Amazon’s Latest Kindle Fire HDX Tablets
By Will765 On 25 Sep, 2013 At 01:53 PM | Categorized As News | With 0 Comments

 

Just in time for the holiday shopping season comes the latest offerings from Amazon to it’s tablet lineup. And this time around Amazon has added significantly to both the hardware and software capabilities of the Kindle Fire HDX.  Looking at the display first(pun intended) the 8.9 inch version now boasts an impressive 2560 x 1600 resolution, which works out to a pixel density of 339 ppi.  And the 7 inch doesn’t fall too far behind at 1920 x 1200, for a ppi of 323.  One new feature of the screens is auto contrast, which instead of just adjusting brightness, changes the contrast level for optimum viewing under varying lighting conditions.

Amazon has also done some impressive upgrades to the device’s internal components.  The amount of RAM has been doubled from 1GB to 2GB, a welcome addition when it comes to multitasking.  And with all those pixels to drive, the cpu has been bumped up to a quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2GHz.  According to Amazon this gives the HDX triple the processing power of the previous model, and should be enough to ensure smooth screen transitions and gameplay.

 

 

One very intriguing software enhancement is the new Mayday feature.  Pretty much it is what it sounds like, something to use if you are having a tablet emergency.  The new feature will contact a live(!) Amazon tech support person.  There will be a little box on-screen where you will actually see the person you’re talking to, which can be moved as necessary to troubleshoot the problem.  Using a mirror of your screen, you can even let the tech support person have complete control of your device to accomplish whatever troubleshooting task is necessary.  If you have to enter a password, the techie is supposed to be trained to turn off the screen monitoring while you enter your passcode.

While this sounds like a good feature, especially for people who may be new to tablets, it also seems to have some potential pitfalls.  First is the ability of the device to be remote-controlled.  I can already imagine the hackers awaiting their chance to get hold of one of these HDX tablets and try to exploit some vulnerability to gain control of user’s devices.  Whether it is actually possible to do, or not, is questionable at this point, but would be a concern for anyone who is security conscious.  Also, the level of trust in the tech support personnel to not watch as you type a password is somewhat  troubling (at least to me it would be).

The operating system has a name now, Amazon has dubbed it Mojito.  Based on Android 4.2.2, it is really trying to differentiate itself from Google’s android, although it still has to retain compatibility with 3rd party apps to keep developers (and users who like to sideload apps)  happy.  Another plus of the new os is the ability to download content from Amazon Prime to the tablet for viewing without a wifi connection.

Pricing for the 7 inch, wifi only model starts at $229 for a 16GB version, $269 for 32GB, and $309 will get you 64GB.  The larger 8.9 inch version starts at $379 for 16GB, with $429 getting you 32GB, and a seemingly high $479 to get 64GB.  Why the memory costs $50 per upgrade for the 8.9 inch, versus $40 for the same upgrade on the 7″ device, is a little puzzling.  Add 4G LTE with AT&T or Verizon, and it will cost another $100.  Both devices are available for preorder on the US Amazon site, with the 7 inch version having a release date of October 18th, while it’s larger cousin will have to wait until November 7th for it’s release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About - Bill Anderson posts under the clever alias will765. Gets to work from a home office for a piano moving company, in glorious Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Pretty new to android, but love technology and have been building my own(and friends)pc's for about 15 years

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