The hardware in this tablet is no different than the 2016 version. It has the same processor and memory but is running with a newer version of Amazon's FireOS.
The big change with this year's HD 8 is the addition of new hands-free Alexa features. When enabled the tablet can take voice commands like Amazon Echo devices and even replicate a more expensive Echo Show in its 'Show Mode." I found the recognition to work great and it's a welcome feature on a low cost tablet. There's also a dock available that will automatically enable "show mode" and charge the device at the same time.
For the price it's hard to go wrong here. But you do get what you pay for in some ways : the warranty is only 90 days, and the aging processor is a bit sluggish on some web pages and apps. I suspect the new operating system combined with the 'always listening' feature running in the background impacts the overall performance.
The HD10 is my current pick for Amazon tablets. If you can afford it go with that. It performs better and has a larger, nicer screen. But if you're on a tight budget this tablet is adequate for the task.