The third generation of the Amazon Kindle tablet family has been added to the mix with the Kindle Fire HDX 7. It’s got a new look, for the better, although some of the changes are questionable. For example having the power switch and volume control on the back necessitates having to pick up the unit to adjust the volume or turn it off and on. Overall though the look of this new generation of Kindle from Amazon is attractive and it does have some improvements. Let’s look at the HDX 7 more closely.
- The physical specifications are 7.32 x 5.04 x 0.35 inches and the weight is .66 lbs, which puts it at exactly the same weight as the Nexus 7 tablet. There is a micro USB port on the left side of the unit and a headphone jack on the right side. We don’t know the specifics on the front-camera, but it does function at about average quality for taking photos or videos of oneself. There is no back camera; apparently the cameras are not a priority for this design.
- The screen has a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution, which puts the pixel density at 323 pixels per inch, which is very good, beating out the iPad Mini. The screen color is adequate, although there have been reports of some units having a yellowish cast to white colors. The backlight bleeding that characterized the HD model has been corrected although the brilliance of the screen is a little on the dark side.
- Navigating through the HDX is exciting. Put plainly, this Kindle model goes through its paces very nicely and you will appreciate it when playing games. The quad-core Snapdragon processor with a 2.2GHz (compared to the speeds of the 1GHz iPad Mini and the 1.5GHz Nexus 7) speed outpaces most of the HDX’s competitors. This is one area where the HDX shines; it is truly a zippy tablet. As mentioned already, along with the Snapdragon processor, the HDX has an Adreno 330 graphics processor, along with 16GB SSD with 2GB of RAM. There is no microSD card slot so you’ll have to make due with the 16GB storage, although there are 32 and 64GB versions available also. If you are one for storage, they might meet your needs somewhat better.
- The sensors include the standard accelerometer, gyroscope, light, voice command, and voice recording sensors. WiFi contains dual-band support using 802.11 a, b, g, n. Ports include USB 2.0 with a microUSB connector for data and charging purposes. The battery life for the HDX is decent at 10 hours although Amazon claims the battery will go 11 hours; it’s another case of reality versus drama.
Impressive Benchmark Tests
- GFX bench tests results included using the HDX native resolution and 1080p. The only tablet that beat the HDX was the NVIDIA Tegra, which boasted a 39/24 score versus the HDX’s 22/23 score. However, the HDX clearly beat the Google Nexus 7 at 15/16, the iPad 4 at 12/17, as well as the iPad Mini at 7/4.
- The UI interface for the HDX is clearly designed for Amazon fans, and if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you will be very pleased. Much of the screen is geared for it including the Amazon store (not the Google store as app support is spotty), streaming video, video downloads, and borrowing books, all Prime Member features that Amazon offers. If you’re a dedicated Android app fan, you will be disappointed due to the practically non-existent choices available and would be better served going with another Android tablet.
Mayday for Customer Service
- An Amazon customer support feature that was very nice was the integrated feature known as Mayday. To select chose Mayday from the menu and select Connect. Within seconds an Amazon customer support person will assist you. They can see your screen and other graphic operations but if you want to end the session, you can cancel the connection at any time. In theory, Amazon’s customer service goal is a 15-second connection time from the time you selected Mayday.
- Because of the well-organized interface, selecting programs from the screen or trying to locate something is very easy to do on the HDX. Everything is listed where it should be and the frustration of having to go through several nested menus to locate your item of choice is not the case with this machine. In fact, newbie PC and tablet users will find the HDX interface one of the easiest they will ever use.
At an MSRP of $229.00, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a great value and cheaper than the Nexus 7. If you don’t mind the shortage of Android apps, you will have a great time with this tablet. You will appreciate its snappy performance and ease of interface. And if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you will very much appeciate the strong Amazon accent. Amazon definitely is a company with more than just books to offer.
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