Say what you want about Amazon’s tinkering with Android and the lack of Google services, Amazon know how to make a decent experience. We covered the new, family-friendly Fire HD duo of tablets earlier, but for those looking for a little more oomph will appreciate Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which replaces last year’s model. At 8.9-inches, the Fire HDX is the largest of Kindle Fire tablets that Amazon offers, and while it is quite a bit more expensive than the others, its still good value starting at $379. So, for 380 bucks, what do you get this year from the eCommerce giant?
Under the hood, there’s been a sizable upgrade to the Snapdragon 805, which is one of the most powerful processors that Qualcomm ship, and the Kindle Fire HDX is bizarrely one of the first devices we’ll see with Qualcomm’s latest here in the states. The 805 takes the quad-core’s clock speed up to 2.6 Ghz and thanks to the new Adreno 420 GPU inside, games and high-definition movies should run smoother than before. That’s couple with 2GB of RAM and a starting point of 16GB of storage, which goes to 32 then 64GB if you so choose. According to Amazon, the new HDX 8.9 can reach WiFi speeds of up to 600mbps over 802.11ac and is 4x faster than last year’s model. Other luxuries include an 8.9-inch 2560 x 1600 display that Amazon is claiming has 100% sRGB color accuracy, an important point if you plan on watch YouTube cats in the best quality, but also a good selling point for movie lovers.
Speaking of selling points, the Fire HDX 8.9 now features Dolby Atmos, Dolby’s latest attempt to bring theater sound to mobile devices and by all accounts, it’s pretty impressive. It is a shame that such excellent hardware goes without Google services, but if you’re fine with that and just want an excellent screen for movies and games along with some of the best performance available, then this is not a bad choice by any means at all. The base, 16GB model starts at $379 with special offers and then moves up to $394 without them. If you want more storage though, the 64GB version is a whopping $479 with special offers and $494 without them. While the new HDX 8.9 isn’t shipping till October time, you can pre-order one right now.