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Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX Tablets 88

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the a-little-faster dept.
New submitter casab1anca writes "In classic Amazon fashion, without much fanfare, a bunch of new tablets just popped up on their homepage today. The new range, dubbed HDX, is available in the usual 8.9" and 7" versions, with improved hardware and software, but perhaps equally interesting is the revamped 7" Fire HD from last year, which goes for just $139 now." Compared to the Kindle Fire HD, the new models feature a jump in display density (216 PPI to 323 PPI for the 7" and 254 to 339 PPI for the 9"), a switch from a dual-core TI OMAP Cortex-A9 (at 1.2/1.5GHz) to a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, and a bump from 1G to 2G of RAM. On the software side, Android has been upgraded from 4.0 to 4.2.2 and Amazon added a few new features to their applications. Businessweek has an interview with Jeff Bezos running today too (starting a bit down the first page).
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Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

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  • I was recently looking for a tablet and the Kindle 8.9" Fire HD ticked all my requirements. The only reason I didn't buy it was because you cannot access the Google Play Store from it.

    • Re:Google Play Store (Score:5, Informative)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:08PM (#44949939) Journal

      You can. You just can't do it without sideloading the Play Store App. It does require gaining "root", in order to sideload the play store APP.

      This alone should cause the"average" user to balk at Kindle anything. If you look at any other Android Tablet, and find one that uses Play Store, then you can add the Kindle App to it, and it becomes essentially the same thing (all other spec being the same).

      • The Nook app doesn't feel as smooth or integrated as using the actual Nook Color/tablet and from what I've seen from store displays, the Kindle app vs Kindle Fire is much the same way. Not a big deal for casual readers, but hardcore readers will probably prefer the smoother experience of the Fire/Nook compared to the app on a generic Android device

        • But that is always the case. The specialized "reader" platforms will perform better than just "apps", because they can be tailored to reading. However, given that one could use a normal Android Tablet, and have all three (Android, Kindle, Nook) on one device, rather than a singular specialized platform, IMHO, makes all the difference in the world.

    • Same here. My kids were buying tablet computers with saved up money and the Kindle Fire looked great. I especially loved the built-in parental control software. But locking into the Amazon store was a deal breaker. We got Galaxy Tab 2 tablets and supplemented them with apps for parental controls. I even added the Amazon App Store onto the tablets to take advantage of their free app of the day.

  • If anyone is still wondering why the Desktop(Including Surface) is struggling...Hint its not the iPad; That is an incredibly powerful device for very little money. Why is nobody but Google reinventing the PC after Microsoft/Apple dropped the ball?

  • Screen resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ardmhacha (192482) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @12:57PM (#44949791)

    "Exclusive 8.9" HDX display (2560x1600)"

    Dear Laptops

    Please increase your screen resolution to something usable.

    Thanks

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Russ1642 (1087959)

      They can't because people are still on Windows, which heavily depends on bitmaps. If you increase the screen resolution that much it screws up lots of existing applications to the point of being unusable.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        They can't because people are still on Windows, which heavily depends on bitmaps. If you increase the screen resolution that much it screws up lots of existing applications to the point of being unusable.

        Ah, I still remember the good old days when telling Windows you had anything but a 72dpi monitor would cause most of the applications to render incorrectly.

        • by Russ1642 (1087959)

          Now, not all applications will 'break' in the traditional sense but I consider text too small to read, or having to position your mouse within a 1 pixel wide area to move something like a divider, a broken application. Windows applications just aren't resolution independent.

          • by sylvandb (308927)

            And Microsoft could fix windows apps to work with very high pixel densities in a way similar to how Apple fixed OSX and iOS apps and the way hardware upgrades have been hidden from applications for decades now: 'Aware' applications must call a new API to get the high-resolution. If they do not call the new API, the OS will scale everything for them when they use the old APIs. It's a trivial and obvious fix at least for applications. Making those scaled apps look decent is a bit harder task for the OS im

      • by bored (40072)

        They can't because people are still on Windows

        Yawn, I've heard this before, and its not that big a deal with to change the scaling and it mostly works. I have a laptop with a 180PPI display running windows XP from ~2006 and it works fine with display scaling. Te problem is the removal of exactly x2 mode in win7 (added back with 8.1).

        Heck an OEM could probably rig a deal with the GPU manufacture to produce a driver that 2x scales the display to windows same as Apple does and white-list applications that unde

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        Apple had the same problem; if the resolution is high enough, you can just double the pixels.

    • Dear Laptops
      Please increase your screen resolution to something usable.

      True story: I've looked into building a head-mounted rig to hold an HD phablet 10" from my eyes. The current limitation is the refresh rate possible with screen sharing on 802.11n, but -ac might solve that and is only a year or two out on phablets.

      I wound up needing to work on a 6-hour bus ride a few months ago, and was frustrated by the difficulty of seeing the screen in ever-changing light conditions, the power drain of the big screen

    • by Dimwit (36756)

      HDTV was the best thing to ever happen to laptop manufacturers. My CRT monitor in 1997 had a roughly equivalent resolution than my laptop today (1366/768). With the advent of HDTV, computer display manufacturers went out and rebranded everything as "True HD", implying to consumers that these are really high resolution displays because, well, HDTV is so much better than SDTV, a True HD monitor must be really great too! Hiding behind those letters made it easy to mislead customers about the actual resolution

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Dear Consumers:
      Stop being a bunch of cheap asses and buy them when we put them out.

      Thanks.

    • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

      The macbook pro has 2880x1800, which is ok, and other laptop-makers are going to have to follow suit sooner or later.
      On the other hand, how come a $2000, 27-inch iMac, or a $1000, 30-inch monitor doesn't have more pixels than a $400 tablet?

      • by Teckla (630646)

        On the other hand, how come a $2000, 27-inch iMac, or a $1000, 30-inch monitor doesn't have more pixels than a $400 tablet?

        It's because of viewing distance and lack of demand in the marketplace.

        • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

          The viewing distance of a 30-inch monitor is not three times that of a 9-inch tablet. Most often, it's not even two times, so the monitor should have at least twice the number of pixels to give the same angular resolution.
          "Lack of demand in the marketplace" is just an assumption. Nobody has actually tried selling a high-res monitor at a reasonable price.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hello tablets? It's laptops. You win!

  • Now that we can get very good devices with unmolested Android (Nexus 7) for similar money.

    The original Fire made sense, and I considered one, a couple years back when most options in the price range were compromised in some way.

    These days I don't get it, though. Even assuming some Amazon lock-in - books, music or whatever - don't they have apps that make those things work on any Android?

    • There are Kindle/Nook apps for generic Android, but the Nook/Fire gives a much more integrated experience. So if you're looking for tablet that can also do ebooks, get an Android tablet and use apps. If you're looking for a (color) e-reader that can also do tablet things, get a Kindle/Nook tablet. The Fire/Nook still make more sense if your primary use of the device is as an e-reader because the integration makes it much smoother than their respective apps.

    • I agree completely. For $200 you buy a Nexus 7, and not bother with all the proprietary junk.

  • by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:25PM (#44950147)
    Nice but when are they going to release an Amazon Streaming Video App for Amazon Prime customers who use Android (other than Kindle) devices?
  • by water-and-sewer (612923) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:20PM (#44950921) Homepage

    I have a Nexus 7 and like it, so after a year of playing with an Android tablet, I figured I knew what all tablets were like. Then a friend let me try his Kindle and I was bewildered how locked down and confusing it was.

    It was great for downloading books and movies from Amazon but from no where else, and I wasn't overly impressed by its other features. It was also freaking HEAVY.

    I concluded it was simply a window/screen through which you send your money to Amazon, and not good for much else. Give me a stock Android tablet any day. On my Nexus I've got a Nook app, but I've also got several other ebook readers (Aldiko is great). And I guess I could put a Kindle app on it if I wanted.

    Amazon has a great book store and lots of other media too. But if the new Kindle is just a better version of their last Kindle, they can keep it - give me stock Android and a choice of apps any day of the week over a device that's been locked down to be a simple content consumption (hate that word) device.

    • by Optic7 (688717)

      Exactly, I came on here to say basically the same thing. The new Kindle Fire HDX 7" is the same price as a Nexus 7 of the same configuration (16GB, WiFi): $229. Why on earth would anyone buy a hobbled, locked down thing that does nothing beyond what the more open option does (in fact, it does a lot less)? In fact, that price on the HDX is for the "special offers" version, which forces you to have ads. If Amazon was subsidizing it to be under $100 to compensate for all the shortcomings it would be a differen

  • by bored (40072) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:56PM (#44951345)

    2560x1600 display.

    Dell, Hp, Asus, etc????? Hello!!!!!!

    Idiots.

  • The Kindle is really easy to root and make nearly the same as every other Android tablet. The screen is beautiful on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" right now and I'm sure it's even better with the HDX. They've nearly automated the whole process of rooting and installing the Play Store now with the Kindle Fire Utility or with the Bin4ry Tool. At the price you pay for it and with a little bit of work it's hard to beat what the Kindle brings to the table.
  • I've got an ~series2 Kindle that i use for pdf etc viewing; but the catch is that I often have review articles on it that must not be accessible by anyone but me for the time that I've got them (or else the lawyers start to parachute from black helicopters). A Kindle with the wifi off is an great solution for me and my colleagues for this purpose; but color would be *sweet*... so my question: if one buys one of the new Kindle Fire models can one be tolerably be sure of turning off all external access?
    • by bakes (87194)

      Yes, you can turn the Wifi and Bluetooth on/off (independently) whenever you like. There is also an aeroplane mode, I guess this stops you turning on Wifi accidentally (??).

      For your purposes, I suppose you might potentially leave the Wifi off all the time, and just load files on through the USB cable.

      • Thank you! that's exactly the information that i was seeking, (and not finding via any of the 'official' specs). huzzah for devices that can, at least, have the fenced-garden fenced off.

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