2The Kindle Fire HDX Is Amazon’s Holiday Entry
Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire HDX Sept. 25 and will begin shipping it Oct. 18. The HDX will soon have plenty of additional competition, with Apple set to introduce new iPads Oct. 22, Microsoft to begin shipping the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 the same day, and Google expected to introduce a new Nexus 10 well before either of those events.
3Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Handle With Care
The Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229, offers up to 17 hours of battery life, has twice the memory and three times the processing power of earlier Kindle Fires, and is the only tablet on the market with a Mayday Button—free, 24/7 assistance. (You can see the rep, but he or she can’t see you.) It’s also distinct, however, in being the hardest Amazon tablet to fix, according to iFixit.
4Cracking the Case of the Fire HDX
5‘Restraining a Teddy Bear With a Muzzle’
iFixit pulled out the power button and micro-USB port cable, and then the volume buttons, microphones and headphone jack—which it was pleased to see were all separate pieces and so easily replaceable. A little later, it came up on this Antenna cable. “It is connected, screwed and taped three times in place,” the team wrote. “This seems a little bit like restraining a teddy bear with a muzzle.”
6A Final Farewell to the Motherboard
The iFixit team lifts out the motherboard here but complains, “Can it ever return home?” The only way to get the LCD and digitizer cables reseated is to remove the midframe from the display assembly. “To make matter worse,” they added, “the battery connects via sprint contacts beneath the motherboard,” adding to the cost of a battery replacement.
7Too Late for the Mayday Button
8No Shortage of Adhesive
More adhesive is on display here, as the team lifts the midframe. After wondering whether it was possible to replace the motherboard once the midframe was removed, the team decided that while the midframe came out easily enough, putting it back would means lots of new adhesive, making it difficult to replace.
With its teardown complete, iFixit gave the Fire HDX a score of just 3 out of 10, citing the glue around the battery, the need to remove the motherboard to replace the battery, the difficulty of replacing the motherboard, and the likelihood of having to also replace the LCD, should the front glass get cracked.
10Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon has made clear that it makes its money when people use its tablets, not when they buy them. The Fire HDX’s starting price of $229 is essentially what it costs to build it. (Apple’s least-expensive iPad starts at $499.) Could the low starting price affect public perception of the tablets and make people less inclined to repair them?