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
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.