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on October 23, 2013
Update on Dec 23 2013 - Please scroll to the very end of this review for 2 month use update. [...]

For those who are looking at getting the best tablet out there at the moment, this is the one you should be looking at.

My profile: Heavy tablet users for personal and business purposes. I work on my tablet around 4-5 hours a day (Email / Documents / Spreadsheet / PDF ) and use it 1-2 hours for personal use such as watching movies or reading books/magazine. Tablet is my go-to device for all internet related search I do.

I have the following and/or used the following before:

1) iPad 1
2) iPad 2
3) iPad 4
4) iPad Mini
5) Kindle Fire
6) Kindle Fire HD
7) Kindle Fire HD 8.9
8) Asus Transformer with Keyboard
9) Nexus 7 First Gen
10) iPad Air 16gb Wifi

As you can see, I been through many devices and hope this review with my experience helps users decide if this is the right device for them. This will be an ongoing review for this device throughout this next year. For comparison sake, I will use last year's Kindle and iPad mini as they are the closest size to this HDX 7"

Speed (9/10):

This is leaps and bounds faster than last year Kindle HD. Last year Kindle struggles to go through any HD video content I put in. This year's HDX able to play seamlessly all the HD 1080p contents I added. It is incredible how much the 2.2Ghz quad processor improved vs last year's model Dual 1.2Ghz.

Screen (9/10):
This is the biggest improvement over last year's model. The screen is in true HD 1080p (1920x1080). This means any HD content I throw at it will view in its intended resolution. The screen is crystal clear (much better than iPad mini) and the viewing angle is incredible. I have this Kindle hanged in the middle of the car and at any seat it is view very clearly. Last year's model was not as clear as this. This is excellent for my minivan with my kids watching all the HD movies. The brightness of the screen is also much brighter than last year's model

The sound system in this Kindle Fire HDX is using Dolby Digital Plus with virtual 5.1 surround sound. That gives this device a much better surround sound then previous generation's.

Build (8/10):
This HDX is more "angular" than last year's device. It's slightly rougher to hold in the corners than last year's model due to sharper edges though I doubt any users will hold their tablet by their corners. The device is noticeable lighter (395g for Kindle Fire HD vs 303g for Kindle Fire HDX). This mean you can hold this for longer time without fatigue.

The power and volume button placement on this Kindle Fire HDX is interesting. It is behind the device which allows it to hide away from front view. However, this can cause user to accidentally hit the on/off button or the volume button when not being careful. Aesthetically it is great but it is definitely not a practical solution when you are trying to use this on the go.

It does look sturdy enough to survive minor drop but I highly recommend getting a case for it. Those sharp corners seems more prone to dents than round corners for last year's model.

Battery (6/10):
This is probably the biggest drawback for this device. The battery life is not as good as last year's model. This is quite logical as last year's HD has a 4400mAh battery while running 720p while this HDX runs Full HD 1080p but runs only on a 4500mAh battery (only 100mAh more than last year). The 1080p screen pulls a lot of power vs last year's model when the screen is on, especially when running HD videos. I'm able to achieve 5 hours of heavy use compare to 7 hours for last year's Kindle Fire HD at medium brightness with Wi-fi on all the time. I tend to bring around an external battery pack but prefer something that is integrated (like a battery case)

Software & software compatibility (8/10):
The amount of app is still lacking compare to App store or Play store but has been steadily increasing which is a great sign. Games and software boot time has increased noticeably and compatibility is not an issue

Silk browser has definitely improved compare to last year's tablet with multiple tabs actually now usable on the HDX. For last year's version, it is practically unusable after 2 tabs due to the lack of hardware resource on the tablet (especially when the website is not optimized for mobile use). The HDX has no problem going through any webpages I throw at it.

Hopefully more apps will be optimized to use quad core soon. I'm guessing some of these apps are only optimized for last year's dual core.

I haven't got the opportunity to use Mayday yet but will review about it once I get more update on this.

Complimentary Accessories (3/10):
For all smart devices, one of the most important time is the number of accessories available. At launch, it is understandable the lack of accessories but productivity focus accessories such as integrated case/keyboard are missing at launch. This is rather disappointing as it can be a powerful productivity device with the right accessories attached. Also the lack of case selection is quite astonishing for a flagship product on Amazon. Hope there will be more cases such as battery case (due to above battery problem) or rugged case come out soon.

Price (9/10):
I got the special offer model at 16Gb (lowest end model) and it is enough for me to use. The special offer ads are not intrusive like last year's model and sometimes does reveal some items I want. Compare to the ipad mini, this is practically a steal. For those with the Nexus 7, it is quite comparable in price.

Conclusion in one sentence: Amazon's iPad mini killer (8.5/10)

For people who are justifying if this is a good upgrade, I say YES to that. The speed and screen difference alone is worth the upgrade. The whole user experience just improve drastically with the HDX.

It use to be, for Kindle Fire HD, you will trade low price for slow performance, stutter and lag. It honestly makes you think twice if the price is really worth all that poor experience.

For HDX, this is no longer the case. You get both great price, great screen and great performance that surpasses iPad mini. To me, the HDX is seriously Amazon's iPad killer. It really marks how well Amazon has done to make themselves a worthy competitor in the tablet market. I hope some software upgrade or battery pack can make this the ultimate road warrior!

****************************Dec 23th 2013 - 2 months update *********************************
So I have been using between this HDX 7" and the 8.9" HDX. I also been using an iPad Air 16Gb Wifi and here are some updates, particular on the negative points mentioned previously.

App Store - not so refined still. Downloading and Installing problem occurs
The app store after 2 month is still a bit lacking. There are some freebie deals during cyber monday which I jumped (who doesn't like free stuff?)but still nothing that either the Apple App store or Google Play don't have. Amazon App store really needs some exclusive apps to become a "must get" device.

Now comes the bad part - I tried to download Magic 2014 game (big fan of Magic the Gathering since teen) from the Amazon App Store and the HDX 7" downloads this rather slowly. In fact, I noticed that when it reaches 50% it drops back down to 30% and redownloads the package again! Since I'm not in a rush I really have no issue with this re-download problem. However, this can be problem to some people who have limited bandwidth per month and won't appreciate redownloading the same thing again 2 times (or more but I didn't catch that).

Once it reaches 100%, the app store attempts to install the software. It goes into "Installing..." state for a while (at least couple hours). Knowing that there's something weird going on, I rebooted the HDX 7". Once I rebooted it, the software shows it was never downloaded!

Perhaps there's some application specific problem with this game but this really shows a rather poor experience on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. I would expect a brand new top of the line Kindle Fire HDX would have ironed out simple bugs such as this but clearly, the Amazon App Store have 2 things it needs to work on:

1) If this is an application specific error, Amazon needs to proactively test this release on all their devices before allowing it on the Amazon App Store. It's quite obvious if any Amazon App store guys have even tried to install this Magic 2014 game that it just won't install. Literally half the reviews on the review complain about this

2) For these buggy release, Amazon should proactively pull this application from the store - the experience that lead to all the hours of download and wasted bandwidth got the user nothing in the end. I can imagine some users with capped bandwidth or using their cell data to download will be furious if they know an app less than 1Gb rack them couple Gb of download.

App Store is a big part of Amazon's Kindle Fire ecosystem and poor experience such as this really deters client in continued use, especially when all Kindle Fire are locked down to Amazon software ecosystem. When you cannot even use the Amazon software ecosystem, any excellent hardware that this machine has becomes inaccessible and worse of all, a waste of user time to figure out.

Now most people may say this criticism is related to the game(in this case, Magic 2014). I believe this is not the case. The responsibility of Downloading and Installing of the Magic 2014 application belongs to the Amazon App Store (after all, it is Amazon App Store people who authorized this to be released in their store). I start to find all other game download and installation questionable and my own usage time in App store browsing and purchasing drops drastically.

From the above download experience, I did attempt to find some help from Amazon. Here is where the more problem arises.

Mayday - speaking to rep reading off outdated troubleshooting guides

After noticing my Magic 2014 download is gone, I attempted to contact Amazon through the Mayday button. It's really my first time using this function so I don't really have any prior experience in using it.

My Mayday call was picked up by Hayley (if I recall). You can see a big Amazon logo in the background beside the customer service rep and she looks pretty friendly. I explained my situation with the App store problem to Hayley but it seems she wasn't able to help; therefore I got transfer to a "Tech Advisor". This Tech Advisor can't be shown in the video camera and asks for my credentials. She also made me explain the problem again which I explained to Hayley (I would have thought someone will note down my problem as I need to use couple mins to explain again). She then pulls something that you expect from an Indian Call Center by asking me to disconnect my internet modem. I find this rather funny as I mentioned this is a software specific problem with the installation and has nothing to do with my modem or Internet connection. I also mentioned that I am running a server at home and pulling the modem disconnects it from the Internet which breaks other services I am running unintentionally. She seems to be stuck so she forward me to another representative (which if I heard correctly, it is the app store support rep).

Once I got connected to the 3rd rep, they ask me to check my tablet date and time (which is correct). This rep later ask me to press on options that are not the screen. I suspected this rep was reading off an old Fire OS troubleshooting guide as I recently updated the Fire OS system and that some options and buttons are changed. Given the large amount of time spent and there's no resolution, I went to my iPad air and downloaded the game successfully in couple mins while still have Amazon on the Mayday call. I informed the 3rd tech support of this and thank them for their time although there was no resolution in the end.

I very much prefer having the game on my Kindle HDX as the 7" is perfect to bring outside for quick game or two, but the amount of time spent on troubleshooting and resource wasted on this is honestly not worth my time. I ended up having to play this game on the iPad Air larger screen but also paid for in app purchase because the game itself is very good.

It's a good lesson to learn that the whole software user experience needs to be more streamline and fluid on the Kindle. Amazon has done successfully in the physical good purchasing section of the kindle fire (in fact I spent thousands of dollars more on using the kindle fire than on PC and very satisfy with the results) and that if it can bring the same experience to the software app store just like the physical store, Amazon will have a winner here. I use my machine extensively for magazine reading / internet browsing but when it comes to app download, I currently have my doubts if it will be another bandwidth hog and a waste of time.

Display - blue hue appears but not very apparent
Some people ask if the blue hue appears on the edge. I can notice this if I'm reading off a totally white page (like a ebook or magazine). However it is not very noticeable and that your eyes will ignore it eventually. After all, words or graphic don't appear on the edges of the screen.

Battery life - Still needs work on

After the OS update, there seems to be a slight improvement with the battery life. However, still not enough for me to really go through the day without bringing an external battery charger pack along. At the moment, I am still looking for a 2 in 1 case + battery solution but it is not available. I hope this can be my daily driver but without the battery life, it may just be a brick by the afternoon.

Purchasing on - becomes addictive (Could be good or bad for some people!)
I realized my spending on Amazon went up considerable compare to last year thanks to this Kindle Fire HDX. I will be browsing it online and have these items saved on screen, constantly reminding me to get it. Amazon really done a good job at this and really met, if not, exceed their goal in getting users buying from kindle fire. With last year fire, the browsing experience on was not nearly as fluid as this year's HDX. This makes it hard to keep my attention and urge to buy. For people who wants a good purchasing experience, this Kindle Fire HDX will surely provide that. For ones who need to save money, you may want to get your finger off the buy button!

My overall rating stays the same as Amazon keeps knocking off prices for these machines making it still the best bang for the buck.

Apr 28 Update - Family Use

Got my kids an extra Kindle Fire HDX 7" for them to play with. My HDX 7" is still running well with all my Instant Video and newsstand subscription inside.

Since my kids don't treat their new toys with much care, I went and got them and myself a zerolemon EVA Case on Amazon. The case is useful for prevent dents and major falls on your Kindle. Even with my Kindle, the top pantel where the speakers are started to peel off a bit (amazon used glue to assemble the speaker grille top panel). Case works great for hiding some of the blemishes of the kindle fire hdx 7"

Overall still satisfied with my machine and frankly been the best bang for the buck tablet i ever have.

As mentioned, I will update this review periodically. Next time I will focus on physical wear and tear of the machine after couple more months and again on battery life (as all electronics have a diminishing battery duration throughout its course of use). [...] Thanks for reading!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 19, 2013
This is the middle model of the three models that Amazon is shipping this year: the Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle Fire HDX (this tablet), and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9". This is the successor for last year's Kindle Fire HD but with an updated operating system and new features, a redesigned shell (with the power and volume control buttons more readily accessible), an absolutely amazing display, superb sound, an included power adapter, and the new Mayday feature.

Update: Some users are reporting a bluish glow around the edges of the screen for the HDX. If you search on YouTube for HDX Blue Haze, you can find a video showing the issue. Amazon has updated their "Learn More" link with the following info:

"To achieve the perfect color accuracy on Kindle Fire HDX 7" at the lowest possible battery consumption and device weight, we used blue, not white, LEDs. Blue LEDs allow for a much more accurate and rich representation of color and result in an up to 20% improvement in power efficiency."

"As a result of using these blue LEDs, you may notice a very narrow, faint blue tint around the edge of the device when looking at items with a white background, such as books or web pages. All displays have some level of light emission around the edges, and the light on the Kindle Fire HDX 7" is blue due to the technology used to render perfect color accuracy."

If this is something that you think would bother you, I'd recommend taking a look at the YouTube video or taking a look at the HDX at a local Best Buy or office superstore. I've also uploaded a user image here of my HDX with a book loaded so that you can see the blue glow (

The Amazon tablets are primarily content consumption devices, best suited for connecting to the Amazon ecosystem, including videos, music, books, apps, and so on. With the free Prime trial subscription, you can check out the Prime Instant Video options and watch movies and shows at no charge for 30 days. For videos, music, and books, the Amazon selection is at or near the top of the list; for apps, much less so. 90% of the top 100 apps are available on, as well as 100,000 others, but that's only a small fraction of what is available with Google or Apple.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds because, while the competition has ten times as many apps, most of those apps are, um ... how shall I put this ... less than stellar (look up Sturgeon's Law). If there are specific apps you need or want, you definitely should double-check before purchasing to make sure that they are available. The apps that will likely never become available on the Kindle Fire ecosystem are those apps that require Google services (i.e., anything that uses Google location services). One ameloriating factor is that it is possible to side-load most of the apps from the Google Play store onto an Amazon tablet and a web search on side-loading apps onto Kindle Fire will show dozens of websites with detailed instructions. If the app you are sideloading requires a Google service to work, though, it will not run on the Fire, even if you manage to successfully install it.

Like the other Kindle Fire tablets, as well as the Apple iPad and the Google Nexus, the Kindle tablet line doesn't have a micro-SD slot, so the assumption is that you're consuming content from the cloud. This is fine when you're using your tablet with wifi; not so good when you're traveling and want to load up your tablet with content for the trip. If the latter is something you expect to do regularly, you might want to consider the 32GB or 64GB versions, or pay the additional price for the 4G version, which is available on the 7" tablet for the first time. Also, if all of your content is on iTunes or on Google Play, you would have to side-load everything onto the tablet. As is true of Apple and Google tablets, there's no way to automatically connect to the cloud storage of the competition.

Something new this year is the ability to download Prime Instant Videos. I verified that I can download Prime Instant Videos to my Kindle Fire HDX. However, that option is not available for all movies and TV shows. It looks like they had to get the permission of the studios and not all of them said yes. So, for example, I was able to download "Casablanca" but not able to download "The Avengers" even though both are part of the Prime Instant Video collection and both are available for free streaming.

Update: Adding a bit from a reply in the comments: Amazon is clearly looking at the Enterprise market with this launch, at least based on the details they provide. They've added full accessibility support (required in order to get government contracts), will be bringing support for VPN and business printing, have a better email client with tighter integration to Exchange, and are including OfficeSuite for productivity. There are other productivity tools available in their app store, as well, although both Google and Apple, particularly the latter, have more options. When VPN support arrives, I'll definitely be taking a look, as it would be nice to not have to lug my laptop home every night.

So how does this Kindle Fire HDX differ from the previous generation Kindle Fire HD?

Display: 1920x1200 (323 ppi) vs 1280x800 (216 ppi). It's more than that, though, as the colors are richer, brighter, with better contrast. This display has been judged by many reviewers as the best in its class and I would have to agree. Amazon has also added technology to automatically adjust the contrast and brightness when viewing the tablet in bright sunlight. While there is definitely a noticeable improvement, this isn't what you need for reading on the beach. For that, you'll need an eInk reader like the Kindle Paperwhite.

Sound: As far as I can tell, the sound is about the same. This was already one of the best-sounding tablets on the market, with Dolby stereo output and enough power to actually make it possible to listen to music or video without requiring headphones.

Size and Weight: Noticeably lighter (10.7 oz vs. 13.9 oz) and noticeably smaller (7.3" x 5.0" x 0.35" vs. 7.6" x 5.4" x 0.4"). This is a comfortable tablet to hold one-handed, even for long periods of time.

Processor: It's a *lot* faster (2.2GHz quad-core, top-of-the-line CPU, compared to 1.2GHz dual-core). This tablet is amazingly fast and smooth, with the fastest processor in its class. Every game I've tried on it has run smoothly, with no hesitations, slowdowns, or glitches. Scrolling through content is amazingly smooth and fast now, without the hesitations and occasional slowdowns of the previous generations.

Build: A redesigned shell with power and volume control buttons that are easy to find! This is a solid build but the back of the shell is something of a fingerprint magnet. Since most of us will be buying a case to put the tablet in, that may not be an issue.

Camera: If there is a difference between last year's camera and this year's, I'm not able to see it. It's a high-def camera suitable for video-conferencing or Skype. Like last year's model, there is no rear camera. If this is important to you, you'll need the 8.9" version.

HDMI Output: This is the one area where last year's model wins. Amazon has removed the HDMI out connector from its tablet line (but see the description above for details on how Amazon is providing a software solution for sharing your tablet screen on your television). No other tablet that I'm aware of has this functionality so if this is something you need, you should be able to purchase one of last year's models fairly cheaply.

Battery Life: The same, at 11 hours. However, Amazon has added a special "reading mode" to the device, which they claim will extend the battery life to as much as 17 hours. I did not test this. For my own personal use, the battery life is adequate.

Price: It's more expensive ($229 vs. $199) but this year they include a power adapter, which was a $20 extra last year, so the actual difference in price is $10. For what you're getting, that price increase is definitely justified.

It has an updated OS and updated feature software (including the free unlimited Mayday customer support feature). The software updates include the ability to download some Prime Instant Videos to your device and watch them offline, enhanced accessibility, enhanced enterprise controls and features (so now it's better suited for office work), enhanced email client, enhanced parental controls, improved X-Ray features (now including lyrics for music, as well as additional information for both books and movies), integration with GoodReads (coming soon), and the like.

Where I noticed the biggest difference was the home screen. The default view is still the carousel but if you swipe upward, you'll see a more traditional icon view. The "Recommended for you" display on the home screen is now smaller and much less obtrusive (and it can be turned off in the settings). Amazon has also added multi-tasking of a sort, where swiping up from the bottom of the screen while you're in an app shows you the 20 most-recently-used items from your home screen, so you can quickly switch from one app to another without returning to the home screen.

There is also a left panel available on most screens (but not the home screen) and in some of the apps, with navigation links and settings to make it easier to navigate and control your tablet or to navigate within the app. If you tap the center of your display and then swipe left while you're reading a book, for example, you'll see a panel that shows you the table of contents, the About the Author link, the Sync to Furthest Page Read link, and so on.

The Kindle FreeTime option and the parental controls are still among the best in the business. If you want a tablet for a child and want to control what they can access, how long they can use the tablet at any given time, and the like, Amazon has you covered.

You can now also schedule "Quiet Time" on the tablet, where notification sounds and pop-up notifications are disabled, either on a temporary basis by simply pushing a button or on a scheduled basis. Frankly, I doubt I'll ever use this feature but if you're the type who likes to read or watch video until you fall asleep, it's kind of nice to be able to disable all sounds so that you don't get rudely awakened when, e.g., someone plays a new word in your Words with Friends game.

Mayday: This is a huge gamble by Amazon and it will be interesting to see whether it pays off. This isn't a feature for a techie like me and I didn't use it (although I was sorely tempted). From the commercials, it's pretty amazing, particularly that you can get a live chat in a matter of a minute or less (Amazon's goal is something like 15 seconds, I believe, although I can't help wondering what will happen on Christmas Day!). If you're thinking of getting a tablet for a technophobe, the addition of this feature may make the Kindle Fire HDX your best choice.

How does this tablet rank against the competition? There are really only two other tablets in its class currently: the Google Nexus 7 and the just-announced Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display.

Display: All three devices have retina displays, with the 7" HDX and the Nexus at 1920x1200 (323 ppi) and the 8" iPad Mini at 2048x1536 (326 ppi). All three displays are stunning. Amazon claims that it has enhanced the ability to read the display in bright sunlight, something that's a problem for all such devices. While this wouldn't be my first choice to read by the pool (I'd pick the Paperwhite), I can testify that it is easier to view the display in bright sunlight than its predecessors.

It's worth noting that the aspect ratio of the HDX and Nexus is 16:10 while the aspect ratio of the iPad Mini is 4:3. Where this matters is watching video. If you're watching an old television show, a 4:3 aspect ratio is fine. If you're watching a high-def movie, the 4:3 aspect ratio is going to leave large black bars on your screen and the video will be much more compressed than it would be on the HDX and Nexus. Apple chose to maintain backward compatibility with prior devices rather than moving up.

Sound: The HDX has Dolby Digital Surround Sound; the Nexus has Frauenhofer Surround Sound; the iPad Mini has stereo sound. The iPad Mini also makes the same mistake that Amazon made in its first-generation tablet: putting both speakers on the same side (in this case, at the bottom of the tablet). If you're watching a video, you'll have the tablet turned sideways and the sound will all come from the same side. The HDX, in contrast, has the speakers placed perfectly for video watching.

Networking: The HDX and the iPad Mini both have dual band, dual antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi. The Nexus is dual band but not dual antenna. All things being equal, I would expect the Nexus to lag a bit behind the others in networking performance, particularly in areas where the connection is spotty.

Size and Weight:
HDX: 7.3" x 5.0" x 0.35" and 10.7 oz.
Nexus: 7.9" x 4.5" x 0.34" and 10.24 oz.
iPad Mini: 7.87" x 5.3" x 0.29" and 11.68 oz.

There's really nothing to choose from here. All three are small, thin, and light. The iPad Mini is the heaviest but it also has a slightly larger screen.

HDX: 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB memory
Nexus: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB memory
iPad Mini: 64-bit dual-core A7, 1GB memory

The HDX and iPad come out ahead of the Nexus on processing power while the HDX and Nexus come out ahead of the iPad Mini on memory. The A7 is only a dual-core processor but according to some tech sites that have run benchmarks, it definitely holds its own against the quad-core Snapdragon. These are all pretty powerful tablets.

Cameras: Both the Nexus and the iPad Mini have 1.2 MP front and 5MP rear cameras. The HDX only has a front-facing camera. If you expect to take pictures with your tablet, the HDX isn't for you.

Battery Life: HDX = 11 hours (17 hours when reading); Nexus = 9 hours; iPad Mini = 10 hours. Amazon wins this one, particularly if you will be spending a lot of time reading.

Expansion: None of them have a microSD slot; they all assume that you'll be using their respective cloud systems.

Parental Controls: All of them have the basic parental controls that allow you to limit your child's access to content, purchases, the web, and so on. Amazon goes farther, though, with the Kindle Free Time and Kindle Free Time Unlimited options, the latter of which is an inexpensive subscription to a curated library of content. If you are buying a first tablet for a child, I'd choose the Kindle Fire HD. At only $139, it is significantly cheaper and it has all of the options that the HDX has.

Enterprise: As soon as Amazon releases its update, it will add VPN and network printing support. I believe all of the tablets have basic enterprise capabilities, including that support and various office apps. For real productivity, though, personally I'd go with a laptop, not a tablet.

Support: Amazon wins this category, hands down, with the new Mayday system. Apple comes in second, with Apple and Amazon usually taking top marks in any customer support survey. This is an area where Google does not shine.

Price: The HDX and Nexus win this one, hands down. Both are priced at $229 vs. $399 for the new iPad Mini. Neither Google nor Amazon makes much, if any, money on their tablets; they're counting on you to purchase content from their respective stores.

From my own perspective, there is no single clear winner, as each tablet has strengths and weaknesses. If you already have Amazon Prime, the HDX is a no-brainer, with the access to the Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. If you're primarily buying a tablet to read with, Amazon wins there, as well, with the 17-hour battery life while reading and the best display for reading outdoors. If you want apps, Apple and Google both have far more choices. If you want to watch movies, I'd pick either the HDX or the Nexus, as Apple's aspect ratio and its lagging sound put it at the back of the pack. If price is a factor, then you should pick either the HDX or the Nexus.

If you're heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, i.e., you already own an iPhone or iPad and all of your content is on iTunes, the HDX really isn't the tablet for you. Similarly, if you love browsing Google Play for apps to play on your Samsung Galaxy phone, you're likely to be disappointed in the section available on Amazon (although, as I note above, most of the Google Play apps can be sideloaded onto the tablet). If you love your Google Now or Siri, neither of which will ever be available on Amazon, this isn't the tablet for you.

The bottom line: This tablet is primarily intended as a viewport into Amazon content and Amazon services. If you have Amazon Prime and you have Amazon eBooks in your collection, this tablet is a no-brainer. The price is low, particularly for what you get, and it's a small, light, high-quality, high-powered, tablet with a stunning display and superb sound. This really is one of the top tablets in its class.

Note: As others have noted, the tablet will update its software when you first turn it on and connect to wifi. Unlike some others, I had no trouble with this operation, no glitches or crashes. It took several minutes but the process ran smoothly, as did the tablet when everything was done.

Now that I have a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle Fire HDX tablet, I'm in a little better position to talk about which one I'd recommend:

You should get the Kindle Fire HDX if:
- You're a techie who wants the latest and greatest, the best display, the fastest processor.
- You need a camera for Skype or other video app.
- You play graphics-intensive games (e.g., racing games).
- The size and weight matter to you, even in such small increments as this.
- You think you will need the Mayday technical support.

You should get the Kindle Fire HD if:
- Price is a factor. $90 cheaper is not an insignificant amount. This really is an excellent value for the money.
- You want an inexpensive tablet for a child (and, for this case, the lack of a camera might well be a plus)
- All you want is a basic tablet for reading books, playing music, watching the occasional video, playing Words with Friends, and the like. While the screen on the HD isn't as stunning as is it on the HDX, this is still a true HD screen and it is very good.

I check back pretty regularly, so if you have a question, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer it.
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To sum up what I will tell you about in the details below, for $229 you are getting a good deal on a tablet computer - especially if you compare it to the $199 for last year's first-generation Fire HD and the $500 or more you can spend on a Wi-Fi version of the iPad. Overall, if you consider the price and the functionality I think this is a great tool / toy if you watch a lot of video or play a lot of games on your device: the video quality is outstanding and you can really tell a difference between this and the new HD Fire. If you are a first-time tablet buyer, where price vs. value is a key consideration, or if you are looking for an affordable tablet for the kids, I'd recommend the "regular" Kindle Fire HD that is only $139. If you're comparing last year's HD model to this version and it is operating fine, I'd say save your money and continue to get your money's worth out of that one.

My review below compares a lot of the features of this version of the Fire HDX to the original Fire HD as well as this year's model of the Fire HD, but also some of the features for a first-time user.

Consistent with my experience with setup of this year's model of the Kindle Fire HD, setup took a long time: despite being a brand new product, the Fire HDX attempted to download and install several operating software updates. Software updates on a Kindle are usually in the background, and it was annoying watching the crashes and manual reboots. Consistent with the Fire HD, it crashed during setup, playing a song, watching a TV show, and reading a book. It took a little over an hour to get this thing up and running without consistent crashes but after the final software update it has worked as expected without further issues.

Screen Display / Video Playback:

This version of the Fire has the absolute best screen display of any Fire model to date. Looking at the technical specs Amazon made some major changes in the display / resolution, and the picture appears more crisp: I compared the viewing experience watching with my standard test of the Fire devices over the past couple of years - don't laugh - the first episode of the Wonder Woman TV series from the 70's. The display on this Fire was one heck of a lot better in terms of sharpness than last year's model as well as this year's model of the Fire HD. For you technical folks out there, the display is 1,920 x 1,200 with 50% more pixels per inch than the Fire HD.

Wi-Fi Connectivity:

The initial Wi-Fi setup took some time as it wouldn't remember the password for my router after each software update / crash / reboot series. After the final operating software update I mentioned above, however, it was fairly easy to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

My standard test for trying out new gadgets is to see how fast they run side-by-side with a known piece of equipment doing the same test at the best place of Wi-Fi in my house and the worst place where it drags. In this comparison, I had this HDX version of the Fire sitting next to last year's and this year's version of the HD Fire, as well as last year's 8.9" HD Fire, Motorola RAZR smartphone, my iPad 2 (yes, the Kindle guy uses an iPad for work), and the first-generation 7" Fire (the model from two years ago) all just using a Wi-Fi connection vs. cellular connectivity.

My "normal" website test is to hit the mobile websites of FoxNews, CNN, my personalized Yahoo page, Google, and the Houston Chronicle. The ones that were usually slow on the other devices were faster on the HDX (Houston Chronicle and CNN), and for the other sites I couldn't tell a difference in speed at the location closest to my router. When I went to the slowest / worst reception location of my house, the speed did have a noticeable difference in the other devices as this one was a little bit faster than all but last year's model of the 7" Kindle Fire HD; yes, it was also faster than this year's model of the Fire HD but I attribute the increase in speed to the dual antennas on the HDX.

Sound / Music Playback:

The two speakers are located in the back of the Kindle Fire in two not-noticeable ports: one on the top and one on the bottom. My test of this feature was cranking up Van Halen's Panama to maximum volume (I always want to see if it could really play the guitar licks), and I would alternate covering one speaker up over the other: you have true stereo sound with no degradation of the sound that makes you think you are about to blow the speaker. The Dolby speakers sound nice and you do get to hear the bass. However, I am still of the opinion the speakers aren't going to do very well being placed in the back as I am in the front: I want to be able to hear whatever I am listening to without really having to crank it up and disturbing someone else in the room (that's what happens when you start losing your hearing like I am). While the cover for this version has not shipped yet - why aren't the covers released at the same time? - I imagine the sound quality might decrease with a cover in the back over the speakers. The X-ray feature is pretty neat as it displays the lyrics on the screen if you are so inclined; if you are not, it is as simple as the tap of an icon to make the lyric feature go away.

Email Setup:

Consistent with previous versions of the Fire, email setup was very easy for my main Gmail account, both with the software came with the Fire but my primary use of an existing app called Enhanced Email I purchased here in the Amazon app store. I did setup the email app that came with the program with no problem - it took about a minute to setup my main Google account - and I was able to send and receive emails as well as synch my online calendar via Google's calendar and contacts. For those of you asking yourself why am I using the Enhanced Email program, the simple answer is like many of you I have more than one email account: you can quickly switch back and forth on the accounts with the tool. The lazy person in me appreciates that as I don't like getting out of the lazy chair once I'm settled in!

New Tabs and Screen Layout:

In addition to the normal tabs Amazon has continued to make tweaks with the look and feel to the overall display such as more things to scroll through to find what you are looking for in an easier manner. Interestingly, and consistent with my experiences with this year's model of the Fire HD, I purchased the one with special offers and the only ad I have seen so far is on the main screen saver vs. being overwhelmed with ads like last year's model.

Reading Books:

Turning pages is pretty darn easy - just tap the side of the screen to go to the next page or back a page, or you can swipe your finger across the screen to do the same. Amazon did add the feature to see the book's description for books on your device like they have with the e-Ink Kindle (always an annoyance with last year's model), which is a plus as I can't remember what each book in my digital to-be-read pile is about; getting to the book description, requires several taps on the screen to eventually get to where you want to be. If there is an easier way to do it, I can't find it and maybe I should be one of the first guys, ever, to crack open the electronic user's manual to figure it out (doubt it). For those of you who have wondered, you still can't organize your books into categories unless you purchase a third-party app</a> here in the Amazon app store.


There is a Bluetooth connection, and I did my usual test of this feature by taking it out to my car and having the Fire stream music through my car stereo. There were no delays or skips with the connection, and it paired up in about a minute. Just make sure you give it a device name so you can recognize it and be recognized.


There is a camera on this model - it faces the front or toward the user / reader. Focusing and taking a picture is pretty easy, and Amazon will by default store your pictures in the Cloud - which counts against your storage allotment. I'd recommend turning that automatic storage feature off unless you are sure you want it, because if you go over the limit that will provide Amazon another opportunity to collect a monthly revenue stream from you.


Unlike previous models of the Fire, this one DOES include a charger! If you're scratching your head with that comment, in previous models you had to purchase a charger separately for $20 which always seemed kind of silly for Amazon to do.

"Mayday" button:

A new feature with this model, and not included on this year's "regular" model of the Fire, is the introduction of the "Mayday" button. Basically, you can touch the button and a video screen will pop up and you can actually see - and talk to - a live customer service agent. I haven't pressed the button yet to try it out, as I think I would feel pretty dumb: when they ask me how can they help, I don't want to say "I just wanted to see if this works and just stopped by to say `hi' for purposes of this review."

What I Wish it Had: a case that was ready to go and shipped when the Fire was ready (why are we waiting). A case is very important in order to protect your investment. Also, I'm interested to see how they try to not hurt the speaker's performance I mentioned above due to the speakers being in the back of the unit and hopefully not covered up with a case.

Overall, at $229 for the 16GB of memory model ($309 for 64 GB of memory) I think this is a good deal for someone who really uses the video / apps feature. Kids will love it as they can read books, play games, watch TV and movies, and a whole lot of other things. Adults should like it for the exact same reasons, but while I try to minimize the amount of work-related stuff I do at home with the business apps that are available here in the Amazon App store and other places around the Internet I can also work on Excel and Word-compatible files when I have to without having to fire up my work laptop or whatever the case may be. If you've never owned a tablet before, or are looking to upgrade from an earlier model Fire, I would recommend this one if video and apps are your thing - but make sure you purchase the higher memory one vs. the minimum 16 GB. If you're comparing last year's HD model to this version and it is operating fine, or looking for a tablet for your younger children, I'd say save your money and continue to get your money's worth out of last year's model or get this year's model of the Kindle Fire HD at $139.
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on September 15, 2014
Extremely wonderful tablet, it definitely gets the job done adaptes very well with everyday usage, good speed, nice display, and one I would definitely recommend to everyone!
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on October 22, 2013
I purchased my Kindle Fire HDX from Best Buy. After trying to read a book, I noticed a pretty bright blue/purple streak that never went away on the sides of the pages. Going into Sepia and changing the background pages did not help this issue. I called Amazon and they replaced it with a new one. The new one has the same blue/purple border on white and light background pages. The Amazon replacement is more subtle and even around the edges, so I opted to return the one that had the darker boarder.

I now see on Amazon's description of the Kindle Fire HDX that they actually mention this defect as being normal and I quote below:

We want you to know...

"The Kindle Fire HDX 7" has perfect color accuracy (100% sRGB), and we wanted to share more details around our display design decisions that helped us achieve this.

You may notice a very narrow, faint blue tint around the edge of the device when looking at items with a white background, such as books or web pages. All displays have some level of light emission around the edges, and the light on the Kindle Fire HDX 7" is blue due to the technology used to render perfect color accuracy. Most LCD displays use white LEDs, and then apply filters to extract the desired color. The result is oftentimes a compromise to tone and color accuracy, or--if attempting to address these compromises--an increase in battery consumption and, thus, device weight.

We've taken a different approach. To achieve the perfect color accuracy on Kindle Fire HDX 7" at the lowest possible battery consumption and device weight, we used blue, not white, LEDs. Blue LEDs allow for a much more accurate and rich representation of color and result in an up to 20% improvement in power efficiency."

This glow is not light nor is it narrow. The text of a book runs through this and it is very uncomfortable to read this way. This is also true for the Silk Web browser. I will keep my Kindle Fire for a bit and see how this all pans out with Amazon. Buyer beware: Reading with this blue/purple glow is not the same as it is on your Kindle HD or older.

After stating the above, I will say, other than this serious screen flaw, this device runs everything else flawlessly and I love streaming movies on this device. Netflix runs great as does Amazon Prime movies. Apps load instantly and web pages as well. This screen issue not so much. I am a bit confused as to why Amazon thinks this blue/purple haze is ok. I will try to get used to it.
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on June 14, 2014
{A little background of my history is that I currently own three Kindle Fire devices, the original Kindle Fire 8 GB, the original Kindle Fire HD 16 GB and this Kindle Fire HDX. I also have a massive amount of material on my Amazon Cloud. I am talking about thousands of items of books, music and apps as well as hundreds of items of docs and audiobooks. That said I can honestly state that neither of the other devices I own has given me half the problems I have with the HDX. If either of the other devices came in 64 GB I would switch back in a heartbeat.}

I upgraded to the Kindle Fire HDX in March of 2014. Since that time I have been forced to ask for a replacement for 3 of the 32 GB and at least 6 of the 64 GB. All of these devices where returned within the first 30 days of ownership. I have had several different problems with each of the devices but one major problem I have is that at times instead of a new device I am sure that I was sent a refurbished device. Additionally, when I do call customer service I end up speaking to no less than 3 technicians for an hour at a minimal while they attempt to troubleshoot each of these device. At times the technician will even suggest that the problems might be because of the massive size of my library requiring additional time, there is a conflict with the way I am using the device and/or of course the old standby poor internet connectivity. As I have stated time and time again to these technicians I only expect my Kindle HDX device to perform multiple task at the same time similar to the way I expect my home computer to be able to perform multiple task at the same time. The fact is that I know from experience that both the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD are able to perform multiple task at the same time. Another thing I have learned from my experience with these multiple devices is how to perform the basic troubleshooting of the device by myself. So after having been on the phone with Amazon for an hour I really would not be agreeable to spending more time on the phone while the technicians attempt to figure out the cause of the problems I am having with the device. As I have explained to several technicians if I purchased anything that stopped working correctly within the first thirty days I would assume I purchased a lemon and ask for a new (not refurbished) product. I also let them know that I would have expected that if technical support needed to learn what caused problems with the device that they had already learned all of these difficulties prior to selling me the device.

A few of the problems I have had are listed below:
1. unable to open apps already downloaded when not connected to wifi
2. device shuts down on its own. Have to use hard shutdown to get the device to restart
3. unable to connect to internet (multiple internet)
4. library in the cloud and on device is listed as empty
5. items on the device will stop working in the middle of usage and will have to be downloaded to the device again
6. the device will stop working and loose the date and time setting
7. device will use up battery in less than 6 hours even when not in use (in sleep mode)
8. touch screen will stop working
9. videos will not work even though already downloaded to device if not connected to wifi

In conclusion, while I love the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD I can only say that the Kindle HDX is not as well developed in spite of the additional memory. It really appears to me that Amazon needs to go back to the drawing board with this device and/or get some customers that are serious bibliophiles as their bata and delta testers instead of techies. In the mean time I will once again await the delivery of a replacement Kindle Fire HDX in hopes that the new device will work as well as my other devices.

June 28, 2014 update
For those of you who think my problems are impossible to believe there is nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. My main concern was that these problems persisted even after Amazon support, Kindle support, Mayday support, and advance technical support have all attempted to correct the problems. That includes insuring that all updates have been completed on the device. I have stated that I felt that Amazon was replacing my new device with refurbished devices and that I felt that this might be the source of the problems. For those doubters I even have proof that this is the case since I took a picture of one of the devices in the packaging it arrived in. Lastly, I have had several of the support staff suggest that some of my problems might be due to the size of my various libraries. If that is the case then that defeats the purpose of my having 64GB.

June 28, 2014 update #2. I just spent another 90 minutes on the phone with Amazon only to be told that since it has been more than 30 days from my initial order that I will only be given a refurbished device as a replacement since the computer generates the date. To be fair my initial order date was March 30, 2014. But I also so should note that I have had replacement devices ordered (April 11, April 26, May 2, May 24, May 30, June 14 and June 30.) As you can see based upon the dates listed at no point did 30 days go by before I had to call and request a replacement due to the device being defective. I feel like I am now being punished by Amazon for recognizing and reporting problems with the device. For those who would say it must be something I am doing I can only say that people served jail time due to manufacturing problems for both Toyota and GM cars that the companies didn't report.
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on December 1, 2014
While the screen and hardware specs are great, the user interface and home button are rather disappointing.
It is hard to force close apps. I had to go through settings -> manage applications -> select specific application -> force close.
I want an easy experience to force close the background apps like majority of the tablets.
This is the tablet for you if you're using it primarily for reading and basic apps like social media, videos, and etc.
I recommend a different brand if you're looking for more than that.
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on November 2, 2013
I'm 64 years of age and a teacher. I am no techie, but really enjoy the electronic gadgets that are being invented these days. I preordered and purchased the very first generation Kindle 2 years ago and felt that it was time for an upgrade. This time, I waited a couple of days to see how it was received by the public and to catch a few of the early reviews before deciding to order. I'm sorry I waited. This tablet is AMAZING for my purposes! It is designed for media consumption and anyone who purchase it ought to be aware of it. It does a great job in that aspect.
The "purple haze" a number of reviewers have complained about seems quite inobtrusive to me. I don't know that if I were not previously aware it would even be in the discussion. It is a very faint, but discernible border around the
device when reading. I haven't found it to be annoying at all and shouldn't be a deal-breaker.
I use the device for reading of books and magazines, watching movies and television shows, playing games, e-mail and light surfing of the web. I'm even able to download my students' grades and attendance records from the school web site more rapidly than my hardwired computer in my workplace! The screen picture is more than is unbelievable! The keyboard appears when it is supposed to and is very responsive, just like the rest of the touch screen. And lest I forget the Mayday button, this whole concept is unreal, when I consider the time spent with most customer service outfits on the phone line waiting for my cal to be answered. Great job, Amazon
Downloads of movies and games are quick. I have installed Netflix and Hulu Plus on the device and they work flawlessly with the device. As a Prime member as well, it works seamlessly. My digital subscriptions to several magazines were a snap to transfer to this device. All in all, my expectations were far exceeded by the product.
The device is lightweight, beautiful and so cool I purchased an inexpensive ($4.95) case on line from Poetic that provides a lightweight shell and keeps the sleekness of the device intact, yet still allows me to prop it up for video viewing. It also puts the device in sleep mode when the cover is closed and the device immediately awakes when the cover is opened.
While I understand the criticism, why buy the device if you knew it's limitations? It is the best at what it is supposed to do and the price when compared to other tablets on the market is a steal, if you consider what it is able to do (and not what it WASN'T supposed to do.
In summation, if you are not a techie and just like to relax with a movie, read a book or magazine or play a game, start ordering your HDX now. Media doesn't have to cost you a fortune, is thousand of books I have ordered over the years have been free, and for a couple of hundred dollars a year I and my wife get all the video we want for all our devices from Prime, Netflix and Hulu +. It's the best toy I ever bought. Final rating: 9 out 0f 5!!!!!
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on March 27, 2014
5/11/14 Update:
Having had the Kindle Fire HDX 7" for a couple of months now, my experience with this device has me convinced that there are much better options available a within the same price range.
I'll go over some of the ground that I wrote in my full review below, but feel those things that I do go over are important considerations in determining whether or not the Kindle will work for you so I'll be going over the most important points here as well.

First off the display.
While the display looks great in general, I am a little disappointed with the brightness of the display when outdoors. I do not have another tab to use as a reference to compare it with other right now, but when comparing my cellphone (which is at least as bright as the Kindle) it seems to me they could have done something to improve the lighting for outdoors. The color saturation is very good, especially in gaming, but might have a little too much color contrast for some when watching video. When I have used it to watch movies or TV provided using Netflix or my Prime Membership, I've found that video sometimes lags. The lag could be a result of several things, including the hardware or system resources provided on this device. I have 3 computers at home and a Blue Ray player that all stream Prime Instant video, and none of the other devices have similar issues. Let me rephrase that comment. I have seen Prime lock up and lag on all the devices I own, but none of the others have the severity or frequency of problems the Kindle has. Again I would guess it's a lack system resources or possibly a hardware issue.

The Flexibility of the Kindle:
In terms of flexibility I guess this could be seen as subjective. Here's what I've found to be the problem with the Kindles Flexibility and one of the outstanding issues I've found with it.
Amazon had set up packet blocking and redirect on their devices. This means the Kindle will not stream other media from sources. For instance I have an account with Google where I have about 130 Gigs of music stored. My media is stored there free of charge and supports large and various file formats. Though it is a competitor of Amazons Google Play does not block or redirect when you try to access media stored elsewhere. Amazon on the other hand has blocked or diverted most other devices using the Android UI or Android variant from accessing Prime Instant Video. I can access the small amount of music I have stored in Amazons cloud, but Video is blocked. Yes I can access Netflix, and YouTube. There are some sites where the Kindle will either lock up, or be redirected somewhere else. BTW YouTube streams pretty well, but not as smoothly as my 2 year old Droid does though.

So four month over all opinion of the Kindle, is that it that if you want a semi-flexible E-Reader this might be a good choice for you. In my case I've found the Kindle to be too limited and it's fallen short of my expectations, and that's even comparing it to my cellphone. The lack of onboard storage (which was promoted earlier on as a none issue for modern users) has turned a real problem and the 16GB version actually leaves the user with closer to 8 or 9GB than the 16GB advertised. It does play some games well, but it has more limitations than implied (the 32GB or larger versions might be able to handle graphics better but...) It will stream Amazons Prime or Netflix Video pretty well, but music outside of Amazons services is a problem. The fact that Amazon begins charging to store music on their site after a certain point seems ridiculous, and they do drop music that you've purchased from their site unless you purchase more space. I feel that Amazon charging to store music that you've bought from them is greedy, but especially since other sites (sites like Google Play) allow free uploading and storage huge amounts of personal music and media.

When I decided to purchase the Kindle HDX. I had been looking at several tablets closely for the past few months to use while I was away from home on an upcoming trip expected to last few weeks. And seeing the current price and purchasing options available the Kindle HDX seemed to be an easy choice to me. Even with my thinking I understood the tablets limitations.

The things that attracted me to the Kindle HDX tab, were the processor, it's 4 G LTE compatibility with Verizon, and the fact that I am an Amazon Prime member. I had read that Amazon was expecting people to use their online services for video and music so having membership I was not too concerned about the small amount of storage on the tablet. But that was a mistake on my part. I was thinking I would be able to access the movies that I purchased online with Amazons instant video, and expected to be able to access the 128 gigs of music I have stored on Google Play", but Google Play media will not load on my Kindle HDX. Amazons cloud does store music up to a point, but it is limited in how much you can store free of charge. There is an option to purchase additional storage, (I believe it's about $25 a year with other limitations). But the free storage is limited and in my case I've been buying music from Amazon since the 1990's and a lot of my music was displaced by newer purchases without my knowing. So now I'm forced to either purchase additional space or be satisfied with what's there. Personally I feel the additional $25 is a rip off since particularly since the purchase of the kindle and considering my Prime membership, and with other services offer free unlimited uploads of music Amazon seems pretty greedy at this pont.

Here are the things I like about the current Kindle HDX Verizon compatible version.
1. The processor, it is very fast and loads pages quickly, and the 2 gigs of ram is a respectable amount to assist in performance.
2. The variables in personal settings, make the device easy to personalize.
3. The display is very nice and video and video games look great, but noting as others have there is a blue cast around the edges which is very noticeable when reading from the device.

The not so great things about the Kindle HDX 16 GB.

1. The fact that the device does not support storage expansion. It bothers me that my old Droid Bionic cell phone has a SanDisk slot that will let me to expand storage to 64 gigs, but you're stuck with the memory provided on the Kindle you purchase.

2. The lack of an HDMI port and to watch TV, you have to purchase a separate device provided and sold by Amazon.

3. The Lack of even a mini USB port. Again my old Droid telephone provides a USB port and offers a charging device with a built in USB hub that allows me to connect to any number of external attachments, and this tablet does not.

Regretfully the impact of these limitations did not come to mind when I bought the Kindle, but would have if I knew the fully understood the tablets limitations.

Would I recommend this tablet to friends or family? Only if they were a member of Amazons Prime services and fully understood its limitations, including storage and the area support of their carrier.

So over all, for basic users or those wanting a reading device with very nice options living in an area with Wi-Fi and who have good 4 G coverage the Kindle would probably be an OK purchase. But only if they are fully aware of the limitations of this tablet. Especially the limitations of the tablets onboard storage. 16 gigs is just too little to carry much media with you, with the device using a large part of that 16 gigs, for it's UI and OS you are not even getting a full 16 gigs (more like 10). Then tablet not supporting SanDisk memory expansion (which seems contrived to me), leaves the user too dependent on Amazons premium services for my tastes.

(Update 4/14/14) The packet blocking used to keep people tied to Amazons Media Content (or at least their Music App) needs to be removed. In my review above, I mentioned that I have had issues accessing my music stored on My Google Play Music site. But at that time I wasn't sure that this was my being impatient, not waiting for the site to load completely even though I did wait for five minutes, or if it was Amazon using packet blocking and redirection to keep people tied to their services. More recently I found that when trying to access my music on the Google site I was redirected to the " My Books Recommendations". I believe the Kindle site offers better deals, and has a wider selection than Googles offerings, but Googles music site includes downloads at the same cost and higher resolution (320 Kbps vs. the 190-240 Kbps at Amazon). More over recently a few friends told me they have run into the same issue when trying to access their media stored at other various sites (that are either free or that do not charge what Amazon does for their "Premium Cloud Services").

As someone else has mentioned in their review of the Kindle. Amazon has included adds on the Kindle HDX that are not present on other tablets (even basic inexpensive Android tablets do not have invasive adds). If I pay Amazon another fee I understand I can have those adds removed. But all of these fees really add up, and it seems to me that since I've already paid for this device, these additional fee's, and packet blocking with proprietary redirection are unacceptable and possibly illegal. Who Gives amazon the right to block content and force you to view advertisements on a device of this nature!

At this point I would honestly suggest looking elsewhere unless your absolutely sure that the problems mentioned above will not come into play for you or the one you are purchasing this device for. The idea of an e-reader with expanded abilities is one thing, but to advertise the Kindle HDX as a tablet able to compete with an I-Pad, and then throw things like site redirection, packet blocking to limit access media storage to their proprietary services makes me wish I had purchased anything other than this device.
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on April 11, 2014
I have several items I use to read Kindle books and watch movies on. One was the HDX 7. I also us a second gen Nexus 7 and iPad Mini Retina. Often I use a smartphone, like a Note 3 or Icon. I will compare the HDX7 to these.

First is screen. I nailing this because this is the big problem. This is supposed to be a book reader. But that purple/violet glow intruding into the readable space is awful. And it does not disappear regardless of your background settings - black, amber (my favorite) or white, it's always there. Sadly it's MOST apparent in amber, which color is otherwise the easiest on your eyes.

As a video display device, for movies and such it seems much better. I suspect it's just not as noticeable with things going on on-screen. It's there, but doesn't seem as bothersome. But the screen is why I returned it. Of the devices I mention, the best screen by a long way is the Nexus 7. It's a nice reader. Far better than the HDX. The iPad came in last because while screen res is fine, you cannot get a decent sepia from it. Sepia is nearly white. Oddly. the iPad supports that cool page turn animation while the Android and WP and even the Kindle do not.

As for watching movies, I think I have to give the nod to the iPad. Sound is good on the iPad - nearly as good as the HDX. Make no mistake, the HDX sounds great. I hate to be repetitive, but that damn screen really sucks. If you read the other reviews, it gets hammered for that constantly and Amazon pawns off some lame excuse about how their great display technology is so wonderful you should be happy to pay the price of that violet glow. Well, the display is nice in the center. But it's no better than the N7. So, sound and display for movies goes to iPad, plus you can download your movies to the iPad just like the HDX. You cannot, unfortunately, watch videos on Android. Why Amazon doesn't allow this is stupid and beyond me. You cannot BUY movies from iPad, but that is the only disadvantage there.

As for use as a tablet - the HDX is very clearly focused on use as entertainment, centered on Amazon. There is little there that is free, unlike Android or iPad. What is available is available ONLY through Amazon. You cannot use Google Play to fetch apps.

As far as performance goes, no quibbles. The HDX screams. It's very fast and smooth. But then so are the other tabs, with the N7 being slightly slower.

So, the summary. If you were able to buy titles using the iPad, I'd say forget the HDX. Get an iPad. It's a far better general purpose tab than the HDX, and every bit as good as the HDX for movies and reading. If you could WATCH movies on the N7, I'd say get that. It has the best reading display of the three, and not being locked in to Amazon is a huge benefit. If all you care about is consuming Amazon content and that purple hell-glow is OK with you, then get the HDX. It's the smallest of the devices, with a slightly larger screen than the N7 (not as big as the iPad though) with good sound. If Amazon ever gets it's head out of the sand, stops trying to convince everyone that the screen is actually OK, really it is, and FIXES IT, I will buy it again just for reading and movies. Everything about it is great. Except of course it's main component, it's reason for being, which sucks.
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