Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: 10 Features Likely to Appeal to Tablet Buyers

1 - Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: 10 Features Likely to Appeal to Tablet Buyers
2 - The HDX Means Something
3 - Choices for Screen Sizes
4 - The Pricing Is Fantastic
5 - Amazon's FireOS Has Gotten Better
6 - There's Real Power Under the Hood
7 - Amazon's Integrated Services Are Strong
8 - Parents Can Control Kids' Tablet Access
9 - Kindle Fire HDX Mayday Button Delivers Fast Product Support
10 - Productivity Can Be Improved
11 - Surf the Web Anywhere and Everywhere
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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: 10 Features Likely to Appeal to Tablet Buyers

by Don Reisinger

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The HDX Means Something

Amazon sells both a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle Fire HDX. While the HDX is a higher-powered model, it gets its name from its display. The 8.9-inch screen has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, and features 339 pixels per inch. The 7-inch model has 323 pixels per inch. In comparison, Apple's iPad Air has 264 pixels per inch.

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Choices for Screen Sizes

Screen size has always been important. And while Amazon isn't delivering the biggest screens in the marketplace, the Kindle's screen size options can appeal to different markets. Those who want a tablet mainly for entertainment might be more likely to go with the 8.9-inch model. The 7-inch version is for budget-conscious customers and those who desire mobility over all-else. Choice matters in Amazon's tablet line.

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The Pricing Is Fantastic

Who can argue with Amazon's Kindle Fire pricing? The company's Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229 for the 7-inch model, while the 8.9-inch version goes for $379. The iPad Air, one of the top competitors to Amazon's larger tablet, starts at $499. The iPad Mini with Retina display, which takes on the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, goes for $399 to start. Even Apple's older devices—the second-generation iPad and iPad Mini—start at higher prices than Amazon's latest slates. It's a big selling point for Amazon.

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Amazon's FireOS Has Gotten Better

The Kindle Fire HDX comes with Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito." Although the operating system is based on Android, its software design makes users feel as though they're running a different platform. In addition, the operating system has been improved to load applications more quickly and fully integrate cloud services. There's even an archiving feature that sends unneeded files to the cloud. All in all, Fire OS is a fine tablet operating system.

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There's Real Power Under the Hood

To its credit, Amazon didn't go cheap on the Kindle Fire HDX's internal components. The 8.9-inch tablet is running a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, along with a relatively powerful Adreno 330 GPU. The tablet's rear-facing camera sports 8 megapixels, and it boasts the increasingly popular accelerometer and gyroscope. Internally, the Kindle Fire HDX is a high-powered offering.

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Amazon's Integrated Services Are Strong

One of the main selling points of Amazon's Kindle Fire has always been the e-retailer's integrated services. Out of the box, the Kindle Fire HDX comes with support for everything from Kindle eBooks to Amazon's cloud services. Users can also stream video via Prime Instant Video. Like Apple, Amazon has found a way to create a true end-to-end experience on the Kindle Fire HDX.

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Parents Can Control Kids' Tablet Access

Although it doesn't always get the attention it deserves, Amazon's FreeTime is an extremely important selling point for the Kindle Fire HDX. The feature essentially allows parents to decide what kind of content their kids can access from the tablet and ensure their children are kept to a strict schedule for screen time. FreeTime Unlimited adds broader access to kid-friendly content. It's a great feature.

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Kindle Fire HDX Mayday Button Delivers Fast Product Support

The Kindle Fire HDX adds a new feature Amazon calls Mayday. The so-called "Mayday Button" allows users to receive on-device tech support any day of the year at any time. It comes free with the Kindle Fire HDX. Whether it'll be the killer feature Amazon expects it to be remains to be seen.

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Productivity Can Be Improved

Although the Kindle Fire launched first as a tool for consumers, it's slowly but surely becoming a worthwhile option in certain cases in the corporate world. The tablet comes with support for both Exchange and ActiveSync and will soon offer printing support. Amazon also plans to add remote VPN access. Amazon deserves some credit for making a play for the enterprise.

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Surf the Web Anywhere and Everywhere

The Kindle Fire HDX would not appeal to a large number of customers without support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiFi. That's precisely why the Kindle Fire HDX allows for access to AT&T and Verizon Wireless LTE networks. The device also has an Edge/GPRS (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution/General Packet Radio Service) fallback to maximize chances of connectivity while away from WiFi networks. It's an important feature.

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