Amazon Kindle Fire HDX review
A lovely piece of hardware, but the Nexus 7 is almost as good, boasts more features and is more flexible
Review Date: 4 Dec 2013
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: Wi-Fi: 16GB, £166 (£199 inc VAT); 32GB, £191 (£229 inc VAT); 64GB, £216 (£259 inc VAT). Wi-Fi and 4G: 16GB, £224 (£269 inc VAT); 32GB, £249 (£299 inc VAT); 64GB, £274 (£329 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets spearheaded the current boom in low-cost Android tablets, but there's one thing you could never accuse them of – they've never felt cheap. The latest model – the Kindle Fire HDX – delivers a swathe of upgrades and carries on the good work.
It's a beautifully constructed bit of kit: twist it and it barely creaks – the matte-black soft-touch plastics at the rear feel robust and feel grippy.
In a departure from the Kindle Fire HD's design (and the design of most other compact tablets), the edges are all angles, lending the rear of the tablet a rather Cubist look, but the HDX never feels anything but comfortable in the hand.
This Wi-Fi version weighs a mere 303g, too – around the same weight as its chief rival the Nexus 7, and much lighter than the older Fire HD, which tips the scales at 394g.
Around the edges of the tablet is a minimal selection of ports: there's a 3.5mm headset jack and a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer – and that's your lot.
This is no different from before, but what is different is the positioning of the power and volume buttons, and we don't like it – not one bit.
They're set into the angled borders on the rear panel, rather than the edges of the tablet, and we found locating them a frustrating fumble.
Still, once the tablet is fired up, you'll probably forget all about that, and wonder at the sheer speed of the HDX. Under the hood is a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, coupled with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics, and it's a huge improvement on the 1.2GHz dual-core CPU of its predecessor.
Where Amazon's proprietary, Amazon-based OS would occasionally catch and stutter on that tablet, it really flies on the HDX.
The scrolling carousel of recent items on the home page slides across the screen, responding instantaneously. Scrolling and panning in the Silk web browser is sublimely smooth. Typing on the improved Swype-style keyboard exhibits no lag, and it plays games like a dream, not to mention Full HD video.
In benchmarks, the Kindle HDX even manages to outstrip the Nexus 7, with significantly faster scores in every test we run. Notably, its frame rate of 22fps in the GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex HD test is 47% faster.
"Amazon's proprietary, Amazon-based OS"
I think you need to change the second Amazon to Android?
By sprainedmind on 20 Nov 2013
A few moments with your favourite search engine will show how to get around the app shortage.
By tirons1 on 20 Nov 2013
Free books on Kindle
Have the concerns of the Gutenberg project webmaster been addressed in this upgrade?
"... there is no way to download free books from the web and have the Kindle Fire store them permanently or in the same places where your books from Amazon are kept"
By callum58 on 28 Nov 2013
- Sony revives optical discs with 1TB Archival Disc
- Surface Power Cover finally arrives
- Mt Gox bankruptcy "leaves fox guarding the henhouse"
- iOS 7.1: what's new?
- All New HTC One: specs, release date and more
- Energy firms forced to use QR codes on bills
- Google to release "wearable" Android within a fortnight
- US cybersecurity official: What does ISP mean?
- Cameron: 5G networks will download movies in a second
- Europol warns: public Wi-Fi isn't safe
- CeBit 2014 diary: Cameron comes to town
- The 5 most interesting UK businesses at SXSW
- Quickest way to upload 1GB? Hop on a train
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Old-school internet scams: five that just won't die
- Bitcoin believers not worried by Mt. Gox disarray
- How to hack your car
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- What to do if you’re still on Windows XP
- Microsoft Word: top 20 secret features
- Measuring me: is your body the future of security?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book