We’ve already taken a look at the Amazon Fire HD 8 vs the more budget friendly ZenPad 8.0 (Z380CX/Z380C). Now it’s time to look at the more premium ZenPad S 8.0 vs. the Amazon 8-inch tablet.
The price comparison is a bit tricky. The Fire HD 8 has many options which can lower the price. With the Z580C in the US coming in one configuration, we’re going to get detailed on this price comparison.
Currently the Z580C is $199. If we max out the Fire HD 8 configuration (16GB and without sponsored lockscreens), it will cost $184.99. We still aren’t on equal ground with this comparison. The Z580C ships with 32GB storage, so for $14.99, you can get a microSD card for the Fire HD 8 which puts the price at $199. If we want equal storage between these two tablets, it could be a draw.
Another view could drop the price of the Fire HD 8 to $184.99 if you chose to have sponsored lockscreens (to remove them it costs $15). If you wanted to drop the storage to 8GB, you could reduce the price by $20. So in terms of pricing flexibility, Amazon has the most unique options. That said, we don’t think that the 8GB model with ads configuration would be a fair price comparison with the 32GB ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C).
- Fire HD 8: 1GB
- ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C): 2GB
- Amazon Fire HD 8: 1.5GHz quad core MediaTeck
- Asus Z580C: Intel Atom Z3530 @ 1.3GHz quad core
- Fire HD 8: 1280 x 800 IPS LCD display
- ZenPad S (Z580C): 2048 x 1536 QXGA display
Size and Weight:
- Amazon Fire HD 8:
- weight: 11oz – 311 grams
- size: 8.4 – 5.0 – 0.3″
- Asus Z580C:
- weight: 11.2oz
- size: 8.0 – 5.3 – .3″
- Fire HD 8: 720p front facing HD camera, 5MP rear
- ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C): 2MP front, 5MP rear
- Fire HD 8
- has wifi 802.11ac (Z580C does not have this new wifi standard)
- no access to Google Play app store
- side mounted dual stereo speakers
- free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content and photos taken with the Fire HD 8
- Asus Z580C
- Android Lollipop
- access to Google Play app store
- front facing dual stereo speakers
- 100GB Google online storage for 2 years free
- 5GB Asus cloud storage free for life
So Who Wins? Summary and Conclusion:
With screen quality being a bit part, if not the biggest part of any tablet experience, it’s impossible to say the Fire HD 8 is a better tablet. The argument can be made that the Fire HD 8 is going to be the cheaper of the two tablets, but when you consider equal storage, there is little difference in price.
Build quality, perhaps give the edge to the Amazon tablet as they are selling it as being twice as durable as the iPad Air 2. The Z580C looks amazing, but the reality is it’s made of plastic and being durable isn’t the strongest feature of the tablet. Early reviews of the Fire HD 8 suggest it’s not exactly durable or solid, but for now, let’s give a slight edge to Amazon with regards to build quality.
Size and weight is very similar so both these tablets are going to feel really good in the hands. Audio wise, dual front facing speakers are going to win any comparison that we do. Can a booming bass filled side mounted speaker set outdo front facing? Possibly, but very unlikely especially when both these tablets are super thin and super light. We aren’t suggesting that the speakers on the Z580C are going to boom, but they have terrific fidelity and field of sound (separation).
Battery life is a big consideration for a purchase and unfortunately, we don’t have any data to support a conclusion. Hopefully in the next week or two, we can look at battery life in this comparison. Our guess is that there will be little difference between these tablets, although the ZenPad S (Z580C) and the high resolution is likely to drain a bit faster. Stay tuned for a battery comparison update.
If buying an Android tablet is important, along with full Google Play access, then the choice would have to be the Z580C. If Google Play isn’t important and you can live with the Fire HD 8 with ads and 8GB of storage, then the price could separate these two tablets, making the Amazon tablet a viable choice. However, look at the screen resolution differences plus the extra RAM on the ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C), it’s going to have a better user experience. If you are a dedicated Amazon customer with Prime and if you could go with the cheapest Fire HD 8 configuration, an argument could be made for getting the Fire HD 8. In terms of buying an Android tablet, the Z580C is the best choice between the two.