New Kindle Fire HDX Announced
September 25, 2013 | 2:14 pm
By Juli Monroe
So we knew the announcement from Amazon was coming soon, and it arrived last night. I’ve been looking over the specs, and so far it looks pretty good.
So let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. The 7″ has basically the same display as the new Google Nexus 7: 1920 x 1200 HD display (323 ppi). That’s going to make my Nook HD look sad, and I’ve been quite happy with its display. The 8.9″ has 2560 x 1600 (339 ppi). Very nice!
The processor/memory is impressive, a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. To compare, the Nexus 7 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1.5GHz and 2GB RAM. I think this tablet is going to feel snappy, and I expect it’ll be a decent gaming device, if you’re into that. According to Amazon’s brag sheet, that’s double the memory and three times the processing power as the Kindle Fire HD.
They are claiming phenomenal battery life: 11 hours or 17 hours while reading. If true, I don’t know of another tablet that comes close.
They both have a front facing 720p camera, and the 8.9″ has an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. No camera on the back of the 7″.
We’ll see how it holds up in real life, but they are claiming the display will adjust to ambient light, making it more readable outdoors. Considering that’s the biggest disadvantage of tablets, we’ll see if reality holds up.
So hardware is looking good. What about other features. Well, they have Mayday, which connects you directly to an Amazon assistant who will help you with various functions. Check out the new commercial for details
Considering that tablets are being purchased/used by both younger and older audiences, I suspect this will be a significant selling point. Those of us who are tech-savvy don’t always want to get calls with “how do I do…” from our less tech-minded family and friend. Looks like Mayday will make the Fires easier to use. Considering the target audience, I think that’s a smart move.
And how’s this for a feature: downloading Prime Instant Videos. Yes, you read that right. Not just streaming them, but limited downloading capability also. It’s not their entire Prime library yet (darn rights holders!), but making even a selection available for download is huge. I’ve often wished that for Netflix, and this sets Amazon’s service apart. I wonder if we’ll see the same feature in the iOS app, or if they are going to hold that back as a Kindle-only perk.
So what’s the cost? $229 for the 7″ version and $379 for the 8.9″. The price of the 7″ is the same as the Nexus 7, and for some consumers, it’s a better deal. The basic trade-off is less power on the Nexus 7 for a more open app architecture. However, anyone who is already locked into the Amazon system (and doesn’t mind that) will probably find the Kindle Fire HDX to be the more attractive option.
Still want a Fire, but can’t afford the cost of the HDX? No worries. They’ve dropped the price of the Fire HD 7″ to $139, which is an excellent price for a budget tablet.
Way to go, Amazon. I think you’ve got another winner here. Anyone tempted to pre-order? The 7″ will ship in mid-October, while the 8.9″ will arrive a few weeks later.