"The new Kindle Fire HDX 7 does not only come at a great price, but its performance surpasses some of the pricier competitors."
Setting up the Kindle HDX is a breeze and only takes seconds. The UI is cleanly designed and navigation is impressively snappy thanks to the beastly quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that’s running at 2.2GHz and 2 GB or RAM. The first thing you’ll notice is the exceptionally crisp display. With its 100% sRGB color accuracy and 1920X1200 screen resolution, the Kindle HDX makes images pop with vivid colors and superb contrast. Regardless of the lighting conditions and viewing angle, the reduced glare ensures that gaming and movie watching on the go remains completely hassle free.
The Kindle has never been notorious for its design, particularly the older bulkier Fire models, but the HDX changes that trend with a sleeker and cleaner body that looks far more expensive than it really is. The HDX is razor thin with speakers and buttons elegantly positioned behind the frame and the Amazon logo subtly embedded on the back. What’s even better is Amazon’s newly introduced Origami tablet cover. This may be one of the best-designed tablet covers on the market. It’s not only incredibly practical, allowing you to easily pop the folds on the back so the Kindle can rest both vertically and horizontally on a flat surface, but it’s sturdy and looks remarkably stylish.
"This is a fantastic tablet for gaming, offering unparalleled image quality and excellent responsiveness."
The HDX is impeccable for gaming. Titles like Asphalt 8, Real Racing 3, Dead Space, and Enemy Strike perform like a charm and the touch sensitivity is spot on. Games like Dungeon Hunter 4 and Dead Space that rely on touch-based analog function for movement control flawlessly and the gameplay experience is oftentimes comparable to the PS Vita. Tilt sensitivity in racing games is also notably precise and the screen responds to quick reflexes exceedingly well. The rigorous gaming sessions are also a good test of Kindle’s battery life. The battery lasts around 6-7 hours when gaming nonstop, but that number doubles when mixing things up with web browsing and watching YouTube and can stretch up to 17 hours when just reading.
Movie services like Netflix and Amazon Prime perform equally well on the HDX. Films and animations look spectacular on the display and the calibration accuracy ensures beautiful colors and contrast regardless of the viewing material. Kindle’s tiny speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio and 5.1 multi-channel surround sound are just as impressive. Games and movies sound outstanding, particularly when using headphones for the most immersive experience.
When it comes to text legibility for reading books and magazines, the Kindle HDX 7 is once again the leading e-reader on the market. While it lacks the matte paper-esque finish of the newly released Kindle Paperwhite, it’s still the most user-friendly way to read books and magazines on the go without fighting the annoying glare that plagues so many other e-readers. The fonts are clean, crisp, and can easily be adjusted for desired size and orientation.
Much like the previous Fire models, the HDX is isn’t just for gaming, watching movies, and reading, but it’s a great tool for staying connected with your business and/or friends when on the road. You can check your e-mail, browse the web with Kindle’s Silk browser, connect to Facebook and Twitter, manage documents, and even print files when connected to a wireless printer. You can also Skype via Kindle’s front-facing HD camera and the device comes with a custom photo app that allows you to change red-eye, adjust color balance, and apply various filters to photos. Nearly every feature that’s available with the pricier tablets, the Kindle Fire HDX offers at a fraction of the price.
Amazon has always set a high standard for customer service, but their newly introduced Mayday Button takes customer support to an entirely new level. With a simple tap of a button, you can instantly connect to a representative that will help you with questions and even troubleshoot any concerns by drawing directly on the screen. With support available 365 days a year, 24X7, this may be one of the most inventive and helpful services I’ve ever experienced.
It’s nearly impossible to find any faults with the new Kindle Fire HDX 7. Yes, it would be nice if the battery could last a bit longer when gaming, but the amount of value you’re getting for such a low price is indisputably unbeatable. Whether you’re gaming, listening to music, watching movies, or conducting business on the go, the HDX outperforms devices that cost twice as much and is by far one of the best tablets of 2013.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Price: $229 | Version: HDX 7