December 7, 2015 Last Updated 2:56 pm

Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition: the new Fire HD 8 combined with a year of Kindle Unlimited

The deal, priced at $249.99, also throws in a leather cover – but with Amazon already discounting its new tablet, the new deal might have limited appeal

The online retailer Amazon today unveiled a new tablet package for readers called the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition. The deal is priced at $249.99 and includes the retailer’s new 8-inch tablet, along with a year of Kindle Unlimited, the company’s all-you-can-read subscription service.


The new tablet features Blue Shade, the new Amazon feature that works to adjust the display on the Fire HD 8 for more comfortable nighttime reading.

“Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition simply delivers the best reading experience on any tablet,” said Charlie Tritschler, Vice President, Amazon Devices, in the company’s announcement. “With an incredibly thin and light design and 8” HD color display, this is the perfect tablet for reading—a year of Kindle Unlimited with access to over a million books, plus innovative new features like Blue Shade—now even more readers can curl up in bed with their favorite stories.”

(Amazon likes adding adjectives to its press releases, don’t they?)

Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader thinks the deal would be better if it included Amazon Prime, and it’s hard to argue with that.

“That’s a pretty nice deal, but I for one would rather get Amazon Prime in the bundle, or at least Amazon’s streaming music and video services,” Hoffelder wrote. “I am just one of many people who like to read on tablets, but that’s just one of the things you can do with a tablet.”

That’s all true, but then again this is the Reader’s Edition, so the choice of including Kindle Unlimited sort of makes sense. The only other thing Amazon is throwing in is “a limited edition leather cover”

But one wonders if this kind of packaging might have worked for Apple, when trying to stem to declines in iPad sales. It would have been interesting to see what the results would have been had Apple tried to create some sort of package deal for Newsstand apps.

Of course, Apple’s goal is to sell hardware, using content to lure customers to the ecosystem. Amazon’s goal has been to severely discount hardware to encourage content sales.

Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition really isn’t that great a deal, if you are comparing prices. While the new tablet lists for $149.99, Amazon is already discounting it to $129.99. A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99, but the first month is free. Add those together and it comes out to $239.88.

Here is Amazon’s announcement:

SEATTLE, Wash. – December 7, 2015 — Amazon today introduced the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition, which combines the all-new Fire HD 8, a year of Kindle Unlimited with access to over 1 million books, and a limited edition leather cover for only $249.99. Reader’s Edition also includes Blue Shade, an innovative new feature that adjusts and optimizes the display on your Fire HD 8 tablet to reduce blue light exposure before bedtime. Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition is available for pre-order starting today at:

Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition simply delivers the best reading experience on any tablet,” said Charlie Tritschler, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “With an incredibly thin and light design and 8” HD color display, this is the perfect tablet for reading—a year of Kindle Unlimited with access to over a million books, plus innovative new features like Blue Shade—now even more readers can curl up in bed with their favorite stories.”

Read All You Want With Kindle Unlimited
Enjoy unlimited reading of over 1 million books and unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks with Kindle Unlimited. Read freely from top books, including The Man in the High Castle, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Wayward Pines trilogy, the entire Harry Potter series, and many more. The service regularly costs $9.99 per month but is included for one year with Reader’s Edition (a $120 value).

Blue Shade – Read Comfortably at Night
Want to read that last chapter from the comfort of your bed? Simply turn on Blue Shade, an exclusive new Amazon feature that works behind the scenes to adjust and optimize the display on the Fire HD 8 for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience on a tablet. Studies have shown that evening exposure to blue light from tablets may suppress our bodies’ production of melatonin, which can prolong the time it takes to fall asleep, delay REM sleep, and reduce the level of alertness the next morning. Blue Shade uses specialized filters to limit exposure to blue light. It also offers warm color filters and the ability to lower the display brightness to an ultra-low level for comfortable nighttime reading—even in a dark room. The feature can be easily turned on or off with a single tap on the Blue Shade quick setting. Customers can also fine-tune the color settings to their personal preference, with the device intelligently adjusting the color filtering so that at any color or brightness, the blue wavelength light is always sufficiently suppressed.

The Best Reading Features
Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition includes the features readers expect from Amazon, all designed to help readers enjoy their books even more, and get more out of their reading:

  • Bookerly Font—An exclusive font designed from the ground up for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any size. It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help customers read faster with less eyestrain.
  • Adjustable fonts—Choose from eight text sizes to find the one that fits your level of comfort.
  • Multi-colored highlights—Simply tap a word and choose from pink, blue, orange and yellow to categorize your highlighted words and passages, which can also be shared across devices.
  • Word Runner—Read Faster, one word at a time, with Word Runner, a new speed reading feature that brings each word to the center of the screen to where your eyes are already focused. Word Runner has Dynamic Pacing so it gradually builds to your preferred reading speed and algorithmically and automatically slows down for difficult words, punctuation, and paragraph breaks.
  • Audible—Choose from more than 180,000 titles, including best sellers, romances, thrillers, and much more with Audible, an Amazon company—every book is read by a professional narrator. New members can enjoy a 30-day Audible free trial with Reader’s Edition.
  • Whispersync for Voice—Whenever you see “Kindle Unlimited with Narration,” you can seamlessly switch back-and-forth between reading and listening without ever losing your place.
  • Immersion Reading—Fire tablets can synchronize Kindle text with companion Audible audiobooks so that you can read a Kindle eBook while at the same time, listening to its professionally narrated Audible companion Audiobook. With text-to-speech, Fire tablets can read English-language content to you when available from a publisher.
  • Kindle sharing with instant previews—Share quotes, highlights, and recommendations from your favorite Kindle books on Facebook or Twitter, or start a conversation with your friends on popular mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Friends who receive a share can click on the book or quote and instantly start reading a free preview right from their tablet, phone, or PC web browser—no need to sign up, sign in, or install an app.
  • Goodreads integration—Combines the world’s largest e-reading community and the world’s largest community of book lovers. Reader’s Edition is integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 40 million members, 1.1 billion books added, and 43 million book reviews. You can follow friends and authors, see what they’re reading, and share and rate books right from your device.

Engineered by Amazon – Designed for Reading
One of Amazon’s thinnest tablets ever (7.7mm), Fire HD features an 8” screen and is comparable in size to a book, making it easy to hold in one hand while reading. Featuring a widescreen 1280 x 800 HD display with over 1 million pixels—Fire HD is perfect for viewing vibrant magazines, flipping through colorful comic book pages, or perusing beautiful picture books.

Reader’s Edition includes all of the great features and entertainment benefits you can expect with Fire HD, including a powerful quad-core processor, a 720p front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video, up to 128GB of expandable storage via microSD, and all-day battery life, so when not reading, you can still enjoy all the videos, music, games and photos you want on your tablet. Fire HD also offers deep integration of Amazon-exclusive services, access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps and games, and much more—plus free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.

Limited Edition Leather Case
Reader’s Edition comes with a limited edition, rustic brown leather case that gives the look and feel of a real book cover and protects the tablet from accidental scratches. The protective case opens like a book and folds flat for comfortable one-handed reading or can stand Fire HD in landscape or portrait orientation so that you can enjoy your content hands-free.

Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition is available for pre-order for $249.99 starting today at; it ships on December 9.

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