Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 - more comfortable experience

For a £70 premium over the 7in model, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a more comfortable experience, with thumb-sized edges sitting neatly around its 8.9in display. And a fine display it is, with a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution that’s a real step up in quality from the 7in. It has blinding brightness and excellent contrast, and it’s bold and crisp – a real delight to read text on.

Predictably, watching video via Lovefilm is a pleasant experience, with excellent viewing angles and rich colours. Dual-band wireless helps ensure the streaming experience stays smooth throughout the home.

The speakers are nice and punchy, too, although if you turn up the volume they do start to distort. The glossy screen is susceptible to reflections, but a micro-HDMI port at the base makes it easy to hook the tablet up to a TV.

The battery handles entertainment well. Our video rundown test looped for 12hrs 26mins. Streaming wirelessly from Lovefilm sucks the power at a faster rate, but Amazon still promises more than ten hours of viewing time.

Through all of this, Amazon’s custom front-end puts your content front and centre, so as a tablet for consuming books and videos it’s effective. But if you’re looking for a more generalpurpose tablet, it’s less rosy. Its dual-core 1.5GHz processor slogged through our benchmarks with unremarkable results. The upcoming Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9in may remedy this, with significantly faster internals, but the Amazon tie-in will remain, complete with the limited Amazon Appstore, which replaces Google Play.

All of this means you’re probably better off buying a generic Android tablet and installing Netflix and the Kindle app. The Kindle Fire HD is tempting, but not for everyone.