The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" combines elements of a tablet and an eBook reader in one simple device. This unit is smaller than the average full-sized tablet, making it simple to take with you on the go. It offers an excellent set of speakers, so you can listen to music on your tablet, as well as watch videos and play games.

This newest Amazon tablet uses the specially designed Fire 3.0 operating system. This Amazon-exclusive OS has an Android base, so Android users will find it a simple transition. Amazon's enhancements create a user-friendly system. One such enhancement, Kindle FreeTime, allows you to limit content on the tablet for children, so that they can only access apps, books and other content that you have allowed.

Amazon has added on-device tech support to this round of Kindle HD tablets. This live support, called Mayday, is a button that you tap to automatically connect to an Amazon expert. This support is offered 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If that's not good enough for you, it's also free. Tech support answers your Mayday within 15 seconds and will walk you through any issues with your Kindle. You can even see your Amazon Tech advisor live on the screen – and no, they can't see you.

The HDX features both a front and rear-facing camera. Camera testing from our colleagues at Laptop Mag showed respectable performance from both units. The 1.3MP front-facing camera works best strictly for video calling and built-in Skype application will allow you to keep in touch, face to face, with those who are not close by. By comparison, the rear-facing camera produced photos with higher visual definition. You'll enjoy the 8MP photos that the rear camera captures.

Additionally, this device comes Wi-Fi ready out of the box. Amazon built the Kindle Fire devices with dual Wi-Fi antennas, so your download speeds are, on average, 40 percent faster than with other tablets. And with 4G LTE, you can connect to the internet nearly anywhere. This Kindle features support for 10 bands, meaning that even if you're in a location without 4G LTE, you'll still be able to connect to the next available network without losing coverage.

Amazon advertises an excellent battery life of 12 hours. However, battery tests conducted at Laptop Mag showed that the battery lasted more than 13 hours. It's important to note that actual performance will vary depending on how you use the device. In standby mode, the battery can last for days, while heavy activity on a 4G network will drain the battery at a faster rate. When your tablet's battery does get low, you can recharge it using the wall plug that comes with the unit, or you can connect it to your computer using a USB cord. The included wall plug will charge this tablet in just five hours.

The Kindle Fire HDX comes with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, so your favorite applications will run both quickly and smoothly. You have the choice of purchasing 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, though there’s no SD card slot, so you can't expand on that. However, Amazon offers 5GB of free cloud storage, allowing you to store your photos, videos, documents and other files in the cloud. Although 5GB of cloud storage may seem limited, all Amazon content you purchase will be stored in the cloud for free, including music, books, apps and more.

The sound from the built-in speakers is among the best we’ve heard on a tablet. The speakers use Dolby Digital Plus to enhance your listening experience. Additionally, this tablet uses dual-driver stereo speakers, which are located on both sides of the unit. These work together to provide virtual surround sound that enhances your music-listening experience. It also enhances movie-watching on your tablet.

This Kindle comes with a high-definition touchscreen display that offers a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Hands-on testing from Laptop Mag showed why the Kindle HDX is a contender with our top-ranked tablets. Its high-resolution display was consistently bright and visually sharp. The screen size is 8.9 inches, measured diagonally. It also offers a 10-point multitouch screen. All of these great features are packed into a device that is small and lightweight, at only 0.82 pounds, making it easy to carry with you. It is simple and convenient to throw it into the average handbag and backpack.

Kindle Fire Summary:

The Kindle Fire HDX is a well-appointed tablet that also doubles as an eReader. It offers plenty of features that will compare to a full-size tablet, such as a 2.2GHz quad-core processor and your choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage space. It is small enough to take with you almost anywhere, and with its lightweight body, you will hardly be aware that you are carrying it.

Electronics » Other Electronics » Tablets » Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" has an HD display, impressive battery life, fast quad-core processor and a Mayday button that offers immediate 24/7 support.

This tablet does not allow you to expand the storage with an SD card; however, you're allowed unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content.

The Verdict
: 8.45/10

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" is best if you are looking for a small, lightweight computer tablet that is more powerful than a typical eReader.