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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7" review

David Ludlow
19 Nov 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
199
inc VAT

Fast, well-built and great value, but some may find its OS a bit restrictive

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Specifications

7 in 1,920x1,200 display, 303g, 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Android 4.2 (Fire OS 3.0 Mojito)

While the original Kindle Fire HD was pretty good value, it looked a little cheap and the hardware couldn't cope with Amazon's own interface. A year-on from that release and mobile technology has changed significantly, so Amazon's back with its budget update, the Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The first thing you notice about the new tablet is that it's smaller than its predecessor. Where the Kindle Fire HD had a significant amount of bezel, with its screen looking small in the middle, the HDX has a much smaller bezel, making the 7in screen appear bigger. It's not as slim as the Nexus 7, but it no longer feels so bulky.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Amazon has also redesigned the case completely, with a nice soft-touch plastic back. It has angled edges to the back, which slope up to the side of the case. These not only make the Fire HDX more comfortable to hold, but also hold the power and volume buttons where they're easy to reach while you're holding the tablet in landscape mode. With Amazon cutting the weight by almost 100g, the 303g Kindle Fire HDX 7" is now a lot more comfortable to hold, too.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

AMAZON KINDLE FIRE HDX 7 SCREEN

Although the same size screen is still in the Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon has upped the resolution from 1,280x800 to 1,920x1,200 - the same resolution as used by the Google Nexus 7 (2013). This gives the screen a high pixel density of 323ppi. It's an immediate and obvious difference, with the high pixel density ensuring that everything onscreen is super sharp.

Amazon has used a high-quality IPS panel, so viewing angles are excellent. Colours are rich and vibrant, while contrast was excellent. Our one minor complaint was that there's a bit of backlight bleed around the side of the screen. This is only really noticeable on white backgrounds, with the edge having a faint-blue glow. It's not enough to ruin enjoyment and most of the time you won't even notice a problem.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

It's great for watching video and the rear-firing speakers are surprisingly loud and detailed, letting you happily watch content without having to plug in a pair of headphones.

AMAZON KINDLE FIRE HDX 7 PERFORMANCE

Amazon has significantly upgraded the internals, with a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2GB of RAM. This is a seriously fast chip, managing the Sunspider JavaScript test in just 560ms. This is one of the fastest scores that we've seen and puts the Kindle Fire HDX 7" up there with top-of-the-range tablets from other manufacturers.

As well as decent performance in Android and web browsing, the Snapdragon 800 also has a dramatically improved graphics core. We ran the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark, where the Standard and Extreme tests both maxed out, as the tablet was simply too powerful. Stepping up to the Unlimited test we saw a score of 16,398. This is one of the fastest scores that we've seen and shows that the Kindle Fire HDX 7" can compete with the best of them.

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