If you are the proud owner of a new Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, then you will probably have seen that it's equipped for wireless charging using the All-new Wireless Charging Dock (Amazon).
Not only does the dock allow you to charge your device wirelessly, but it gives it similar functionality to an Echo Show and - for many of us - might be a better option!
On this page I'm going to take a closer look at the All-new Wireless Charging Dock, including all the things I like about it... AND the things I don't!
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The Wireless Charging Dock I'm reviewing on this page is ONLY compatible with the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus.
It will not work with ANY other Fire tablet.
For older devices, Amazon has the original Show Mode Charging Dock, compatible with:
Click here to read the review for the ORIGINAL Show Mode Charging Dock, compatible with the above devices.
The Charging Dock is a Qi standard charger for the Fire HD 8 Plus (the 10th generation model released in 2020).
It won't work with the regular 10th generation Fire HD 8 Tablet (Amazon) - which doesn't support wireless charging. It will ONLY work with the Fire HD 8 Plus (Amazon).
In addition to charging your tablet, it works as a stand - handy if you want to find a permanent home for your device.
And it also makes it easier to use Show Mode, by switching to it automatically when your device is docked. This gives you an experience similar to an Echo Show, which provides video and audio responses to your questions and commands using Alexa.
Show Mode also makes it easier to see your screen from a distance, with bold, large letters and videos synchronized with Alexa's voice. This makes it great for tasks like following along to recipes in your kitchen!
You can also use it to:
*If you set it up on your nightstand you can use it as an alarm clock. The fact that it's always charging means you can rely on it waking you when needed!
Show Mode will show you who's at the front door if you own the Ring doorbell system (Amazon) and you can even use a live camera feed from the nursery to keep an eye on your baby!
All-New Wireless Charging Dock (from Amazon)
I love it when gadgets are easy to use - and they don't come much easier than this!
All you need to do is plug the dock into a power source - its power lead is long enough to run from a table/countertop etc to the wall.
Then you simply sit your Fire tablet on the dock - the cradle will guide it to line it up properly.
Your tablet will instantly switch to Show Mode and begin charging.
Told you it was easy!
Make sure you place your Fire tablet in the Dock with the speakers at the top.
There are no speakers on the Dock, so if your place your tablet with the speakers at the bottom, they will be covered and the sound will be muffled!
Unlike its predecessor designed for older versions of the Fire Tablet, the All-New Charging dock will charge your device in either landscape or portrait orientation.
That being said, it WON'T switch to Show Mode when in portrait orientation - but I actually find this useful. When I'm listening to music, I like to see what track is coming up next. Preventing my device from going into Show Mode means that I can do this.
Note: It's also possible to disable Show Mode entirely, but I like the option of being able to keep it enabled, but to simply turn it on and off by changing the orientation of my device!
Malfunctioning charging ports are a common problem with Fire devices!
Unfortunately, they seem to be the tablet's weak point, as they are quite delicate and prone to damage.
I've heard from users having to prop charging wires at strange angles to get their devices to charge, right through to those who cannot charge them at all!
Using the Charging Dock completely does away with the need to use a charging wire, thereby prolonging the life of the charging port (although I still like to keep a charging wire on hand for traveling).
Amazon's original charging dock was something of a pain, in that you needed to remove your Fire from its case and attach it to a special shell before docking it.
With the All-New Charging Dock, you can leave your tablet in its case - but only if the case is less than 4mm thick.
Any thicker and it won't charge properly.
If your current case is too thick, you will either need to remove it before charging or consider treating yourself to an Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus Case, which is specially designed to work well with the Charging Dock.
Amazon's literature states that the Charging Dock will charge your Fire to 80% in under 2 hours.
Whilst I have yet to actually time it for myself, I noticed immediately that it was considerably faster than charging it with a wire.
Whereas the original Charging Dock was had a very plain, 'plastic' look, the All-new Wireless Charging Dock has a nice gray/black fabric coating.
Not only does this protect your device from accidental scratches, it just looks better in your home. The original Dock was notorious for picking up dust and showing up fingerprints, whereas this Dock will blend far better into your home decor.
Because the Dock is a Qi standard charger, you may be able to use it with other Qi-enabled devices. Indeed, I've heard from some users who've been able to use it to charge their smart phones!
Of course, it's designed for use with the Fire HD 8 Plus, so not every device will fit - but it's worth a try and a nice bonus if it will charge your phone too!
All-New Wireless Charging Dock (from Amazon)
Whilst it's set to provide the best viewing position for using Show Mode, it's a nuisance not to be able to adjust the angle sometimes. The Dock is made from one molded piece, which means that it can't be folded for storage either.
It's also a bit bulky to travel with and would be so much easier to pop into your bag if it just folded flat!
Oh Amazon - how much better it would have been if the power cable for this Dock was USB-C, with all the universality that offers!
Instead, we have an old-fashioned brick-style power adapter that can only be used with this device.
Not a deal-breaker, but disappointing!
Although the Show Mode Charging Dock is all you'll need to charge your Fire, I still recommend keeping a spare charging wire to hand, for times when you might want to charge your device outside the house or in a different room to where you've set up the Dock.
Using the Wireless Charging Dock gives you some of the features of the Echo Show, but it's lacking in some areas.
The Echo Show (Amazon) is superior in terms of audio quality - the volume on your Fire tablet is quite a bit lower. It's possible to get around this issue by connecting to a bluetooth speaker, but it's something to be aware of.
You also need to stand closer to the Fire in order to be picked up by the microphone that you do when using the Show (or you need to shout at it, which I may have done once or twice!)
But the crucial difference is that other Echo devices don't recognize your Fire tablet.
This means that there is no integration and you cannot add your Fire - in its Charging Dock - to an Echo Group.
That being said, the Fire HD 8 Plus offers features that the Echo Show doesn't have. After all, it's a tablet - meaning you can use it to watch videos, read books and lots more. You can't do those things with an Echo Show!
As you've seen, there are pros and cons to this accessory, meaning it will be an unnecessary extravagance for some - but really useful for others!
So here's a quick summary to help you decide which of those categories you fall into!
DO buy it if:
You want to make the most of your new Amazon HD 8 Plus, which is the only new Fire tablet this year equipped for wireless charging.
You want a permanent 'home' for your tablet that will keep it constantly charged.
You want the convenience of wireless charging and to prolong the life of your Fire's charging port.
You regularly use Alexa and will find it convenient that your device automatically goes into Show Mode when placed on the Dock, without having to adjust the settings yourself.
You don't need to make the device part of an Echo group.
You're looking for a gift idea for someone who's just purchased the Amazon HD 8 Plus.
DON'T buy it if:
You need a full featured Echo Show, with superior volume and a better microphone.
A simple stand would work just as well for your needs. If you're looking for something that will allow you to prop up your Fire tablet so it's easy to see the screen - particularly when using Show Mode - then you could spend far less on a basic stand, or even a case with a stand built-in. Just remember that you would need to enable Show Mode yourself and you would probably need to plug in a charger, because Show Mode tends to eat up your battery!
You want to include your device in an Echo group - this isn't possible.
You have any other Fire tablet than the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus - it's the only version compatible with this Dock.
Click Here to Buy the All-New Wireless Charging Dock from Amazon
I ♥ My Fire!
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