Amazon has added to its tablet family with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9". The tablet is a larger version of the 7in model introduced by Amazon last year, and aims to please those users looking for a high-quality screen in the more traditional larger form factor.
Design and build
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 measures 239x163x9mm, putting it at about the same height at the 241mm tall iPad, but significantly narrower in width for both the device itself and the screen, losing around one inch of width from the display.
The Fire HD 8.9 weighs 567g, which will feel a little lighter if you're used to the full-size iPad at 652g, but you lose the high-end aluminium Apple casing and gain a plastic one.
Amazon is pretty coy about the materials used for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but it seems to be toughened plastic surrounding the Gorilla Glass screen, so again this should stand up pretty well to any bumps and scrapes. However, we did notice it picking up fingerprints more than other touch screen devices we're used to.
On the outside, the Fire HD 8.9 has a headphone jack, volume up/down and power buttons on the top, and micro HDMI and micro USB ports along the right-hand side.
The Fire HD features an 8.9in HD display with 1920x1200 resolution at 254ppi. As with the 7in model, we often found we needed to press the touchscreen twice to get it to perform the desired action, as it requires a hard push down.
The use of In-Plane Switching (IPS) and an advanced polarising filter have also been included, designed to improve colours while viewing the screen from any angle.
We found that watching video, viewing photos and browsing the web is a pleasant experience, and this seems to be an improvement on the 7in model, with text much crisper when zooming in. Image and video playback was generally sharp and clear, with good colour detail.
Next: Performance, operating system