In mid-October, Amazon unleashed the Kindle Fire HDX upon the world. The 7-inch tablet immediately became a critical and commercial darling thanks to its affordable price and superior specs. It’s now been a few weeks since its launch, and Amazon is letting its big brother have a chance in the spotlight.
Amazon announced today that the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is now available and shipping to all those who pre-ordered the device back in September. Much like the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is a major improvement over its predecessor.
“The 8.9” Fire HDX is startlingly light—at just 13.2 ounces, it’s the lightest large-screen tablet. This is combined with a 339 ppi, perfect-color HDX display, 3x the processing power, 2x the memory, 4x the graphics performance, and backed by Fire OS 3.0, with exclusive features like the revolutionary new Mayday button—and all of this is just $379, much less than you’d pay for a comparable tablet,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “This is the best tablet we’ve ever built, and we can’t wait to see what our customers think.”
According to all the reviews that Amazon quotes in its press release, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is the lightest and brightest large-screen tablet on the market. It’s even lighter than the iPad Air, and Dr. Raymond Soneira at DisplayMate Technologies says it’s the “best performing tablet display that [they] have ever tested.” According to the good doctor, it beat out the iPad Air in Brightness, Screen Reflectance, high ambient light contrast and Absolute Color Accuracy.
Even if the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is superior to the iPad Air, it won’t matter if Amazon can’t compete with iOS in software. That probably won’t be a problem, however, as Amazon has invested a lot into Kindle app development this past year in a bid to attract large and small developers to the platform. On that end, it seems to be working as the Kindle Fire sports most of the same apps that are on iOS, but with Kindle platform specific features, like Amazon Coins and Whispersync.
If you’re looking to buy a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ today, you’re out of luck for now. Much like the Kindle Fire HDX, the 8.9-inch model is backordered. The 16GB model will ship on November 15, the 32GB model will ship on November 20, and the 64GB model is set to ship on November 26.