2GB), with performance that improves on the standard Fire HD 8. The tablet should charge just fine on most wireless charging pads.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review.
The Fire HD 8 was updated earlier this year with a faster processor, USB-C charging, better Wi-Fi performance, 2GB of RAM (up from 1.5GB) and a bump from 16GB to 32GB of storage in the base model. Its HD screen is sharper than the entry-level Fire 7, but it’s not nearly as sharp as iPad displays. The HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and slightly better performance, thanks to 3GB of RAM.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review.
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