In brief: Amazon has announced updated versions of its Fire 8 tablets across a variety of price points. The standard Fire HD 8 now features an 8-inch IPS touchscreen display (1,280 x 800 resolution, 189 PPI) made with strengthened aluminosilicate glass. According to Amazon, the tablet is twice as durable as the iPad mini in tumble tests.

The new Fire HD 8 is powered by a refreshed hexa-core processor that is up to 30 percent faster than the chip in the previous generation slate. It is mated to 2GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of local storage. Two megapixel front- and rear-facing cameras come standard along with dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C connectivity, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Battery life is rated at up to 13 hours on a single charge but your mileage will vary depending on device settings, content consumed and other usage factors. The included 5W power adapter can supply a full charge in under five hours but if you need a faster alternative, the optional 9W adapter can do the same in under three hours and the 15W charger can top off the tablet in less than 2.5 hours.

Amazon also announced a new Fire HD 8 Plus. For an extra $20, this model delivers 3GB of RAM to improve multitasking and comes with the aforementioned 9W power adapter. It is also compatible with Qi-certified wireless chargers and packs a higher-quality 5MP rear-facing camera.

Related reading: Amazon's refreshed entry-level Kindle get a higher-res screen and double the storage

Amazon has successfully positioned its Fire tablet line as a more affordable alternative to Apple's iPad mini. They are solid entertainment devices for the price, and also serve as a gateway into Amazon's vast services ecosystem.

The new Fire HD 8 starts at $99.99 with support for lockscreen ads - or $114.99 without them - and is offered in black, blue or pink color schemes. The Fire HD 8 Plus, meanwhile, starts at $119.99 for the ad-supported model. Both are available to pre-order now and will launch on October 19.