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  • The New Amazon HDX Tablets: A Closer Look
Technology Articles > Gadgets > Tablets > The New Amazon HDX Tablets: A Closer Look

The 'Kindle Fire HDX' might sound like one tablet, but it's actually two. Under this moniker, Amazon has released a 7-inch tablet and a 8.9-inch tablet. At first glance, the HDX tablets don't look different than Amazon's prior Fire tablets. But Amazon has stated that the HDX versions are lighter and less bulky. What else is new? Take a look.

The HDX Tablet Design

I find this peculiar, but Amazon has moved the HDX's power and volume buttons to the back of the devices. There must be a strategic reason for doing so, but I find this move to be somewhat unnecessary. In addition to a power and volume button move, the HDX tablets boast:

11 hours of battery life
2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor
2GB of memory
Adreno 330 GPU

With the 7-inch model you will get a 920 x 1200 display, and with the 8.9-inch model you'll find a 2560 x 1600 display. As with all Amazon devices, these tablets run Amazon's software, and they are made for using Amazon apps and other Amazon bits.

If you're hooked on Amazon, these faster and lighter tablets are a great idea. If you want a general tablet, maybe Amazon's devices aren't for you (simply because they work best with all things Amazon). There's something else worth looking at here, though, and that thing is called Mayday.

Amazon's New Mayday

If you're familiar with the emergency term "mayday" (a distress signal), you'll understand the point of Amazon's newest feature. Mayday is a tech support function that instantly connects HDX users to tech support 24-hours a day. How's that for a company that stands behind its products?

The Bottom Line

Amazon's new HDX tablets don't come with any major leaps in features or specs, but the Mayday feature is helpful, and the lighter overall tablet design is nice. The HDX tablets are worth an upgrade if you're an Amazon tablet user, and they come with a price that's tough to argue with.

Pricing and Availability

The 7-inch HDX is priced at $229 while the 8.9-inch is priced at $379 with 16GB. These prices are higher than the Kindle Fire HD prices, but that's because they come with the aforementioned upgrades. I like the idea of the Mayday button and the screen resolutions are notable, but these prices may still be too high for some tablet buyers.

You can purchase the HDX tablets through Amazon right now. If you want something a bit cheaper, by the way, you can go for a Fire HD which retails around $139. Do keep in mind, while shopping for a tablet, that Amazon's tablets are best used with Amazon things - that's an important distinction if you are searching for a general tablet.

So, what's your take on Amazon's new HDX tablets? Are the small upgrades that Amazon has included worth the higher price tag? Will you be purchasing one (or both) of these tablets? More importantly: are Amazon tablets still relevant? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.