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A high-end tablet at a mid-range price

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The Fire line just keeps getting better. Just as the HD marked a big improvement over the first generation, the HDX brings a number of premium features that puts Amazon's offerings on par with some of the best tablets. The screen is great; processing power has been bumped up considerably; there's finally a rear-facing camera; and the hardware is markedly slimmer. On the software side, additions like Mayday tech support and Second Screen offer a compelling user experience. That said, the limitations of Fire OS versus regular Android will almost certainly continue to dissuade some shoppers from taking the plunge.

As for pricing, we can think of more expensive tablets, including the $499 iPad Air and $399 Galaxy Note 8.0. But with an $80 price hike over its predecessor, the high-end section of the Fire line has moved well beyond the budget category that first defined it. And at the end of the day, the $150 price increase from the 7-inch version doesn't bring that many additional features. Priced anywhere from $379 to just under $600, it's a pretty big splurge for a holiday gift, but it's a reasonable sum to ask for a tablet that hardly cuts any corners.

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90-Day Price History

now
high
$379
low
$339

Critic reviews

8.3
6 reviews
  • Features
    7.0
  • Display
    9.7
  • Battery life
    9.2
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Storage capacity
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    9.4
  • Durability
    8.0

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User reviews

9.0
1 review
  • Features
    6.0
  • Display
    10
  • Battery life
    8.0
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Storage capacity
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    10
  • Portability (size / weight)
    10
  • Durability
    8.0
8.0
Engadget Nov 7, 2013

The Fire line just keeps getting better ... The screen is great; processing power has been bumped up considerably; there's finally a rear-facing camera; and the hardware is markedly slimmer ... That said, the limitations of Fire OS versus regular Android will almost certainly continue to dissuade...

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9.0
CNET Nov 6, 2013

With everything that was great about the HDX 7 and more, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 isn't just a great value, it sets the standard for a media consumption tablet.

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9.0
Gizmodo Nov 7, 2013

It has a great screen, a good processor; it's light as a feather, it's a pleasure to hold. This is a good tablet and worth its price tag. But there are almost certainly better deals on the horizon.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine Nov 7, 2013

Epic battery life combined with a stunning display, helpful parental controls and instant tech support make the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch an excellent tablet for families or new tablet owners. Amazon Prime members will especially love being able to access tons of content for free.

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8.0
Wired Nov 7, 2013

The bigger screen is worth the extra money, and you don’t lose any performance, just some portability. And even though it’s more expensive than its smaller kin, it’s still a great value among full-size tablet options.

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8.0
TechHive Nov 6, 2013

Amazon makes the best content-oriented tablet better with a stunning display, new features that enhance movies and music, and a decent camera.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Sep 25, 2013

The body of the tablet matches up with a number of those leaks we've seen trickling out over the past couple of weeks. It's a more angular thing, trading last year's rounded edges for slanting slopes on the rear. The speakers have been moved from the center to the top of the devices.

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product preview
CNET Sep 24, 2013

Gone is the subtle curvature of last year's models in favor of a much more angular backside that maintains a clear space between the speakers and your coffee table when laid down flat. At 0.82 pound, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is the lightest large-screen tablet I've yet heard of.

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product preview
PC Mag Sep 25, 2013

It's not trying to build all-purpose laptop PCs like Apple is with the iPad, or to focus on productivity like Samsung is. These are tablets to kick back with and read, watch or play.

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product preview
SlashGear Sep 24, 2013

If the first-gen Kindle Fire was about providing a cheap, portable window onto the Amazon ecosystem, and the second-gen models simply refined that experience to better compete ... the third-gen Kindle Fire HDX finally feel like interesting devices in their own right.

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product preview
TechHive Sep 24, 2013

The 8.9-inch version will run you $379, and sports a 2560-by-1600, 339 ppi display. The new screens are easier to read in harsh sunlight thanks to brighter displays, as well as a new dynamic contrast control that kicks in to increase the brightness of shadow areas in onscreen images.

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product preview
Mashable Sep 25, 2013

Amazon has once again redesigned the tablet's magnesium bodies, although they remain black. Both Fire HDX devices feature sharper edges and noticeable chamfers (or bezels) that actually change in size as you move along the base of the tablets, giving them both an edgier, more futuristic look.

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How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

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