tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch Tablet Review

A notable size upgrade over the first Kindle Fire HD, the 8.9 inch version falls a bit short.

November 29, 2012
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Controls

Controlling a tablet through a capacitive touchscreen is simple enough, as it registers your touch quickly and accurately. However, because there are so very few physical controls, most of your interaction with your tablet will be governed entirely by the operating system's re-skinned interface, which is a bit of a chore. Basic functions are located in a horizontal list near the top of the screen, settings are in a swipe-down menu at the top, and the menu bar can be called out by tapping the bottom of the screen.

Unlike Android, you can't customize your lock screen or home screen, so those ads aren't going away. Similarly, you can't alter what's available to you on the home screen in the form of widgets or apps: that carousel of recent items will always be there until you decide to root the device and install an actual version of Android on there if you elect to do so.

Connectivity

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch has a lot to offer media mavens of all sorts, as it has a microHDMI port to export your content to a TV screen if you elect to do so. Additionally, you can pair accessories with the Kindle Fire HD using the bluetooth 3.0+EDR wireless standard. The usual connectivity options for an Android-based tablet also apply here, as it has both a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

What is missing from the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch that is available of Google and Apple's small tablets is GPS. While it may not matter to some, the lack of GPS means no maps, no navigation, no services like what Google offers its fully-loaded Android tablets. If you're looking for just an affordable media consumption device this should fit the bill, but you're not going to be using any location data-based apps.

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Battery Life

After running the gantlet of our rather unforgiving battery tests, we've come to the conclusion that you can reasonably expect the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch to last 5 hours, 52 minutes reading an eBook, and 6 hours, 22 minutes playing a video file. In our tests, we crank the backlight and disable all wireless and additional apps, so deviating from this mode of operation will give. you different results.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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