New Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch: Will it live up to its hype? – Part 2

Monday, September 24th, 2012 5:03:34 by

The brief hands-on experience by a number of experts suggests that the device was quite satisfying but still there are certain performance quirks that might had been improved. A full-fledged review is only possible at the time of its release to the stores on November 20. Amazon is good at slating release dates on its products. The 8.9-inchers come right around the corner from holiday season in the US, the biggest tablet market in the world.

So far, the hardware seems pretty convincing on paper and in the brief hands-on period it was available at the launch early September.

From the outside, it is essentially the same as Kindle Fire HD 7-inch. However, at 0.35-inch depth it is thinner.

The shape is the same as the Fire HD with the same bevelled back and textured cover. The front screen bezel is also the same thick, proportionally. However, with larger screen comes a thicker resolution. With 1920×1200-pixel resolution, the 8.9-inch versions have the thickest pixel density for a non-iPad.

At the back there is a 5-mega pixel camera that can take 1080p video. The top front bezel also has a camera for video chatting with 720p video capabilities. There are regular volume control rocker and power button on the spine. The bottom edge has a micro-USB port for cinching the data cable. Amazon did not ship a charger with any of the new HD models. The micro-USB to USB cable does the double duty of a charging and data cable.

Inside the chassis is a Texas Instruments’ dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4470 with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU. The graphics rendering is better than the original Fire, navigation is smoother and video playback is sharper.

The HDs come equipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich’s Amazon-customized version with additions like X-Ray for Movies and Books, WhisperSync and Immersion Reading.

Overall the new Fire HD 8.9-inch version is quite capable of attracting new customers but the 4G LTE version will have a tough run because of its price, the domain that until now was Amazon’s forte.

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