Amazon released their latest top-notch tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX. The reviews have been so exceptionally great dubbing this as the must-have mini tablet to have that we decided to take a closer look. The new Kindle Fire HDX first look:
The Kindle Fire HDX comes in the 7 and 8.9-inch models, has an improved screen, processor, RAM, software, and body compared to last year’s Fire HD.
The entry level 7-inch model is $230. The 8.9-inch is $380. They go to $330 and $480 with LTE.
They’re made from a moulded magnesium body, which Amazon tweaked this year to get rid of the mid-frame, which makes the HDX (especially the 13.2-ounce 8.9-inch version) feel incredibly light.
Specs and OS:
The HDX went with a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800. It has the latest Android/Amazon OS which is flying compared to the at-times sluggish performance from a year ago. It needed the boost, especially since the deceptively graphics-intensive carousel UI is still in place, only now with a bunch more pixels to push. To that end, it’s also upgraded to 2GB of RAM, up from 1GB. The 7-inch version got a boost from 1280×800 to 1920×1200, and the 8.9-inch edition went all the way to 2560×1600. That’s 323 and 339 pixels per inch, respectively, up from 216 and 254 PPI last year
One of the coolest features Amazon added is something called “Mayday”. Mayday is, simply, a button that appears in the drag-down settings panel at the top of the Fire’s screen. You press on the button, and a small square pops up in your screen indicating you’re in the Mayday queue. A few seconds later, a human head is saying hello, and asking how he or she can help you. It’s maybe the most convenient and impressive and potentially creepy and certainly audacious thing in recent memory.
The specs of the The Kindle Fire HDX is so impressive it is almost on par with the latest Apple iPad 3. Not that the fire HDX is even supposed to be in the same league as the iPad 3, but rather the iPad mini, which we will look at below. The only real difference/advantage the iPad 3 has over the Kindle Fire HDX is:
- The iPad 3 is bigger
- The iPad 3 is 86 g lighter
- Higher Resolution
- 5MP rear Camera
If you add the $400 price tag on the iPad 3 versus the $299 of the Kindle Fire HDX (8.9 inch model), the $100 difference becomes quite a lot for these 4 differences. Taking into consideration that the Kindle Fire HDX is released almost a year after the iPad 3, puts things it into perspective and explains the massive on-par specs the HDX has with the iPad 3 in most areas.
Lets compare Apples with Apples:
But, lets compare apples with apples. The Kindle Fire HD is considered a mini-tablet, battling with Google’s Nexus 7, and Apple’s iPad Mini. This is how they measure up:
On Device Support:
The Fire HDX is absolutely a top tier piece of hardware. But the software isn’t quite what a lot of people are used to with mobile devices. It’s content-first, as Amazon calls it, but also less efficient in some regards. We’ll have to wait and see if the improvements there—and in the software performance in general—are enough to move the HDX above the station the HD occupied for everyday use. But for now, what was good has become great, and what was a pain has become less of a pain.