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on November 9, 2013
Updated 12/8/2014

One year in...

This review is for the the no-ad 64 GB wifi-only HDX 8.9.

I use a Galaxy S5 Android smartphone so the HDX is for media / web surfing / offline viewing for travel. Since I had already been using Amazon Prime and Prime Music it was a no brainer for me to use the HDX to fill the role of media / web surfing on a tablet.

Be informed about the download limitations to this device. Amazon has been adding clarification to this which should help would-be purchasers make a more informed opinion. This wasn't as obvious as it should have been when I ordered mine so they're listening which is good.

Be aware that their most popular Prime content *may* not be available to download (and save) to your HDX. You can save certain videos to your HDX but you won't know which ones until you buy an HDX and try it out. *** Edited 12/21/2013 You can now see a list of Prime movies and shows that can be downloaded to the device. That's an improvement and more clearly shows the available downloadable Prime content. +1 for Amazon. ***

I was also under the assumption that you could download as many videos as you'd like with the limiting factor being the memory capacity of the HDX. Also NOT the case. So again, I bought the larger capacity HDX under this assumption. That was dumb on my part as it turns out because you're not limited by storage capacity. You're limited the NUMBER of downloads you can have on your device. Kids' content can be really short so you may find yourself running into that limitation, but most people never will. Many people will opt up for the 64 GB device like I did only to find that 16 GB would likely do fine since it would be hard to download enough content to fill 64 GB, particularly on 'standard' resolution. As another commenter pointed out if you downloaded long movies in full HD perhaps you'd really want the bigger device. Which brings me to the final point.

The final criticism is that once you start watching content you have to finish watching the content within 48 hours or you need to reconnect to the internet. Again, I was surprised to find out that the content I downloaded expired. This is odd since you'd download because you were likely traveling to a location that didn't have wifi. Hopefully these criticisms lead to a more informed purchase decision on your part.

Here is the official word from Amazon which is indeed on their site and the purpose for my edit. I was unable to find this prior to my purchase and learned about it only after I acquired the device.

* Many (but not all as I note above) Prime Instant Video titles are also available for download on Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation and Kindle Fire HDX devices. The detail page for each Prime Instant Video title indicates whether the title is available for download. You can download available titles to only two separate devices at one time. If you have already downloaded a title to two devices, you need to delete it from one of them before downloading it to another device.

* You can have a maximum of 25 total Prime Instant Video titles downloaded at a time across all devices associated with your account. While not all Prime Instant Video titles are available for download, the same videos may be available for rental or purchase from Amazon Instant Video, and rented or purchased titles can be downloaded to compatible devices.

* Viewing Period: If you have a Prime membership or Prime free trial, you can stream any video that is currently designated as a Prime Instant Video title on its detail page. You can watch Prime Instant Video titles that you've downloaded within a limited viewing period, which varies by title. A typical viewing period is either 48 hours after you start watching the title or 15 or 30 days after the download, whichever is earlier. We'll typically notify you when the viewing period for a title is close to expiring. After your Prime membership or Prime free trial expires or is cancelled, you cannot watch any Prime Instant Video titles unless you've also rented or purchased that title.

For about 9 months the camera on this device caused it to take weird pictures. It seems that along the way a firmware update fixed the camera problems I had earlier so this should not be a concern for users who use their tablet to take photos.

Amazon has made subtle improvements to this device over the past year. It's not 100% Android compliant and doesn't always run YouTube videos very well. Just hangs and you need to restart it. Other times w/ the same YouTube content it works. Weird. The interface has been improved and it has been reliable for the last year as an intermittent toy. This is the perfect device for a person new to tablets or heavily invested in Amazon Prime. The Prime interfaces are outstanding and the device is intuitive and easy to use. Is it better than an iPad? It's different. If you use Amazon a lot I'd give the HDX a try. If you use Apple all the time, an iPad may be a better choice. It's very personal and subjective.

Amazon really owes it to their faithful customers who purchase these devices to continue to clarify the Prime download experience and this will be a home run. I hope these comments help you ask good questions and help Amazon continue improve their product and content experience.
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on November 7, 2013
Simply put, this is the Amazon’s iPad Air Killer. The 7” HDX is the iPad mini killer. Both HDXs inherent very similar hardware. This means the 8.9” version is an enlarged version of the 7” version. For my 7” version review, please search for my HDX 7” review.
My profile: I’m a heavy tablet user for personal and business purposes. I work on my tablet around 4-5 hours a day (Email / Documents / Spreadsheet / PDF) & use the tablet 1-2 hours for personal use such as watching movies or reading books/magazine. The HDX tablet is my go-to device for all internet related search I do. It is also my main electronic device, more important than my smartphones and laptops

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) Kindle HDX 7” – which I also have a review you can check out
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 year. For comparison sake, I will use last year's Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and also the Fire HDX 7” as benchmarks

Speed (9/10):

The same chipset is used on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 as it is in the Kindle Fire 7” As I mentioned in the 7” review, 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 screen is a much bigger step up from the original HD 8.9 1920x1200 screen to the Kindle Fire HDX screen at 2,560 x 1,600. The screen is comparable to the iPad Air which I saw in Apple store and text is crystal clear now with such a high per pixel inch density. The viewing angle is just as impressive as you can hang the kindle 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. The overall screen improvement for this year’s Kindle lineup is just impressive

Sound (8/10):
The sound system in this Kindle Fire HDX is using Dolby Digital Plus with virtual 5.1 surround sound. Similar to the 7” that gives this device a much better surround sound then previous generation's.

Build (8/10):
Like the 7” HDX, this 8.9 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 biggest improvement is the weight for this HDX 8.9 compared to last year’s HD 8.9, the device is noticeable lighter (567g for Kindle Fire HD vs 374g for Kindle Fire HDX). This mean you can hold this for longer time without fatigue. It’s also lighter than iPad Air and that’s quite impressive.

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):
With higher resolution similar to the kindle fire hdx 7, the battery life is still the biggest drawback. As mentioned in my HDX 7” review, it takes more to power to drive the battery now thanks to the screen upgrade. Anything on the screen requires higher resolution = more power draw. The 2650x1600 screen pulls a lot of power still compare to last year's model when the screen is on, especially when running HD videos. It maybe fine for casual use but for people who are more absent minded in charging or require this for business productivity purpose, it can be quite annoying when your batteryrunning out of power. Regardless, how much power saving features you have, it seems that the screen resolution is still taking most of the power. I'm able to pull 7 hours of moderately heavy usage vs 9.5 hours for last year's Kindle Fire HD at medium brightness with Wi-fi on all the time. Again, if something like a battery case is available, that will be great. Otherwise, it will be wise to find an external battery pack for this just in 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

Like the 7” 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):
Same problem here arises for the 8.9" compare to 7". 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. At the moment, will just have to go with the original origami case (which again can be pricey as you can see from my other review)

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 its does show relevant items I maywant. Compare to the iPad Air, this is a total steal. At this screen range, you cannot find anything comparable

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

For people who are justifying if this is a good upgrade from HD 8.9, I say YES to that. The overall lineup for Kindle Fire has vastly improved and that is great on Amazon’s part. The speed and screen difference alone is worth the upgrade. The whole user experience just improve drastically with the HDX.

It used 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 great price, great screen and great performance that surpass iPad Air. To me, the HDX is Amazon’s answer to an iPad killer. This tablet at the moment has the best performance/price ratio. It really marks how well Amazon has done to make themselves a worthy competitor in the tablet market with no only one device revamped, but an entire lineup of Kindle Fire HDX having such performance leap. I hope some software upgrade or battery pack can make this the ultimate road warrior!

With 7" HDX, it is my e-reader device whereas my 8.9" HDX, it will be my productivity device

This will be reviewed periodically throughout the year. A more comprehensive review on productivity will soon be available. [...] Thanks for reading!
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on March 15, 2015
After 15 months, my $500+ tablet is no longer useable. It is stuck on the boot screen. I invested a lot of $$$ into Amazon movies and books. This stinks.
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on October 30, 2014
1. Built on Android does not mean you can have Google Play Apps. This is an unfortunate inconvenience, as there are some Google Apps that are just better than their Amazon App counterparts, and a few that I can not find within the Amazon Apps. If you want a fully functional tablet, then buy a tablet and download the free kindle app. If you want to pay more for something that does less, then the kindle is for you. This was a gift, so I will keep it, and continue to use my phone for the rest of my Apps that are not available on the kindle.
2. Camera is less than perfect. Limited settings available. Again, I will use my phone for pics, the same scene with my phone showed the flames, with a small amount of glare. (Husband is a firefighter, so I take a lot of pictures of their exercises for their training.) An old Casio Exilim C721 phone with 5MP camera still takes better pictures at night.
3. Kindle unlimited... I can not find anything worthy of paying a subscription price every month for. The Authors I want to read are not included.
4. Amazon Prime... See #3, They doubled the price, and to me I just don't see anything there worthy of the cost, including Amazon instant video, no shows that I watch are included. Another family member did the 30 day trial, and was quite disappointed when his content disappeared after the trial.
5. Youtube videos work ok, sometimes choppy, could be my connection or the device (computer playback worked fine when I had the time to test simutaneously). Other online video from various sources would not play in Silk Browser, refer to #1 Chrome Browser not available to download.
6. Office Suite... I can not figure out how to unlock documents. I can view them, but I can not edit them.

Somewhere in the middle:
1. Email is easy to read, but hard to organize. If using folders that automatically sort your incoming mail (Yahoo) those folders are unavailable.
2. Battery Life, I am just not getting the advertised battery life out of my kindle. 4 hours of reading and the battery level drops to 15%. Two-Three hours of video and it is time to plug it in again. Not horrible, but not as expected either.
3. The carousel drove my nuts, thanks for fixing it!
4. Audio is acceptable, would be nice to have bass and treble adjustment. Good volume for your personal space, but too big to carry around with you if you are moving room to room doing chores.

1. BIG beautiful screen, indoors and out
2. Keyboard is easy to use, I considered a case with a bluetooth keyboard and discovered that it was not needed.
3. Whispersync is awesome when the battery dies and I have to switch to my paperwhite or (again) my phone.

Why I wanted the Kindle Fire... I am an EMT and the course for the next level is starting early next year, the book weighs a ton, and is 1550+ pages. There is a Kindle Edition of the book available, and I wanted the full features available of the ebook. The Kindle was a gift based on what I thought I wanted... Hindsight shows that I wanted and expected so much more.
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on December 4, 2013
I've been an apple guy since 1994. I learned how to program on the Iic and have been using just about every version of the macbook and iPhone since it's inception. I've also been a very proud iPad owner since day 1. I still have my original iPad and bought both the iPad 2 and most recently the iPad air. The iPad air is a remarkable device, it is gorgeous, thin and light. I realized quickly however that iOS 7 was not ready for primetime on the iPad air. Not to mention that I was having memory crashes 5-6 times per day. On mobile safari, I would have two web pages open and the device would slow down. If I opened a third tab and went back to one of the original two, they would both need to reload. On top of all that, even though I am fully vested in the apple ecosystem (I purchase all my apps, music and movies through iTunes), I was quickly realizing that the competition was catching up very quickly.

That's what lead me to the 8.9 HDX, mind you, I tested out the Galaxy note 10" as well as the Nexus 7 for a "true" android experience. I found jelly bean to be no different than ice cream sandwich which was marginally better than the last version. I know android purists will say there is a huge difference and jelly bean was designed for tablets, but in all honesty, android is just a boring experience. Even with a gorgeous screen as there is on the nexus 7, it has the occasional stutter, and I don't find the operating system intuitive with the exception of google now, I swear they've got spies in my house.

With all that said, the HDX is the first truly different tablet experience in almost four years. You will be truly dumbfounded by how light this thing is. I mean after holding an iPad air, you'll feel like this weighs nothing. But even with the lightness there is a "heft" to the device, one that gives it a presence. And 8.9" is the perfect size. I mean PERFECT. You can hold it in one hand in landscape easily. And the rubberized plastic feels phenomenal. From an iPad guy, this thing is neck and neck when it comes to design. Yes, it doesn't have an aluminum back, but the front screen feels so much better. The iPad Air screen felt plasticky in comparison to previous versions.

The OS on the HDX is good. I like the launcher. It doesn't give me the feeling of completeness that IOS does by allowing me to customize and launch different apps, but it does it's job well. I've always wondered why Apple didn't just have a live screen that automatically selected the apps I use most often and put them on the front page. That's where Mojito's (as an aside, dear Amazon and Android, stop. being. cute. Just give me a OS Version number, I can't wait for Android "lifesaver" or "mint julep") carousel comes into play. It updates as you use it.

Oh, and I know some folks like to use tablets for productivity, but let's be honest, they are purely entertainment consumption devices. I realized that quickly with my previous iPads. As much as I liked having email, iMessage, FaceTime, office suites, etc, the reality was that I used my iPad to browse the web, shop, read, and watch movies. Guess what, that's what the kindle fire focuses on. This is not a laptop replacement, this is not a post-pc device, it's the dessert you know you shouldn't have but realize after eating that it was the best thing ever.

Prime Content is not exactly amazon's strong suit unfortunately. I love prime, I've been a prime user for a very long time. The streaming features of prime are ok. Decent shows (like the most recent daily show) and movies (most of Marvel's latest flicks) are available. But I'm paying 7.99 for netflix and until Amazon shows me content like that, I'll stick with my buddy. Prime again is ok, not bad, not great, it does the job, but don't buy this for prime. You can obviously buy all the same shows and movies on amazon that you could on iTunes, but from a free content perspective, prime isn't the driving factor behind this device.

So, should you get the HDX, here's a few questions for you:

How vested are you in google's or apple's ecosystem? Have you purchased dozens of apps, more importantly, do you use the dozens of apps you've purchased?

How important is productivity software to you? Do you have to check email constantly on your tablet, open attachments, edit documents? Or do you find that using a laptop or other PC a better solution for that?

Do you play lots of tablet games?

Finally, where do you get most of your content and do you purchase, torrent, stream? There are ways to get movies from both the play store and iTunes to the kindle fire legally and easily.

I found for myself, that a laptop is the best solution, and with today's ultra books and the macbook air, you can get a small, light laptop for under $1000 that does exactly what you need. But for content consumption, the kindle fire is very hard to beat.
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on February 22, 2016
Since my wife and daughter were on our iPad all the time, I wanted another tablet for myself. The Kindle Fire looked interesting, had some good reviews, and since I already had a Kindle Keyboard for reading that was still working well, I figured it was a pretty safe bet. And it was...for awhile.

The pros: the screen is amazingly clear. Pictures and videos are sharp as a knife. I watched a lot of my Netflix on the Kindle Fire. The sound coming through the speakers was great, both with and without headphones. The Silk browser took some getting used to but it's largely intuitive and I figured it out fairly quickly. I used my Kindle Fire everyday for over a year-and-a-half with only a few minor glitches that were easily resolved.

And now the bad news. A few days ago, the tablet crashed and froze and is now stuck on the title screen and is unable to boot up. A hard reset failed, so I contacted customer service for help. The rep walked me through an attempt to restore the Kindle Fire to its factory settings, which would wipe out everything on it but should get it working again. When this also failed, the rep said there was nothing more to be done. And since I was well past the expiration date of my warranty, my nearly $400 tablet was now a complete loss. After less than 2 years. I should like to add that the Kindle Fire never left my house - I did not drop it, spill water on it, play catch with it, or damage it in any way. My only recourse was to buy a brand new tablet, although, the rep informed me, I would receive a modest discount to ease the burden on my wallet.

I have since learned, to my great chagrin and increasing outrage, that this was not an isolated incident. Dozens and dozens of others have encountered the same problem and received the same answer. "Electronic devices break down sometimes, don't really know why, not much we can do - why don't you buy our latest model? New and improved!" I've been an Amazon customer since 2002 and this is the first time I've really been disappointed in their service. There is obviously a huge problem with one of their flagship products but they have not come up with a software patch or offered to fix it or replace it. Maybe some people can afford to buy the latest tech gadgets every year or two but I am not one of them.

You should know that I'm writing this review on the very same iPad I owned (for over a year!) before I bought the Kindle Fire, and it is still going strong. If Amazon hopes to maintain their share of the tablet market it will need to extend their shelf life, or risk losing that share altogether. Poorly-made products do not speak well of you, Amazon. I still enjoy my Kindle e-reader but I will never buy another Kindle Fire.
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on November 14, 2013
So, I love my new Fire HDX (64Gb, wifi only with ads), but all the positives have already been reviewed at length by others, so I will concentrate on what I have not yet seen discussed elsewhere in a lot of detail:

1) Display mirroring (with Miracast). I got the NETGEAR Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter - Miracast and WiDi (PTV3000) and finally managed to make it work, no thanks to Netgear who have just lost a customer. Well, not really since I never bought a Netgear product before and arguably I didn't this time either as I bought it refurbished, but still. Installation issues notwithstanding, after it started working, it was pretty amazing. I tested the Miracast functionality successfully with both my Win8 laptop and my Kindle Fire HDX. Yes, there is a very slight lag, but nothing major and I suspect the technology will only get better what with the rate of the firmware updates being pushed out by Netgear for this product, trying to keep up with their competition which I think will be fierce now that Amazon has put its weight behind the Miracast technology by doing away with the HDMI output port entirely in the Fire HDX models. Which means that if you are emotionally attached to using an HDMI cable to connect to your external screen or TV, or just do not want to put up with the potential pain in the neck the installation of the PTV3000 may turn out to be (though to be fair, some people had no trouble whatsoever?), you will want to stick with the HD models instead. If you are excited about Miracast and want a WiDi adapter for your TV, use some caution, because as my review of said item demonstrates, it can be a hassle to setup.

A cheaper alternative is the Tronsmart T1000 Mirror2TV Wireless Display HDMI Dongle which performance is unfortunately not as good as the PTV3000 (noticeable time delays and pixelation when mirroring and requires use of their free proprietary app, EZCast).

2) Customer service. I have never seen any company spend so much time and effort into ensuring customers were happy with their flagship product (the Kindles, I mean. When it comes to every other product and services, they are just as impersonal and crushing as you would expect). I have rarely -if ever- had to contact Amazon with any of my Kindle issues before, but I was forced to contact an Amazon representative three times since my HDX arrived and each rep was unbelievably polite, helpful (and downright nice! all three of them! What?) and went to extraordinary lengths to resolve my issues (minor hardware problems - I'll update this review upon final resolution).

[UPDATED: my issues were resolved very satisfactorily, all it took was the guts to call Amazon support in the first place... All the customer service reps I spoke with -all 6 of them by now!- were helpful, patient, reasonable and even technically competent!? I don't understand this minor miracle, but it's certainly no coincidence and I was very glad to be able to take advantage of it. This great level of customer support is available for all your Kindle issues, not just HDX models, by the way].

One of my calls was made while testing the Mayday feature and I was stunned by how amazingly good the concept and execution of this idea was! Kudos to Jeff Bezos, this new feature is brilliant and will gain him major customer loyalty, especially among the older set (this is not meant to be insulting as I am no spring chicken myself).

3) Accessories. This tablet is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, granted, but it is also a fingerprint magnet -especially its display which is a touch screen, of course- and the rubberized back, which was so convenient and comfortable in the 7" original Fire, seems to have become a sponge for natural skin oils with the 8.9" HDX model? Fingerprints are everywhere and stay obstinately attached to every surface, not just the display, and personally I never figured on wiping them off as a full-time occupation.

My solution? DecalGirl skins (check their website for a dazzling number of choices or why not, the original DIY look: DecalGirl Skin - 'Create Your Own'): no, I do not work for them, I just spend a lot of time and as little money as possible trying to get the right accessories for my Kindles. They are a tad expensive ($20), but they are unbelievably easy to apply, of superior quality, extremely durable, come in a huge variety of designs from colorfully eccentric to classically elegant and DecalGirl often offers up to 25% discounts on their website. They will keep your Kindle looking and feeling like new.

Note that most cases easily fit over these skins but remember that if you also want a screen protector (I did!), it should be applied before the skin is applied to the body of the Kindle (front and back). By the way, covering the front of the Kindle (the bezel around the screen) makes holding your Kindle a lot more comfortable... This is no ad for DecalGirl: if you prefer one of their competitors (for instance: MightySkins Protective Skin Decal Cover), do your research and go for it, I am merely pointing out that I believe getting a good quality skin for your HDX is more important than buying a case. Also a lot cheaper than an Origami case, Amazon's preferred solution which at $50+ is just too rich for my tastes (sorry, this bon mot was just too easy)!

Speaking of accessories, since I cannot recommend any one case wholeheartedly, I can at least recommend the Targus Mini Stand (AWE65US). It's surprisingly practical and elegant for a simple block of transparent acrylic! Designed for any smartphone or tablet up to 10", it's perfect if you like watching videos on your HDX from a desk or a table rather than balanced in your lap.

4) Downloading videos. The limitations mentioned in B. Tarbuck's review could be a problem for everyone who purchased the 64Gb model with the new downloading features in mind, which was my case... but a few months of heavy usage later, I can confirm that the points he raises are not necessarily a big deal.

- First, you'll want to keep in mind that not all Prime videos are available for download as licensing rights limit what Amazon offers and which videos are Prime and downloadable is liable to change without notice.
- Second, there is indeed a 25 downloaded videos maximum at any given time which personally I find is acceptable, even though I would have preferred to have heard about it beforehand rather than discover it afterwards.
- Third, the Viewing Period limitation (48 hours or so depending on the video) is a lot easier to swallow when you realize it only starts applying to videos once you start watching them.

So the Viewing Period limit is actually quite comparable to the Lending Library's limitations: you just need to remember that Prime Videos are not available for streaming while you are traveling outside the US which is why you need to download them to your Fire HDX before leaving the US. Or if you are an overseas customer: yes, this IS discrimination! Just kidding, it's due to the same licensing rights limits referred to above which Amazon negotiates with the content owners (Warner, Fox etc.) themselves, ie the same people who insist on different DVD regions etc.

[IMPORTANT: the 'Viewing period' limit actually applies only once you've STARTED watching a video. As long as you simply keep your downloaded videos on your Kindle Fire for later viewing without starting the playback of the file, the Viewing Period limit is irrelevant. Now, that's more like it! :) ]

Personally, I invested in the 64Gb model because I am often in the position of traveling overseas for months, with very little personal internet access. Let's not get into a discussion of what most hotels overseas -ahem UK, I am looking at you here, not that Italy or Germany or Japan have a leg to stand on either- think is 'free internet access' or the availability of English-speaking entertainment media outside the US. Can you believe that some countries expect you to understand their own non-English language to get your entertainment?! Just joking: English is not my native language... My point stands, however.

Therefore purchasing the 64Gb model may be worthwhile if you like to load up your Kindle with lots of videos in preparation for a long overseas trip: just remember that once you start watching a video, a fairly short Viewing Period time limit starts running - about 48 hours (more or less depending on the movie/show in question). This is similar to the time limit you run into when downloading Prime Videos to your PC or renting vs. purchasing movies from Amazon, by the way... Please also note that movies and TV shows take up a huge amount of space when downloaded from Amazon, even when you do not choose the HD version, compared to your own personal videos (ripped from your own DVDs, I mean) which usually take up no more than 1 or 2 Gb per movie. Plus, your own videos have no such intrinsic Viewing Period time limit and can be re-watched as often as you want, forever, just like the videos you actually purchase from Amazon.

Remember, if you are willing to actually pay money to purchase a video from Amazon, you can then download it to your device at any time (while you are in the US), and keep it on the hard disk of your Kindle Fire -and any other Kindle Fire you own, past and future- forever (or you can re-download it repeatedly). Which is what Amazon is hoping we'll do, in fact... That's the whole point of selling the Kindles at near cost, after all.

One more relevant item of information when it comes to choosing your Fire HDX hard disk size: the micro USB port is not OTG compatible, so you cannot simply use an OTG USB key (like this little beauty for instance: Patriot Stellar Series 64GB USB 3.0 OTG - PSF64GSTROTG) to easily increase the size of your Fire HDX hard disk. Oh well...

5) non-Amazon content and apps: let's just reiterate a few points which most official reviews I have seen rarely make.

- you can totally get non-Amazon apps from the Google Play store. Or any reputable website, as long as you are careful and do a bit/a lot of research first if you don't want to be sorry later. Download the .apk file (all Android apps are really files with an apk extension), then transfer it to the appropriate folder on your Kindle. Opening the apk file then installs the app on your Kindle Fire and the app will afterwards appear in your Fire's Apps section. It's that easy! This simple process is called sideloading and no, it's not difficult or complicated and does not require rooting and does not invalidate your warranty or anything: the internet is full of simple how-tos on the subject, just begging to be read. And Amazon is perfectly fine with your sideloading non-Amazon apps, especially free apps.

Obviously Amazon will not refer to it or explain how to do it and they will avoid even mentioning it, but Jeff Bezos is well aware that lack of flexibility on this issue would be a deal breaker, even if he'd rather not admit as much officially. Which is why it's a fairly straightforward process, even though it would have been quite easy for Amazon to prevent us from sideloading non-Amazon apps.

- you can easily get non-Amazon ebooks (pdf or epub or any other commonly used ebook format, free or otherwise - B&N etc.) to your Kindle: just install the Calibre software on your computer and it will handle all the format converting and transferring to your Kindles, from the oldest Kindle e-reader to the latest HDX. Plus lots of other neat and amazing features, including tagging or helping with the rental of ebooks from your public library system. Calibre is free, it's got heaps of documentation and technical help, it's regularly updated and it can and will handle your whole ebook collection beautifully while synchronizing all your e-Readers easily. It's like iTunes for ebooks! If iTunes was easy to use, efficient, inclusive of formats and platforms. And came with helpful free add-ins like Firefox does. And did not lose your full media library the way iTunes loses mine all the time.

- comic books/graphic novels/mangas and magazines in pdf format. This is a seldom mentioned advantage of the 8.9" HDX: its larger screen size and higher resolution makes it a great way to read comics in pdf format with the built-in pdf reader! It's a bit less practical in cbr or cbz format (as opposed to reading comics on a PC where using a free cbr/cbz reader is best), but easily doable and well worth it for facing the hours of tedium that travel often requires. No need to use a comic book reader app, especially since the best such apps are not free, if your comics are in pdf format! But if your non-pdf comics library is just too extensive to convert, then you can check out ComiCat which costs $2.99: it handles most comic formats, organizes your collection nicely on your Kindle HDX and allows easy synchronization with cloud services like Dropbox, which is pretty nifty - compared to having to copy your comics files to your HDX yourself.

- other external content (music, photos, audiobooks and videos): nothing is to stop you from ripping your favorite DVDs and CDs (reliable free and paying tools are all around you) and transferring them to your Kindle Fire. It's even easier with an HDX than ever before!

I've been doing all of the above since the Kindle Fire 1st gen all the way to the HDX without any trouble via the USB port of my computer: a simple USB to micro USB cable -the same type of cable you use to recharge your Kindle- and you're all set! Or send your ebooks attached to an email to your Kindle's email address: Amazon Help pages are full of detailed descriptions about it... this email method incidentally lets you share your non-DRM ebooks with your friends and family simply by emailing them with your ebook. Assuming their own Kindles have been set up to accept documents from your email address - this last requirement is a security measure to avoid spam. Personally, I use this nifty 'sending books via email to a Kindle device' functionality to guilt my relatives into reading edifying books I think they would benefit from (passive-aggressive stuff about healthy diet, exercise and the like... ) and it helps with their insomnia issues, if nothing else!

Google will lead you to numerous helpful how-tos explaining which folder you should copy your video/audio files to on your Kindle Fire and which free apps to use if for some reason you do not want/cannot use the default app. Videos and Photos will show up in your gallery under your Photos section and your uploaded music and audiobooks, naturally enough, in your Music section. If your files are in a format your Kindle Fire cannot open and you don't want the headache of having to convert your files, just use one of several apps that open most files: personally, I use ES File Explorer to navigate the hard disk of my Fire and open all my non-Amazon content. You can also check out MoboPlayer which plays any video file format, not just only mp4 files like the Fire default video viewer app. These two apps are both available free on the Amazon app store and are very popular for good reasons.

Again: all of the above in point 5 works for all Fire models, not just the HDX.

6) On a different, UNRELATED topic: if for some reason you want to root your Amazon Fire in order to run the non-Amazon version of Android and be able to control the look and feel and functionality of your tablet, please be aware that you will lose all Prime membership advantages on this Fire tablet (though not on your computer or any other Fire you may own). Such as free Instant Prime Videos and the Lending Library. And Mayday functionality, also a bonus of the FireOS.

I just want to emphasize the fact that sideloading has nothing to do with rooting: the amount of ignorance and misinformation floating about this topic is simply astonishing. And by the way, I really don't recommend rooting a Kindle Fire, though yes, technically speaking, it is doable. By anyone with nerves of steel. And at least several hours of free, preferably uninterrupted time for in-depth research beforehand... Just be prepared to take responsibility for the waste of hundreds of your dollars if you do brick your Kindle device.
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on December 28, 2013
I have owned the Kindle Fire 8.9" HD for a year, having gotten it last Christmas (2012). I have also been an Amazon Prime customer for some time. So I was pretty excited when I saw the hype for the new HDX. This seemed like it would be a great upgrade. It seemed like it had several things I wanted in the HD, like all my icons on one page, a rear facing camera, and faster Wi-Fi and internet, and a lighter, thinner package. Since I already had the HD, this should be a pretty seamless upgrade.

Well that's not how things went for me. First of all taking the HDX out of the box, it felt really cheap and flimsy compared to my HD. Even though both tablets are 8.9", the HDX has a slightly smaller display. It actually seemed like a tablet you might buy your 10 year old. I already was having my doubts, but let's fire it up and give it a try.

I started it up and went through all the registration hoops, and then had to go to the cloud to get all of my apps loaded onto the HDX. Well, immediately, I noticed that apps I had purchased were missing. Most notably was Weatherbug, which is my main weather app on the HD. I went to the app store, and it's not there, either. Ditto a calendar, contact list and calculator I have on the HD. Apparently these are not compatible with the HDX.

There are some items on the HDX that are not on the HD, as well, but for someone that has already set up all their apps, this is disappointing. Most of the games, candy crush, deer hunter, pipes, etc., that I play came over, but you lose the levels you have achieved playing them on the HD. That was a big disappointment.

The other thing missing from the HDX is an HDMI port to connect the tablet to your TV. The HDX uses some kind of sync technology, but it would not work with any of the 4 TVs, two of which are HD flat screen, in my house. So there is no way I can watch videos or movies on my TV. That was the real deal breaker.

In addition, Amazon touts a much better display, faster Wi-Fi and faster browsing. I didn't see it. comparing the 2 tablets side by side, I noticed no difference in speed, and couldn't discern a difference in the screen quality. They are both very good. When I turned both tablets on from a cold start, the HD actually booted up and was ready to go slightly faster than the HDX, The browser interface is different and much less intuitive in the HDX than in the HD.

If you like to read books, which my wife and I do a lot of, you will also be disappointed in the ability to control font size in the HDX. In the HD I have the font set to 7. There is no comparable setting in the HDX. You get small, bigger, bigger yet, and HUGE. None of those suited me like the settings on the HD, which are easily adjusted.

If you already have an HD and are thinking about an upgrade, I would suggest you not waste the money. You are not gaining much with the HDX (the rear camera, mostly), and are giving up a lot. If you haven't purchased a tablet yet and are considering the Kindle Fire, I think I would still buy the HD, the prices have dropped to $229 for the 8.9", which I feel is a great value.

If you find you must buy the 8.9" HDX, definitely stay away from the Origami cover. It's expensive and it's a piece of junk. I returned it along with the HDX, and would not recommend it to anyone.


I have since returned both the HDX and the Origami case. Seeing how this was a Christmas present to me from my wife, we are both disappointed. I certainly hope Amazon rethinks the HDX and it's marketing. For now, my old 8.9" HD workhorse is still going strong!
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on March 9, 2015
First off I have a gen 3 hdx Fire 8.9 32gb.
I mainly wanted this for streaming Netflix showtime etc
What a disappointment.
I compared the streaming to my iPad 2 yes 2 not air 2 but 2. And my iPad won hands down.
Did I get a bad unit or something? Is it a setting I'm missing??? Not sure but I'm pretty disappointed in this tablet.
I've attached pictures and you can see the resolution is just better on the iPad.
And it's not my home internet it works fine on my iPad and I have 105mb from Comcast.

I do however like the design and overall form factor of it. Just wish it would stream and use the full capabilities of the resolution the specs say
review image review image
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on November 27, 2013
I ordered the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for my wife. She already had a Kindle Fire 8.9 HD and was in love with it. She uses the old
one for reading books (works great),e-mail,and her jigsaw puzzles which she is fascinated with. She thought it couldn't get any
better. I am a retired electronics guy and was blown away by the specifications of the new HDX with its fast quad core processor
and its graphics coprocessor. I was particularly drawn to the MIRACAST capability that was mentioned. This is a wireless way to
send the screen content of the Kindle to a HDMI equipped T.V.

There isn't much written about the MIRACAST feature, but I found out that NETGEAR makes a streaming video device called the
Push2TV (PTV3000) which I also bought from Amazon at the same time. It arrived before the Kindle Fire HDX.

I was so proud of myself for finding and downloading the "firmware" update for the Push2TV and I was ready for the Kindle to arrive. When the KIndle arrived it was cold from the outside and I decided to let it warm to room temperature and wait for wifey
to come home from work.

Wifey arrives and we began the process of trying to connect to the Push2TV device. I followed the directions to the letter that was a BIG mistake! I tapped the MAYDAY button (unbelievable genius that) and was connected to a very pleasant young lady
who knew less about "mirroring" than I did but she REALLY tried. Unfortunately that connection was cut off. I tapped the MAYDAY
button again and was again connected to a pleasant lady who couldn't help me and was again disconnected. I think the disconnections were due to the fact that the MAYDAY operators took control of my Kindle and accidentally disconnected the WiFi
link. I was getting frustrated at this point and I was also very disappointed, The mirroring was a big reason for my HDX purchase.

I tapped the MAYDAY button for the third time (wifey says I'm stubborn, I prefer tenacious) and again spoke to a very pleasant
young lady who could not have been any nicer. She and I could not resolve the problem either but she set me up to receive a call from an Amazon help operator. The call arrived within seconds and again I'm speaking to a really nice young lady (do you see a pattern here?). This lady's name was Charlie and she couldn't help me either but promised to research the problem and
connect me with an I.T. deity which I requested for after Thanksgiving because it was already after 10:00 p.m. my time.

Here comes all the good stuff. Even though it was late, I was determined to make this thing work I'm retired and can work all night if I want to. I started at the beginning! This time I DIDN'T follow directions about pushing the button on the side of the Push2TV box! I did push the reset button with a paper clip on the Push2TV unit. I observed my T.V. screen and noticed that the version
number on my Push2TV was 2.4.3 this is really important! I did NOT need to upload new firmware. The firmware in my unit as shipped was NEWER than on the NETGEAR website which was 2.4.26! In the end all you have to do is connect the Push2TV to
your T.V. the turn on mirroring in the Kindle and your done.

Mirroring is beyond belief. The picture on the T.V. is stunning. Amazon's MAYDAY might kill Apple's IPad.
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