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

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-11-12 Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch tablet is officially available as a follow-on to the 7-inch model the online retailer previously shipped. Its availability this month gives tablet shoppers ample time between now and the holiday season to check out the new device and decide whether it's time to upgrade to the larger model or even make the Kindle Fire HDX their first tablet purchase. Holiday sales could again cement the Kindle brand as one of the most popular in the Android-tablet ecosystem. Its market record and name-recognition is certainly likely to contribute to its eventual success. But the device also comes with several features that matter greatly to today's tablet buyers. With the right price and prominent placement on, the device seems poised for bigger and better things. This slide show will look at the Kindle Fire HDX features that are likely to appeal to customers when they make a decision on what tablet to buy this holiday season. Whether it's the 2,560 by 1,600 pixel screen resolution or the new "Mayday" Instant product support button, there is a lot to like in the Kindle Fire HDX.

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

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

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