Amazon provides its flagship Kindle Hearth HDX eight.9 a modest spec increase
Should you’ve ever seen a TV business for Amazon’s Kindle Hearth tablets, you realize the corporate is not shy about evaluating itself to Apple. Certainly, the retail big is hoping you will purchase its flagship Kindle Hearth HDX eight.9 this vacation season as an alternative of a boring iPad Air. This yr, although, Amazon seems to be competing purely on specs: The corporate simply refreshed the HDX eight.9, and whereas it has the identical design as final yr’s mannequin (20 % lighter than the iPad, as Amazon is fast to level out!), every little thing underneath the hood is only a bit higher. A bit quicker. The pill is up for pre-order at present for $379, the identical worth as final yr’s HDX eight.9. Which is sensible: All issues thought-about, this can be a pretty modest improve.
For starters, that is the primary pill with Snapdragon’s prime-of-the-line 805 chip — a 2.5GHz, quad-core processor that brings a 70 % graphics enchancment increase, in line with Amazon. Uncooked efficiency apart, Amazon is claiming 12 hours of runtime this yr, roughly just like its predecessor. Along with that 805 chip, that is additionally the primary pill with Dolby’s Atmos encompass sound know-how. Naturally, Amazon is fast to say that it is twice as loud because the iPad Air, however that is not likely the purpose. The purpose is that the sound feels extra immersive, prefer it’s coming at you from all instructions. Certainly, after getting palms-on, I can affirm the audio is spectacular — for those who plug in a pair of headphones. Ideally some over-ears. You are merely not going to get the identical impact with simply the pill’s audio system, and an Amazon rep admitted in an interview that even in-ear earbuds won’t be the identical. Nonetheless, the subsequent time you end up on a aircraft with some noise-canceling headphones, you may have your self fairly the film-watching social gathering.
Shifting on, the HDX nonetheless has an eight.9-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 show with a pixel density of 339 ppi. That stated, Amazon added a brand new “Dynamic Mild Management” function, which modifications the white stability of the pages in studying mode to make it look extra like paper relying on the ambient mild circumstances. Meaning it may well go from cool to heat, from blue to just about yellow. This is not the primary time we have heard of such a function — the Samsung Galaxy Tab S works a lot the identical method — however it’s a welcome addition right here, particularly because the worth is staying the identical. (In the event you disagree, Amazon says you possibly can flip that function off.) Lastly, the brand new HDX has 802.11ac WiFi, a step up from 802.11n. Sort of a no brainer improve, for those who ask us.
Aside from that, most of the HDX eight.9’s enhancements boil right down to Amazon’s new software program, dubbed Hearth OS four.zero. (Following Amazon’s grand custom of giving its software program alcohol-themed code names, this construct is known as “Sangria.”) New options embrace limitless on-line photograph storage, the power so as to add as much as six consumer profiles, in addition to a so-referred to as Household Library the place you possibly can share apps, video games, books and movies with another person within the household — your partner, say. For the primary time, Amazon can also be throwing in a phrase processing suite, WPS Workplace, which — shock — shops information on Amazon’s personal Cloud Drive service.
Firefly, a function first launched on the Hearth Telephone, can also be making its debut on tablets. In case you recall, it principally enables you to scan something you set your eyes on — after which purchase it. Moreover, Amazon ported over its ASAP (Superior Streaming and Prediction) function from Hearth TV, which guesses at which films and TV exhibits you are looking for, and will get able to stream them earlier than you truly hit “play.” This time round, the software program is constructed on Android KitKat — not that this seems to be something like Android. If something, the transfer to KitKat may make it a bit simpler for builders to convey over their apps to Amazon’s personal app retailer. However so far as the UI, that is uniquely Amazon: straightforward to make use of, however closely skinned.
Although the software program incorporates some helpful new options, it isn’t cause sufficient to purchase the HDX eight.9 particularly: Amazon’s different new tablets run the identical OS, and final yr’s fashions may also get upgraded to Hearth OS four.zero. On that word, the 7-inch HDX will nonetheless be round, besides Amazon is chopping the worth by $30 to $199. All the time an choice if you’d like the consumer profiles, however not essentially the Snapdragon 805 chip. (We will not blame you there.) Once more, the brand new HDX eight.9 is up for pre-order at present. Apart from the pill, there’s additionally a keyboard to go together with it ($60) and a brand new folding “Origami” cowl that is about 20 % lighter than final yr’s case. Will we assessment it? Perhaps we’ll; perhaps we cannot. Both means: You usually know what to anticipate right here.
Terrence O’Brien contributed to this report.
Tags: amazon, dolby atmos, DolbyAtmos, palms-on, kindle hearth hdx, Kindle Hearth HDX eight.9-inch, kindlefirehdx, snapdragon 805, Snapdragon805
- Key specs
- <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/amazon/kindle/hearth/hdx-7-inch/” title=”Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX 7-inch critiques” goal=”_blank”> Critiques • 5 </a>
- Type issue Pill
- Working system Android
- Display measurement 7 inches
- Storage sort Inner storage (sixteen GB, Flash)
- Most battery life As much as eleven hours
- Dimensions 7.three x 5 x zero.35 in
- Weight 10.7 oz
- Launched 2013-10-18
<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/amazon/kindle/hearth/hdx-eight-9-2nd-gen/”> Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX eight.9 2nd-gen </a>